The trio of European Ryder Cup winning captains Colin Montgomerie, Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn have led the tributes to the passing of legendary Scottish-born golf journalist Jock MacVicar.
Jock passed away on Saturday (April 3rd) following a fall earlier in the week in his Glasgow residence. He had been conveyed to hospital and seemed to have not sustained any major injuries and was in good spirits when visited on Friday but his condition worsened later that night and he died on Saturday.
Jock was never married nor did he have a family but his family was the golf world that he brought to the pages of the Scottish Express newspaper. It is easy to describe someone as a legend but the 83-year old and long-time golf writer was a true legend and his passing sees the loss of someone with the ranks of the media who covered golf long before the invention of a tape recorder or the invention of the fax machine.
Jock was born in the small village of Southend on the Mull of Kintyre and went to school with seven-time Scottish Women’s champion Belle Robertson. He was a proud member of Dunaverty golf club to the south of Campbelltown and in 2012 was honoured by Scottish Golf with a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award before being formally recognised by the PGA in Scotland for his contribution to Scottish golf.
Jock had joined the Association of Golf Writers in 1965, three years after attending his first Open Championship won that year by six strokes by golfing legend Arnold Palmer at Royal Troon. In the intervening period he travelled the length and breadth of the UK reporting on junior, women’s and men’s golf while he attended many events in Ireland, including proudly reporting on Sam Torrance downing in one gulp a victory pint of Murphy’s in winning the 1995 Irish Open at Mt. Juliet while reporting on the Majors and the Ryder Cup when held in the US.
And he was known on a first name basis throughout his career by those juniors who later turned professional along with professionals at all levels plus the administrators of the game, caddies, spectators who recognised him at events and his many, many journalist colleagues. Leading the tributes are three of the biggest names in European Tour golf – a trio of winning European Ryder Cup captains.
- Colin Montgomerie – Winning 2010 European Team captain
Very sad to hear Jock MacVicar has died. I first met Jock when playing in the 1979 Scottish Boys Championship at Dunbar he was always very supportive and knowledgeable. We spoke a few months ago, speaking to Jock was like talking to an old friend. He will be very sadly missed
- Paul McGinley – Winning 2014 European Team captain
So so sad to hear of this news . Jock was a really nice man, popular with us all and a man of great integrity
- Thomas Bjorn – Winning 2018 European Team captain
One of our family has passed.. A true gentleman
- Paul Lawrie – Winner 1999 Open Championship
Very sad to wake up to this news, Jock was a lovely man and a legend in the golf world. RIP Doyen.
- Stephen Gallacher
So sad to hear the news that Jock MacVicar the Doyan has passed one of life’s good guys I’m proud to have been his friend RIP
- Ken Brown
Sad news… Jock for so many years has been the heartbeat of golf writers on the European Tour. No one supported us Scottish golfers more than Jock MacVicar. TY. We will miss you.
- Gary Evans
Another sad day…Jock was a lovely fella and highly respected member of the golf press. RIP Jock
- David & Vicky Drysdale
This is very sad news about “Poor Old Jock” as DD & I called him, Such a lovely man & what a character, He will be sadly missed by all who knew him especially from the golfing world
- Dean Robertson
Jock was always one of the faces you looked forward to at golf events. The media centres won’t be the same without him. RIP Jock
- Tony Johnstone
Sad to hear of the departure of a man who was liked by all. A true gentleman who loved the game and a thoroughbred journalist. RIP Jock.
- Richie Ramsay
Really sorry to hear this. Jock was such a lovely guy from covering Scottish Boys to @EuropeanTour always enjoying chatting to him. Will be missed by many RIP The Doyen
And European Tour CEO Keith Pelley kindly added his own tribute on behalf of the Tour:
“As well as the spiritual home of golf, Scotland is also home to many of the legendary writers and commentators on our sport and today we mourn the passing of one of the greatest in Jock MacVicar.
“An authoritative voice on every aspect of our game, everyone at the European Tour sends our deepest condolences to Jock’s family and his many friends. He enriched the lives of everyone he met and there is no question that the entire golfing world is a sombre place today because of this sad news.”
Scott Crockett, Communications Director of the European Tour, who knew Jock for 35-years, said: “Today is a very sad day for our sport and for the wider media family. Jock was not only loved and respected in his native Scotland but across the world, and his loss is therefore deeply felt.
“Jock knew everything about golf and knew everybody in golf – he was not known as ‘The Doyen’ for nothing. But it was his gentlemanly and kind-hearted demeanour, his at-times wicked sense of humour and his ability to engage everyone as he found them, that most will remember fondly. You could be a Major Champion or a first round competitor in the Scottish Boys Championship; Jock treated them both the same.
“Personally, as a young golf reporter in Scotland in the 1980s, the generosity shown to me by Jock at that time.”