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Cousins’ 70 Years Of Service

Cousins’ 70 Years Of Service: Two cousins have celebrated 70 years of service to the same golf club.

Bobby Hay retired earlier this month after 45 years with Gullane Golf Club, while cousin Paul Hay toasted 25 years of long service.

Cousins' 70 Years Of Service

Bobby, who was irrigation and drainage technician, and Paul, who is head greenkeeper at Gullane No. 1, were invited to a special presentation at the main clubhouse of the club, which is closing in on its 140th anniversary.

Bobby, 65, was presented with a camera and voucher, while Paul received a green jacket and voucher for The Bonnie Badger restaurant in Gullane.

Bobby thanked the golf club committee for their gifts and revealed what made the job so enjoyable.

He said: “It was the people I worked with and being outside.

“Previous to that, I worked in a bakehouse for five years. I was breathing in flour dust and at Gullane I did not have to work Friday nights!”

The Gullane resident, who recalls course visits by stars such as Sir Sean Connery, Harold Sakata – who played Oddjob in Goldfinger – and Sir Bruce Forsyth, has plenty of hobbies to enjoy in his retirement.

He said: “I don’t know yet [what I’m going to do with my spare time]. I am that busy with that many things I want to do.

“I look over the course and it is a funny feeling knowing I am not there now after 40-odd years.

“I do archery, wood carving, wood turning, photography and I look after the archery range at Archerfield.”

Gullane Golf Club has attracted plenty of international golfing stars in recent years – holding the Scottish Open twice in the last four years, with Brandon Stone winning last year and Rickie Fowler lifting the top prize in 2015, as well as the Ladies Scottish Open last year, with Ariya Jutanugarn crowned champion.

Bobby described the club as “the most superior course in the Central Belt of Scotland”.

Meanwhile Paul, 42, explained why, despite not considering himself a golfer, he loved his job.

He said: “One, it is local, and two, every day is different.

“There have never been two days that are the same. We have got a good team and it has been good to work for Gullane Golf Club so far. It does not feel like 25 years for sure!”

Paul, who lives in the village, said changes in machinery, staffing levels and the number of visitors to the golf club meant the job had changed since he started.

He added: “We’ve got to make sure the course is looking tip-top.

“There is an added pressure – if the course is not looking at its best, it is going to be picked up on.

“You definitely have to make sure everything is looking its best at all times and present it every day as if it is [for] a competition.”

Ward councillor Jeremy Findlay, who lives in the village, works as a tour operations manager for a golf tour company and is a member of the golf club, congratulated the duo on the achievement.

He said: “The golfing fraternity and golf club members really appreciate all the effort and time that they have put in over the years and I’m sure the many thousands of visitors to the club also appreciate their great work.”

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