WEYMOUTH Golf Club’s professional, Des Lochrie, has retired after 31 years of service to the club.

Des was born in Muirhead, Glasgow, 58 years ago and grew up with three younger and three older siblings.

The 58-year-old enjoyed early success in his golfing career and was Lanarkshire Youth Culb’s under 17s and under 21s champion in 1978.

Fellow professional, John Challis, recently remembered: “Des started his career at Crow Wood Golf Club near Glasgow where he played as a Junior.

“I was a professional there and in 1978 he joined me as my assistant. When I moved to Stirling Golf Club in 1979 Des came to.

“At both clubs, unassuming, modest Des was extremely popular with members and visitors alike, and always went that extra mile to meet their respective needs. He was a model golf professional, an excellent teacher, a hard worker and more importantly just a nice likable individual.

“Throughout his apprenticeship Des was always a tremendous ambassador for the club and his boss. I always knew he would go on to make successful career in golf. It is professionals like Des who ensure that the traditions of the game are upheld, but more importantly make golf fun.”

Having qualified in 1981 Des had a spell as an Assistant at Denmark’s Rungsted Golf Club where he was known as ‘The Professor’ due to his expertise with club repairs and refurbishment. It was whilst in Demark that Des met his wife Sue.

He next moved to the Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club with the PGA Championship winner David Talbot in 1984 before being appointment as the Club Professional at Llantrisant & Pontclun Golf Club in South Wales

David Talbot said: “I came to know Des when he joined my staff at Royal Mid-Surrey in 1984 when, along with Gary Strafford another member of the staff at the time, he helped me make a strong reliable team.

“I remember Des as being the quiet and solid partner of this team, a good golfer and an expert club maker.

“To have worked for 31 years at the same club, is in itself a testimony to the character of a person and to the esteem in which the Club have held him.”

Des commented about his interview for the position of Weymouth’s professional: “When I was asked about my playing ability I said, with a smile, that I was a pretty good 15 handicap.”

At the time, the course was waterlogged so his golfing ability could not be put on show and the committee assumed he was joking.

During the past three decades, little has happening in the world of golf in Weymouth that Des hasn’t been involved in.

His professional, caring nature ensured his involvement with junior golfers at club and county level by way of the Dorset County Academy and the Young Tigers which he set up and ran at Lodmoor.

Des’s coaching style was always encouraging, low key and very well informed with thousands of Weymouth Club members and the wider golfing community benefiting over the years from his involvement and expertise.

Table tennis has also been a long-standing pastime for Des who, amongst other triumphs, was a 1998/99 Weymouth & District Table Tennis League singles winner.

The private life of Des and his remarkable wife Sue is as worthy of comment as his successful professional life.

Since the 1990’s, with four children of their own, the caring couple have fostered some 50 youngsters under the age of 18, all with learning or physical disabilities. Three of these children, aged 17, 13 and 3, are now permanently fostered by Sue and Des.

Not forgetting the part played by their own children who have shared their upbringing with so many youngsters, one may only imagine the compassion, understanding and strength of character which Des and Sue have displayed over the decades to the benefit of so very many in need.

Not content with such a commitment, Des has most recently set up the Weymouth branch of Cycling Without Age, being volunteer piloted trishaw rides for the old and infirm young. The first of what is hoped to be several trishaws based in the town arrived at Weymouth Golf Club in October.

With both a daughter and daughter-in-law currently pregnant, the most recent icing on the Lochrie cake is the imminent birth of two grandchildren.