Golfing great Campbell: Machrihanish’s youngest and oldest champion

In this 1978 photograph are, from left: Hector Thomson, Stuart Campbell and Dan Stalker. 
In this 1978 photograph are, from left: Hector Thomson, Stuart Campbell and Dan Stalker. 

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Down Memory Lane

This week’s Down Memory Lane photograph shows a fresh-faced 16-year-old Stuart Campbell after becoming the youngest Machrihanish Golf Club champion in 1978.

Keen on breaking records, Stuart also became the oldest person to lift the club’s championship trophy after winning this year’s competition aged 59.

The 2021 win – Stuart’s 17th – means he has now won the championship more times than anyone else in the world famous club’s 145-year history.

Stuart Campbell won his 17th Machrihanish Golf club championship this year. He is photographed with the 2021 ladies' champion Lorna Ralston.
Stuart Campbell won his 17th Machrihanish Golf Club championship this year. He is photographed with the 2021 ladies’ champion Lorna Ralston.

The 1978 photograph was submitted to the Courier by Alison Brown, from Machrihanish.

Her father, Dan Stalker, who was runner up that year, also features in the photograph.

‘Dad knew Stuart would do well,’ said Alison. ‘He said the same thing about George MacMillan who also went on to be club champion but unfortunately Dad didn’t get to see that. He’d have been so proud of them.’

Dan, who was greenkeeper at the club for many years, was himself club champion in 1957.

The third man in the photograph is Hector Thomson, who finished in third place in the 1978 competition.

Hector was part of Thomson golfing ‘dynasty’ of professionals that made a massive mark at the club.

Some of Machrihanish’s most prized possessions and memorabilia were lost to a devastating fire on December 19 2018 which destroyed the clubhouse.

Thankfully, some of the artefacts were rescued by staff and members before the fire took hold and are now proudly displayed at a new, state-of-the-art £2.5 million clubhouse.

Family photographs like Alison’s are now an important part of Machrihanish’s legacy.

‘We lost a lot of our history in the fire but it’s important to remember the club’s heritage,’ Alison said.