ONE of the longest-serving members of Stonehaven Golf Club, Mr Bob Smith, has died at his home in Aberdeen, aged 74.
Bob, who was born on his parents’ farm in Skene, near Westhill, and lived and worked in Aberdeen most of his life, had no connection with Stonehaven - but he joined the golf club in 1964 just because he enjoyed playing the course, so much so that he stayed for more than 50 years, serving for a few seasons on the club’s council.
Bob will be remembered as an irrepressibly cheerful and friendly character with great energy -- and one of many passions. His family for one, with his wife Linda, whom he married just before joining the golf club, his daughter Kerry and his son Steven, who tragically died just over a year ago.
Then there were his beloved Dons. He scarcely missed a match at Pittodrie and termed himself their No 1 fan. The best interests of the city of Aberdeen as he saw them was another passion and that he reflected in his letter writing to the local newspapers, signing his often-hard hitting missives “R T Smith” on a variety of controversies ranging from the ring road, to Sir Ian Wood’s city centre plans, to Donald Trump’s golf course at Balmedie.The antique business was another passion, so much so that Bob took early retirement from his long-time job selling classified advertising for Aberdeen Journals to pursue his interest in fine china and paintings, buying and selling at antique fairs throughout the north-east.
He was also committed to the preservation of The Doric, composing many humorous poems in the language. As for his golf, he was a pawky mid-handicapper who never quite mastered the art of chipping, preferring to use his putter anything up to 50 yards from the green. But he was keen, entering senior opens all over the Grampian area and putting in scores for hundreds of Saturday medals at Stonehaven, with his pals Allan Wood and Jim Munro.
And for many years in his younger days, he spent Aberdeen holidays playing the top courses in the north-east, often accompanied by Stuart McKenzie, Hendry Davidson and the late Colin Murdoch. Stuart recalls the first time Bob played the Old Course at St Andrews. He was so eager, Stuart said, that he forgot to put the wheels on his caddy car, leaving a trail of sparks across the car park as he bustled to the first tee. Bob will be sadly missed.