In 1958, a 16 year old boy who had only been playing golf for one year joined the Monifieth Golf Club as a Junior Member and so began the remarkable golfing story which is Ian Hutcheon. Ian’s golfing successes are so numerous that a detailed account would run to many pages so it is only possible within this article to summarise his illustrious golfing career and highlight episodes from it.
At the end of this article there is a list of his victories and international appearances which over a 40 year period makes mighty impressive reading. The list has been vetted by Ian himself and is as accurate as available records and Ian’s memory permit. While it would have been helpful if he had kept scrapbooks of his achievements it would have been entirely out of character for him to have done so. Golf has surely never had so self-dismissive a champion.
Having triumphed in many local events during the sixties, the advent of the seventies signaled Ian’s transition from local to national player. Countless hours of assiduous practice were involved, but Ian seldom, if ever regarded practice as just a necessary chore. Gradually he assembled a highly distinctive swing that was instantly recognizable, even from considerable distance. Ian’s greatest asset has always been his remarkably cool, tranquil temperament, enabling him to maintain his rhythm and composure whatever the occasion
The year 1971 was a most significant one. Locally he continued to dominate but after a disappointing first round exit at Carnoustie in the British Amateur Championship, which caused some to question his “bottle” for the big occasion, Ian won the first of his national titles, the Scottish Strokeplay Championship by 5 shots at Leven. The year ended with Ian representing Scotland for the first time in the Home Internationals at Formby with Ian remaining undefeated and Scotland retaining their title. In the following nine years Ian was to play in the Home Internationals on eight occasions.
In1972 Ian again swept all before him locally and won his first event overseas when with Scotland in Spain for an International match he triumphed in the North Of Spain Strokeplay Championship. Also in 1972 the Monifieth Club recognised his achievements by according him Honorary life Membership The venue for the Scottish Amateur Championship in 1973 was Carnoustie and Ian banished memories of the 1971 disappointment by winning the event beating Allan Brodie from Balmore three and two in the final. Ian was carried shoulder high into the Club, preceded by a piper, for a evening of celebration. It had been 88 years since the Club had produced its only previous Scottish Amateur Champion, Tom Brimer, also at Carnoustie in 1895. 1973 also saw Ian being named reserve for the walker cup match in the U.S.A. and representing Scotland in the European Team Championship at Penina in Portugal.
Honours continued to come his way in 1974 with his second Scottish Strokeplay Championship title at Rosemount and in doing so equalled Ronnie Shade’s achievement of holding both national matchplay and strokeplay titles at the same time. Also in 1974 Ian was honoured when the 18th. Hole at Monifieth was renamed “Ian Hutcheon”. Memories can dim and fade and records be forgotten but the 18th. tee box will serve as a constant reminder for generations to come of Monifieth’s most famous golfing son The Walker Cup of 1975 was held at St. Andrews and Ian managed to win a possible 21/2 points out of 4. Despite the G.B. and Ireland team losing, Ian played superbly to beat Jerry Pate twice on the second day, firstly in the foursomes and then in the top singles match. That USA team of 1975 contained many future stars of the professional tour including Curtis Strange and Craig Stadler.
Ian was now permanent fixture in Scottish and British teams. He helped Scotland win the European Team Championship at Killarney and the Scotland team then followed that by winning the Home Internationals at Portmarnock. Ian also represented Great Britain at the Commonwealth Tournament in South Africa where the team were guests of Gary Player and Bob Charles. Although not victorious Ian had as team mates two young men called Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle who would go on to find fame and fortune in the paid ranks. In 1976 Ian continued to represent GB and Scotland and had not been on a losing side as the Eisenhower Trophy ( World Cup ) approached at Penina in Portugal. The British team won the event with Ian being the star performer tying for the individual first prize. Pat Ward-Thomas wrote of the final day in his book “Not only Golf”.
“I had the privilege of watching Ian Hutcheon play one of the finest rounds ever by a British Amateur in an event of such importance……. The last afternoon at Penina was enthralling. With eight holes to play on a long demanding course where the damp greens became increasingly difficult Britain’s destiny lay entirely with Hutcheon, a shy, impassive man, responded with deathless calm and courage, playing those holes in four under par and missing two other birdies by the tiniest fraction. He won a famous victory by two strokes from Japan. I have rarely seen a performance of comparable character by anyone playing for a team when the responsibility is more intense than in an individual contest.”
In the six years following 1976, many more international honours came his way. Further Walker Cup matches followed at Shinnecock Hills, New York in 1977, Muirfield in 1979 and Cypress Point, California in 1981 and his record in the four matches has been surpassed by a mere handful of players and is in fact the best of any Scot. Ian represented GB and Ireland again in the Eisenhower Trophy at Pinehurst, North Carolina in1980 and continued to play for Scotland in the Home Internationals, sundry matches and European Team events. In this latter event, Ian’s last appearance was at St. Andrews in 1981 where the final was a meeting against England. The result rested on Ian’s match against Peter Deeble. Ian, who had won all of his matches that week holed an eight foot putt on the 18th. green to take the match into extra holes. At the 19th. Deeble found the green with his approach whereas Ian came up slightly short and ended up in the Swilcan Burn. Deeble was assured of his four and Ian had to take a penalty lift and drop and was playing four from in front on the burn. Match over? Not a chance as Ian holed his chip shot and the match continued. Unfortunately a three putt at the next let the match slip away but who could forget the drama of that first extra hole.
Apart from his international success, Ian amassed a formidable number of individual victories. Scottish Champion of Champions on four occasions, three Scottish Strokeplay victories, Scottish Amateur Championship, the Lytham Trophyin 1980 and 5 Leven Gold Medals just to name a few and most recently Scottish Seniors Strokeplay Championship in 2003, 2004 and 2007. His record when representing Angus County is immense as is his list of victories around Monifieth. In 2001 Ian won the Monifieth Club Championship again. He has now been victorious in five decades and went on to win again in 2002 and 2003 to show his competitive streak is as strong as ever. In 2010 he won the Angus County Strokeplay championship again. An event he first won in 1962. Having retired now completely from representative golf even at the senior level he still plays off a plus handicap and who would be brave enough to suggest his winning days are over
( Extracts re-written from History of Monifieth Golf Club written by J. A. R. Fraser )
- Monifieth Club Champion 1962-71-72-73-75-76-79-82-86-87-88-91-92-01-02-03
- Monifieth Links Champion 1967-68-70-71-72-75-82-83-84-86-88-90-91
- Monifieth 36 Hole Open 1972-75-79-80-82-83-85-88-2010
- County Angus County Strokeplay Champion 1967-71-72-74-86-87-2010
- Angus County Matchplay Champion 1965-70-72
- Angus County Champion of Champions 1968-70-73-74-76-79-82-86
Regional & National
- Scottish Central District Amateur Champion 1972
- North of Scotland District Strokeplay Champion 1975-76-82
- North of Spain Strokeplay Champion 1972
- Tennant Cup 1976
- Craigmillar Park Open 1975-79
- Lytham Trophy 1980
- Leven Gold Medal 1976-77-81-82-83
- Ralston Rosebowl 1981
- Craws Nest Tassie 1982
- Glenrothes Cup 1983
- Scottish Champion of Champions 1980-81-86-88
- Scottish Open Amateur Strokeplay Champion 1971-74-79
- Scottish Amateur Champion 1973
- Scottish Seniors Open Amateur Strokeplay Champion 2003,2004,2007.
- Winner of Moroccan International Tournament 1979
- Scotland v. Wales 1971-72-73-74-75-76-77-78-80
- Scotland v. Ireland 1971-72-73-74-75-76-77-78-80
- Scotland v. England 1971-72-73-74-75-76-77-78-80
- Scotland v. Belgium 1973-75-77-78-80
- Scotland v. France 1978-80-81
- Scotland v. Italy 1979
- Scotland v. Spain 1972-77
- Played for Scotland in European team Championships 1973-75-77-79-81
- For G.B. – Great Britain v. Europe 1974-76
- For G.B. – Commonwealth Team 1975
- For G.B. – Colombian International 1975
- For G.B. – Dominican International 1973
- Eisenhower Trophy 1974, 1976 (team winners and joint winning individual)
- 1980 Walker Cup ( U.S.A. v. G.B. & Ireland ) 1975-77-79-81.