The PGA regrets to report that Ken Dodsworth, an Honorary Member who played in The Open on three occasions, has passed away at the age of 95.
Ken spent all his career serving clubs in and around Birmingham, starting at Robin Hood Golf Club, Hall Green, where he worked under George Maisey for a year before enlisting in the Royal Navy in 1942.
His four years of service included action in the D Day landings and on demobilisation he joined Walmley Golf Club where he worked with Ted Matthews until succeeding him as head professional in 1951.
Ken’s prowess as a player was reflected by a trio of appearances in the Open Championship, one at Muirfield in 1959 bookended by two at Royal Birkdale in 1954 and 1961. In addition Ken, who recorded 14 holes-in-one during his career, was a quarter-finalist in the News of the World matchplay at Walton Heath.
At Walmley, meanwhile, he played a major role in redesigning the course as well as earning a reputation as an innovative coach by being one of the first to film his sessions.
Ken was also an accomplished club maker but a move to Cocks Moor Woods Golf Club, a municipal course in Kings Heath, Birmingham, in 1970 resulted in a more managerial role.
However, he still made the time to play and won the Midlands Senior Professional Championship three times: in 1975, 79 and 83.
Mike Skerritt, a contemporary who was head PGA Professional at Walmley for 17 years after Ken moved on, recalled: “I used to play golf either with or against Ken quite often in those days.
“He had a style all of his own but it was very effective. He was a charming man, friendly and always kind.”
Ken was made an Honorary PGA Member on his retirement in 1987 and then spent 16 happy years with his wife Mavis in Dartmouth, Devon.
The couple returned to the Midlands in 2003 to be nearer their family and were together until Mavis passed away from COVID earlier this year.
Ken is survived by his daughters Sally and Jayne, their respective husbands, Graham and David, and three grandchildren, Rebecca, Amy and Nicholas. The PGA extends heartfelt condolences to them and Ken’s other family and friends.