|— Golfer —|
|Full name||Peter Alliss|
28 February 1931 |
|Residence||Hindhead, Surrey, England|
|Children||Gary, Carol (with Joan)
Sara, Simon, Henry (with Jackie)
|Best results in Major Championships
|Masters Tournament||CUT: 1966, 1967|
|The Open Championship||8th/T8: 1954, 1961, 1962, 1969|
|Achievements and awards|
|World Golf Hall of Fame||2012 (member page)|
Peter Alliss (born 28 February 1931) is an English professional golfer, BBC television presenter and commentator, author and golf course designer. Alliss is known for his charismatic and unique style of commentary, often displaying a witty demeanour. Since the death of Henry Longhurst in 1978, he has been regarded by many as the "Voice of (British) Golf". In December 2011, he was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in the Lifetime Achievement category and was inducted in May 2012.
Early years and playing career
His father Percy was a professional golfer who won several tournaments on the European golf circuit in the 1920s and 1930s. Peter Alliss was born in Berlin while his father Percy was employed as a club professional there.
Alliss left school at the age of 14 (then the minimum school leaving age in the UK), and began his career as a professional golfer in 1947, at the age of 16. Between 1954 and 1969, Alliss won 21 professional tournaments, including three British PGA Championships in 1957, 1962 and 1965. His first round of 63 in the 1961 British PGA Championship was a tournament record at the time and remained the joint-lowest round in the tournament until Robert Karlsson's round of 62 in 2010.
In September 1958, Alliss won the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese Opens in three successive weeks. He played on ten teams representing England in the World Cup. Alliss played on eight Ryder Cup teams (1953, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, and 1969), compiling a 43 per cent winning percentage. Percy and Peter Alliss were the first father and son to both participate in the Ryder Cup (Antonio Garrido and his son Ignacio later became the second).
Alliss had five top-10 finishes in the Open Championship, coming closest in 1954 at Royal Birkdale when he finished just four shots behind the champion Peter Thomson. In an interview in 2011, Alliss said: "My biggest regret is that the Alliss family deserved to win an Open Championship. I had the talent to win. It just never happened."
Alliss gave Sean Connery golf lessons before the filming of the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, which involved a scene where Connery, as Bond, played golf against gold magnate Auric Goldfinger at Stoke Park Golf Club in Buckinghamshire.
Alliss's competitive career was almost over by the time the European Tour was formally established in 1972, but he played in some events in the Tour's early years, making his last appearance on the tour in 1975.
His first television work was for the BBC at the 1961 Open Championship, when he was still a golfer who had competed in the tournament. After his retirement as a player, Alliss worked full-time in television, becoming the lead BBC golf commentator in 1978.
As well as being a commentator for the BBC, Alliss has also worked for ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is widely regarded as the best known golf broadcaster in Britain. He has hosted a total of 140 Pro Celebrity Golf TV programmes and was the host of Around with Alliss.
In 1997, a six-part television series A Golfer's Travels was broadcast in numerous countries across the world. The series featured Alliss playing golf in exotic locations around the world accompanied by a variety of famous guests including Gene Hackman, Christopher Lee and F. W. de Klerk.
Alliss is also involved in golf course architecture. His first course design partner was Dave Thomas, with whom he created over 50 courses, including The Belfry, which has staged the Ryder Cup several times and is now the home of the Professional Golfers' Association. Alliss then joined forces with Clive Clark, and added another 22 courses to his portfolio (including Old Thorns Golf Course in Hampshire).
Alliss became captain of the Professional Golfers' Association for the second time in 1987. He has also been the president of the British Greenkeepers' Association, and was the first president of the European Women's Professional Golfers' Association.
In 2002, Alliss was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by Bournemouth University. In 2003, Alliss published an illustrated book Peter Alliss' Golf Heroes which won the 'Best Illustrated Book' category of the British Sports Book Awards. In July 2005, he was honoured by the University of St Andrews, shortly before The Open Golf Championship, with the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.
In 2012 Alliss was chosen to receive the Golf Foundation's 'Spirit of Golf award' not only in recognition of the way he has made the sport entertaining in the eyes of young people, but also for the support he has given to junior golf and his commitment to the Golf Foundation over many years.
Criticism of players
In 1999, Alliss received criticism from sections of the British media for scathing comments he made when Jean van de Velde collapsed in the Open Championship at Carnoustie. The Frenchman had a triple-bogey seven on the final hole when he only needed a double-bogey six to win the Open. During his commentary, Alliss branded Jean van de Velde's actions as "totally ridiculous" and said he was guilty of "pure madness". Daily Mail correspondent Neil Wilson accused Alliss of taking a "curmudgeonly" approach in his commentary.
Alliss is reported to have previously had a frosty relationship with Nick Faldo, after Faldo was infuriated at Alliss describing him as "a typical only child". However, Alliss and Faldo later went on to work together as part of the BBC's broadcast commentary team for the 2012 Open Championship.
In May 2008, Alliss was involved in a heated exchange of views with English golfer Nick Dougherty over the course conditions at Wentworth Club during the BMW PGA Championship. After Alliss had spoken out in his commentary against the poor scoring from players and their complaints over the condition of the Wentworth greens, Dougherty accused Alliss of "disgusting commentary" and of being "out of touch". Dougherty said: "I wish we could have taken him out there and shown him how difficult it was." Alliss responded by accusing Dougherty and his generation of being "delicate", "thin-skinned", and unable to take constructive criticism.
In a 2011 interview, Alliss criticised Tiger Woods, saying: "The aura has gone. He used to be nicer and he became grumpy. He hasn't done anything to recapture the public's affection." Alliss said that he doesn't believe that Woods will surpass Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major championships. A year earlier, in 2010, Alliss said of Woods: "I think his father has a lot to do with how Tiger is. His father was a frightening bully."
During the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield, Alliss criticised Ian Poulter for making what he said were "childish comments" after his opening round of 72 in the tournament. Poulter said some of the pin positions were a "joke" and the 18th needed a "windmill and a clown face", like a crazy golf course. Alliss responded by saying: "Poulter's remarks are just childish. You can't say stuff about windmills and clown's faces. It's just ridiculous. I never heard Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer come out with comments like that. A lot of others give up before they even get going. It's a PhD not an O-level."
In 1972, Alliss married his second wife, Jackie. Alliss has three sons: Gary, Simon, and Henry; and two daughters Carol and Sara. Alliss had a family tragedy when his third daughter, Victoria, was born severely handicapped and died at the age of 11.
In 2010, at the age of 79, Alliss said that he was still able to shoot a golf score under his age (fewer shots than 79).
This list is incomplete
- 1952 British Assistants Championship
- 1954 Daks Tournament
- 1955 Dunlop Tournament
- 1956 Spanish Open
- 1957 British PGA Championship
- 1958 Italian Open, Spanish Open, Portuguese Open
- 1959 Dunlop Tournament
- 1960 Sprite Tournament
- 1961 Brazil Open
- 1962 British PGA Championship
- 1963 Daks Tournament (tie with Neil Coles)
- 1964 Esso Golden Tournament, Swallow-Penfold Tournament
- 1965 British PGA Championship, Jeyes Tournament
- 1966 Martini International (tie with W. Large), Rediffusion Tournament
- 1967 Agfa-Gevaert Tournament
- 1969 Piccadilly Medal
Results in major championships
|The Open Championship||T31||T9||T8||CUT||DNP||T12||T11||T16|
|The Open Championship||CUT||T8||T8||T18||CUT||T47||T20||WD||T13||8|
|The Open Championship||T32||T47||T31||T51||CUT|
- Ryder Cup (representing Great Britain): 1953, 1957 (winners), 1959, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969
- World Cup (representing England): 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1967
- "Peter Alliss – Golf Career". Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "The BBC at the Open". BBC Sport. 11 July 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2008.
- "The Observer Profile: Peter Alliss". The Observer. 17 July 2004. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
- "Sandy Lyle, Peter Alliss picked for Hall". ESPN. Associated Press. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "About Peter". Peter Alliss. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "BMW PGA Championship 2012 – Statistics". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Barrett, Connell (29 June 2011). "Golf Magazine Interview: Peter Alliss". Golf.com. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Kelley, Brent. "Peter Alliss – Biography of Golfer and Broadcaster Peter Alliss". Golf.about.com. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "A Golfer's Travels with Peter Alliss". Clearwaterimages.biz. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "PGA Captains". Pga.info. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "All Award Winners". British Sports Book Awards. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "Peter Alliss: Golf legend or liability?". The Guardian. 11 October 2004. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "Allis defends Open commentary". BBC Sport. 12 August 1999. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "Open season". The Observer. 8 July 2001. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "Sir Nick Faldo joins the BBC Open team for 2012". BBC. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- Corrigan, James (26 May 2008). "Alliss in war of words with 'thin-skinned' Dougherty". The Independent. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "Nicholas Owen meets the voice of golf, Peter Alliss". Surrey Life. 26 October 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- Hodgetts, Rob. "Open 2013: Ian Poulter & Phil Mickelson criticise Muirfield set-up". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- Laidlaw, Renton (7 May 2012). Peter Alliss. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "Quotes from our patrons". Wildlife Ark Trust. Retrieved 3 January 2013.