Norfolk golfing great Arthur Perowne dies, aged 87

Arthur Perowne has died at the age of 87. Picture: Family

Arthur Perowne has died at the age of 87. Picture: Family - Credit: Archant

Arthur Perowne, one of the true greats of Norfolk golf, has died at the age of 87.

A contemporary of the BBC's veteran commentator Peter Alliss, he was one of the leading lights of the amateur game during the 1950s, making his mark at the very highest level.

He also shone brightly in his home county of Norfolk before turning his focus away from golf to concentrate on his farm just outside Bawburgh.

After learning the game at the former Earlham Golf Club, which once occupied the site of the University of East Anglia, Mr Perowne announced himself as a player to be reckoned with at the age of just 16 when he won the England Boys' Under-18 title.

It wasn't long before he was competing against the leading players in Great Britain and beyond and he fulfilled every amateur's dream by playing in the Walker Cup, the challenge match between Great Britain and Ireland and the United States. He played in the biennial fixture on three occasions, in 1953, 1955 and 1959, at a time when the Americans were the dominant force in world golf – they won all but one of the events between 1921 and 1969.

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Another notable achievement was featuring in the very first Eisenhower Trophy team competition between GB and Ireland, the USA and Australia at the Old Course, St Andrews in 1958.

That year also saw Mr Perowne claim individual success when he lifted the Brabazon Trophy after winning the English Amateur Open Strokeplay Championships at Royal Birkdale.

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Not surprisingly there was also plenty of success in Norfolk for a man who went on to play out of Royal Norwich. He won the Norfolk Amateur Championships on no fewer than 11 occasions, including eight victories on the trot between 1951 and 1958.

His first success came in 1948 when he was still in his teens while he also won in 1960 and 1961. He went on to add the Norfolk Open title to his collection in 1964 before concentrating on Villa Farm, where his agricultural expertise once saw him described as the best barley grower in Europe.

Mr Perowne is survived by his wife Betty and sister Gill Henson-Andrew. Arrangements for the funeral will be announced in due course.

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