One of the game’s best loved figures in the game has taken his final bow as Ivor Robson, the ‘Voice of Golf’, retired after 41 years as Official Starter to The European Tour.
The final day of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates provided a fitting stage for one of the game’s best loved figures to take his final bow as Ivor Robson, the ‘Voice of Golf’, retired after 41 years as Official Starter to The European Tour and The Open Championship.
A career that began at Carnoustie in 1975 and has seen the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods welcomed onto the first tee in inimitable fashion, finally came to an end when Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan took their tee shots to begin round four of The European Tour’s season-ending event in Dubai.
“It’s just been wonderful, you don’t realise that the years go by so quickly,” said Robson who was presented with a plaque by European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley, Chairman David Williams and Chief Operating Officer Keith Waters before Henrik Stenson and a group of players who had gathered to witness the historic farewell of a true icon of the game gave him a specially commissioned oil painting done by local artist Mark Robinson.
''These guys are just super, they’re a credit to the game, and you mustn’t forget the caddies either because they’re so unique – they could all their own TV programmes, they’re just naturally funny, but professional with it.
I’ve been out on the tee all this time and the banter we’ve had is just unbelievable – they’re a great bunch of guys out there. I’m going to miss it, everything about it. Just being part of a team – a very successful team to help keep the events running smoothly.''
After a career that has seen Robson take up his familiar position on the opening tee of some of the finest courses in the world, the 75 year old felt that Dubai, and the DP World Tour Championship, was a fitting place to call it a day.
“The attention to detail is incredible – the sponsors here think of everything,” he said. “It’s the end of the year so the players are in a nice frame of mind, they’ve had a busy year, and what a lovely event to finish with. If I had to choose an event to end with it would be this one. I’ve been made to feel so welcome, it means a lot.”
And what does he plan to do now that he’ll have a good deal more free time in his life?
“I’m going to have a gap year!” he declared.