In Memory of Sam Coulter
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Sam Coulter

Group photos is Sam being presented with the Matt Dunnachie Award

    Maybole's grand old man of golf.

That’s how Sam Coulter was described by Ayrshire Golf Association in its tribute to Sam who passed away on Sunday, March 22 at the age of 92.

A member of Maybole Golf Club for over 65 years, Sam still enjoyed playing golf regularly until fairly recently and was a regular attender at the Ayrshire Junior Golf League Annual Dinner, where he enjoyed meeting up with old friends and fellow Honorary members.

In the Millennium Year 2000, Sam was presented with a Scroll of Appreciation from Maybole Community Council for “outstanding service to the community” and in 2010 he was presented with the Matt Dunnachie Award in recognition of his dedication in involving, and mentoring, youngsters over many decades in the game of golf and his outstanding contribution to the lives of many.

Alex Meek, Convener of Carrick Sports Club which awards the trophy annually, said at the time that he was delighted to express the appreciation of the community to Sam, adding, “It would be true to say that people now living in Scotland, the UK, and indeed all over the globe, owe their love of the game to this man.

“He has played a large part in putting Maybole youth on the golfing map.”At Sam’s funeral last Friday, March 27 Rev Nancy Jackson described him as “sincere, determined, with a genuine interest in people, more especially in youngsters. “It was a fulfilling life. Perhaps the greatest legacy he leaves is that determined, uncomplaining nature - the spirit in which Sam lived.

“Nobody can take that from us, for it will live on in our hearts and in our minds, in our deeds and in our words, such is the influence Sam had on our lives.” Sam was born in June, 1922 and was Dux of Cairn Primary before moving on to Carrick Academy after which he joined the RAF where he served in India with the medical corps.

After the war, Sam settled into the Co-op as a grocer and worked in the Low Store in Maybole for several years. It was during that time that he met Bette and they were married in the Old Parish Church in 1948. Sam and Bette were active members of the church where both served as elders and were involved in every aspect of church life.

Following his years with the Co-op, Sam worked as a salesman with George Mulvein before moving to Red Brae Residential School. Sam really enjoyed his time at Red Brae where he continued beyond retirement age into his 80s, though latterly on a part-time basis. Rev Jackson added, “Whenever possible, Sam loved to play golf cutting his handicap to 5. Indeed, with a lack of young golfers he matched his love of the game with his enjoyment of helping to develop young players.”

Ayrshire Golf Association commented that, “Over many years, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, Sam’s contribution both within his club and throughout Ayrshire in general was a significant one. “Sam always had an interest in the development of junior golf and under his stewardship the Maybole junior club enjoyed their most successful years, winning the Ayrshire Junior Golf League Championship in 1970 and being runners up the following year.

Sam was still very much involved in the administration and development of the junior section when Maybole enjoyed further success by winning the Ayrshire Junior Golf League again in 1982, 1983 and 1986 and being runners up in 1988, 1990 and 1991.”

In addition to his work with the young golfers, Sam held the offices of Secretary, Treasurer, Captain and Honorary President of the Maybole club. He also served as Vice Chairman, Chairman and Assistant Secretary of the Ayrshire Junior Golf League.

It was for his efforts on behalf of the Ayrshire Junior Golf League and the Maybole juniors that Sam was elected an Honorary member of The Ayrshire Junior Golf League in 1980. Sam loved to walk about the town every day and would be seen regularly catching up on local news or sitting on the bench at the station chatting with passers-by.

Unfortunately, Bette died unexpectedly last year which was a shock for Sam and the family. Yet, he got on with life, until November when he suffered a heart attack. After a spell in hospital he returned home. Rev Jackson thanked family and neighbours who “sensitively and unobtrusively kept an eye on Sam, without him feeling he was losing his independence.”

Sam, who is survived by his daughter Una, will be missed by all who knew him.