THE tributes are flowing for Brian Sams, acknowledged as one of Australia’s top senior amateur golfers over a number of years.
Sams, a long time NSW north coast resident, passed away recently after scaling back his golfing in recent years due to a number of health issues.
Sams was not just a formidable golfer but, as we discovered personally when we interviewed him following his win at the 2018 Australian Veteran Golfers Union (AVGU) National Championship conducted at Port Stephens, he was also a great bloke.
As we wrote in the ensuing feature story, Sams golfing career begin at 13 when he nicked his father’s golf clubs from the garage and took them for a spin, losing a few of dad’s prized balls in the process.
The response from dad was to buy the youngster his own set of rudimentary clubs, and this inspiring a lifelong love of golf.
Sams joined Ryde Parramatta Golf Club aged 16 with a 10 handicap but the golfing career was hampered when he became a teacher and moved to Port Macquarie, where he was a member of the local golf club for 45 odd years.
As we wrote in the article, Sams regretted that the five hour weekend road trips he was making to travel to Sydney to play in amateur events wasn’t sustainable in the long term.
“So my real competitive golf came when I retired and started to play seniors golf and that’s where I have won a few things,” a humble Sams said at the time
Those few things included the 2014 Australian Senior Matchplay Championship and multiple state senior amateur titles (NSW twice, Victorian twice, West Australian twice, Queensland twice, Northern Territory once.) He also played in a number of state and national senior amateur representative teams.
Sams also won the 2010 AVGU National Championship when it was based in Port Macquarie around his then home club but wasn’t all that confident he would make the 2018 event.
“My game hasn’t been all that flash in recent years. As I said I have had periods of six months duration out of the game because of one thing and another [being hit by a car on his bicycle, rotator cuff surgery, a bowel tumour]”, he said.
At the 2018 championship Sams was a 69 year old, admittedly with lots of local knowledge, competing against a field with lots of 55 and thereabouts year olds. When it came to the crunch had an 8 stroke victory in the overall 54 hole Strokeplay Championship.
Read the full 2018 story here:
There is also an excellent overall coverage on Sams’ golfing life at the AUSOOM website here