Peter Godsiff, the popular and highly respected journalist who served The PGA South West region as its press officer for almost 30 years, has passed away at the age of 81.
His passing comes just two months after he relinquished the role he began in 1992 because of increasing ill health.
It also follows a presentation made to him earlier this month (right) by The PGA South West’s regional manager, Robert Moss, recognising Peter’s 27 years of dedicated service.
Paying tribute, Moss said: “I’m deeply saddened to hear of Peter’s passing, both on professional and personal levels.
“He served the region loyally and skilfully for close on three decades and it’s testament to his dedication and professionalism that he continued working almost until the end.
“Unfortunately, I worked with him for just two-and-a-half-years but was privileged to have known him for much longer.
“In that respect, there were rare occasions when I gave him cause to write something complimentary about me!
“I will miss him as will the many friends he made during his years with The PGA. That was borne out by the good wishes on the ‘retirement’ card signed by all the players in our recent Order of Merit event at The Players Club.”
Peter was, in a non-prejudicial way, an old-school journalist. He never betrayed his legion of trusted contacts and his shorthand was the source of wonderment to interviewees. Social media, however, remained a no-go area. Almost.
He joined the world of ‘social media’ in October, 2010 with this first tweet: “I have just decided to join Twitter as I want to follow what Ian Poulter is saying.”
It would seem this new world of ‘communicating’ was not for Peter as he proceeded to just send out two ‘tweets’ and re-tweeted two more up until January last year.
Peter’s role with The PGA was one facet of a varied and full career that began under the direction of the celebrated journalist, the late Ian Wooldridge, at the Bournemouth Times and Poole and Dorset Herald.
He moved to the Bristol Evening Post where he spent more than 30 years, initially as chief sports writer and then for the final dozen years as the sports editor.
He became a freelance golf writer in 1992 and contributed to many newspapers and magazines. He was editor of Golf West, West County Golf News and then South West Golfer. He was consultant and press officer to Farrington Golf and Country Club for eight years and the South West representative for English Club Golfer, the official magazine of the English Golf Union.
His involvement in golf resulted in him becoming a member of the Association of Golf Writers (AGW) in 1996 and such was the respect he earned that members paid fulsome tribute to him when he celebrated his 80th birthday at Farrington Park last year.
A full account of the celebrations and tributes can be accessed via this link:
However, the recollection of one AGW member, Alastair Tait, bears repetition.
Tait recalled Peter’s unique performance on a par-five while playing in a pro-am at Atalanta in Spain.
“I played a lot of golf with Peter in AGW competitions, but one tournament still stands out. In the early 2000s, British golf writers were invited by the PGAs of Europe to Marbella for an international media competition run in conjunction with a PGA pros competition. The event took place over three rounds at Atalaya Golf & Country Club.
“Preferred lies were in operation since it was winter but with one unusual local rule.
“We were allowed to actually tee it up on the fairway, which allowed me to witness something I never thought I’d see in my golf writing career.
“Atalaya’s 17th hole is a par-five. Peter, as was his wont, hit the fairway with his tee shot but not very far. He teed up his ball for his second shot and pulled out driver and hit it up the fairway. He repeated the process for his third shot and his fourth, bouncing the ball just short of the green and rolling it up to 20 feet.
“You guessed it – he holed the putt for par to become the first golfer in the history of the game to make par on a par-five with four drivers and a putt.”