Dave Thomas

Full Name
David Charles Thomas
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Year of Birth
Year of Death
2013 (aged 79)
Place Born
Newcastle, Northumberland, England
Place Died
Marbella, Andalusia, Spain

"I think Dave would agree that the hundred or so golf courses he designed and left for generations to enjoy – to allow everyone to enjoy a game that has given so much to both of us – is a legacy that will likely be remembered far more than the golf we played.” Jack Nicklaus

Dave Thomas was the son of William Thomas, a mining engineer from Aberdare who also played full back for Wales at rugby. Bill was relocated to run mining operations in the northeast of England and that’s where Dave was born – though there was never any doubt about which country he would represent at sport, given the chance.

His father died in 1949, the same year that Dave watched Fred Daly, Max Faulkner and the legendary Sam Snead competing in The Ryder Cup at Ganton, and these golfing greats left a lasting impression on a young man leaving school to set out on a golfing career as an assistant professional at Gosforth Park.

Dave achieved his first tournament victory at the PGA Assistants’ Championship in 1955. He also won the Belgian Open that year and would win both the Dutch and French Opens before the 1950s had ended. Dave triumphed three times in the Esso Golden Tournament during the 1960s and he also came away victorious from Turnberry in 1963 after winning the prestigious News of the World Match Play Championship.

He twice came very close to winning the Open Championship, losing after a play-off to Peter Thomson at Lytham & St Annes in 1958 then finishing in joint second position to Jack Nicklaus eight years later at Muirfield. He also had a couple of very creditable top 10 finishes while participating in another thirteen Opens.

Dave proudly represented Wales in eleven editions of the Canada Cup/World Cup from 1957 to 1970 and he was a member of four Ryder Cup teams between 1959 and 1967, winning three and halving five matches out of eighteen. When arthritis ended his playing career prematurely, it was time to forge a new golfing c...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Dave Thomas


3rd Canary Islands - Best in Area 41st Spain Ranking

With Atlantic Ocean views across from Tenerife to the island of La Gomera and a thrilling collection of holes, Abama Golf is a Dave Thomas-designed course that opened for play in 2005.


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Batchworth Park

23rd Hertfordshire - Best in Area

Batchworth Park Golf Club opened for play in 1996 and is a classical Dave Thomas design. The bunkers are big, bold and plentiful, all doing their best to protect the massive greens.


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Belfry (Brabazon)

1st Warwickshire - Best in Area 76th England Ranking

The Brabazon course at The Belfry doesn’t need introducing. This course has played host to more Ryder Cups than any other course on the planet – four in total.


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Belfry (PGA National)

13th Warwickshire - Best in Area

The PGA National has a distinctly American feel...it's a tough tournament course, which sits nicely alongside the Brabazon golf course at the Belfry.


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1st Wiltshire - Best in Area

Few approaches to golf clubs are as grand as the entrance to the 2,000-acre Bowood Estate and there is a lovely feeling of peace and spaciousness here at the Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort.


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8th South East France - Best in Area 34th France Ranking

Located just a few miles inland from the famous Promenande de la Croisette in Cannes, the fairways of the Cannes Mougins Golf & Country Club nestle in the foothills of the Southern Alps...


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2nd Borders - Best in Area

The Cardrona golf course is a combination of mature parkland and woodland, with spectacular views of the Tweed Valley... everything is in harmony with its surroundings.


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Carnoustie (Buddon)

10th Angus & Dundee - Best in Area

Opened for play in 1981, the 18-hole Buddon course at Carnoustie Golf Links was upgraded in 2014 with the removal of the first hole, the merging of holes 9 and 10 to create a new par five, and the introduction of two new par fours.

Dave Thomas Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Andy Newmarch Courses Played 16
2 Brian Ward Courses Played 16
3 Gordon Thomson Courses Played 13
4 Helmut Baeck Courses Played 12
5 Stuart Bendoris Courses Played 11
6 Philip Sellen Courses Played 11
7 Keith Baxter Courses Played 11
8 Jim Robertson Courses Played 10
9 Mark Hillson Courses Played 10
10 Tim Ferrier Courses Played 10