“In most of the RAF Golf Championships since the war, the man to beat has been Air Vice Marshal Cecil Beamish, former Irish International and present Director of RAF Dental Services in MOD. He won the first of his 6 RAF titles as a sqn ldr in 1949 and has held the title in every rank up to air cdre. This year – in his last championship, for he retires next May [see Note below] – he was out to record a win as an AVM, particularly as the Championship was held at St Andrews, the home of golf.
At the half-way stage, however, he seemed to be well out of the running, for he was 10 strokes behind Wg Cdr W E McCrea (Bracknell), also an Irish International and twice previously RAF Champion, whose rounds of 73 and 72 had left him 6 shots clear of the field. But on the second day, the Air Marshal turned on one of his greatest performances: a magnificent morning round of 70 closed the gap between himself and McCrea to 4 strokes and, despite a visit to the infamous Swillican Burn [sic] on the first hole, he recorded a fine 73 in the afternoon round. His 4-round total of 298 looked good enough for some time but McCrea put together a final round of 74 to give him a total of 295 and a 3-shot victory.”
As reported in the RAF News on 26 June 1971.
Editor’s Note: the 1971 Championships proved not to be Cecil’s last – he actually retired in 1973 after achieving the prized record number of victories (7) over a period of 24 years (1949-1973) in 5 different ranks, making him the most successful RAF golfer in our history!
Outside the Air Force, a look at Cecil’s golfing achievements, indicate what a excellent golfer he was:
Cecil was one of 4 extremely sporting Beamish brothers and outstanding RAF officers. Cecil was also a highly accomplished rugby player who played for London Irish and the RAF – Cecil Beamish – RAF rugby player