Peter Alliss hints at St Andrews retirementFebruary, 2015
'Voice of golf' may retire following this year's Open.
One of golf’s best-loved commentators may become the first casualty of the Open’s switch from BBC to Sky.
Stalwart Peter Alliss, who been the BBC’s voice of golf since the 1960’s, recently admitted the thought of retirement had crossed his mind following the news Sky Sports would take over the rights to broadcast the Open from 2017.
Speaking to the Newstalk podcast, Alliss said he may choose to go out at St Andrews this year.
He said: “We have got another couple of years to go, and I haven’t decided yet but I might finish this year at St Andrews. A lot of the big boys have finished there – not that I was ever in the same form as Nicklaus, Watson and De Vicenzo and all that lot – but they all ended their days there so I might do the same, depending how the mood takes me.
A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Alliss first got his break with the BBC in 1961 but complimented Sky for the “fantastic” service it offers.
He added: “I do feel sorry for a lot of people that don’t have Sky. A lot of people are defending the R&A for giving the rights to Sky but there are still an awful lot of people in this country who don’t have Sky.”
‘When I started we televised 18 live events’ “For the first two or three years we went to America and showed the US Open and the Amateur Championship. When you look at the people that say the started playing because of watching it on television, such as Greg Norman and Nick Faldo, they all say they started cause of seeing predominantly the Masters, because of the colour of flowers on the course and the crowds and the glory and sadness, it was all there.”
Alliss is one of the UK’s most successful golfers and was a eight-time member of the Great Britain Ryder Cup team, but he was actually born in Berlin, Germany, in 1931.
His father, Percy, also played multiple times on the Ryder Cup team and the pair are one of only two father-son duos to play in the same competition.
Despite a successful playing career, Alliss never won a Major, perhaps held back by his main weakness, which was putting, and the golfing insult “Nice putt Alice”, stems from his lack of ability in this department.