SAGA mourn the passing of Eddie Luckhoff
Eddie Luckhoff, former long serving South African Golf Association Executive Member and President of North West Province Golf Union, died at 03h25 on Saturday in the Lamprecht Hosiptal, George. He was diagnosed, two years ago, with cancer, a malignant tumour in his kidney.
“Eddie was one of the most loyal servants of the amateur game of golf you could find,” said Colin Burger, SAGA President. “He was larger than life in not only his physical presences but also in the way he served the amateur game. At our national events he could always be located at the score recording area.”
Eddie Luckhoff was born on 7 December 1940.
His father Harry was also a keen golfer and golf administrator, who also served on the SAGA Executive. Having been born into a golf loving family it soon became apparent that Eddie would follow in his father’s footsteps.
In the late 1970s Eddie became involved in the affairs of what was then the Western Transvaal Golf Union, eventually representing his Union on the SAGA. He attended his first South African Inter Provincial Tournament in 1979 as an Executive Member, going on to work at over 30 of these annual tournaments.
As an administrator Eddie worked at many levels. He served as President of the Transvaal Golf Union (which was made up then of a number of sub unions, namely Highveld, Lowveld, North, West and Eastern Transvaal and Far North Golf Unions) from 1987 to 1989.
In an interview with Eddie Luckhoff, in August 2009, he indicated that one of his highlights, while serving on the SAGA, was managing a national team to a tournament in Chilie in 1987. In the team were Chris Davison, Craig Rivett and Ben Fouchee.
Speaking about the changes in golf, over the duration he served the amateur game, he said that the sport had become far more business-like and professional when compared to the early days. He recalled how one used to pay R150 return from Orkney to Cape Town to play tournaments. Players, in those days, had to raise their own funding through raffles at golf clubs and the like. He referred to those days as being ‘the good days’.
Asked which player stands out in his memory, he said Coen Dreyer. Players like James Kingston, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen he also mentioned but the big man from what was then Western Transvaal stood out.
In terms of administrators that Eddie had the pleasure of working with he mentioned Jimmy Metcalfe, former SAGA President, as being very strong and decisive in his leadership. He also referred to former Executive Director, of what was then the South African Golf Union, Jim Kelly, as being very knowledgeable. He held the work Bruce Younge, the current incumbent, in high regard.
Eddie did find time to play golf, playing most of his life as a 4 handicapped golfer. He acknowledged that he was mostly a social golfer, however for a time he did play league for his home club, Orkney Golf Club.
He was born in Queenstown, but lived most of his early life in Springs.
In 1950 his father relocated the family to Orkney where he worked as a manager on one of the mines.
In 1962 Eddie’s father started up a underground and surface locomotive and spares business which is where he started his working life.
In 2002 Eddie sold the business.
Some time later Eddie and his wife Rita moved down to Plettenburg Bay in the Southern Cape. Despite this move, both Eddie and Rita remained loyal servants to the North West Province Golf Union acting as Director of Golf for the Union and commuting regularly between his home and inland province.