Citation address – Jim Farmer
Citation by Elliot Brown
Captain, University Men’s Golf Club
Tuesday 13 July 2010
Chancellor, it is my privilege to present for the University Medal, Jim Farmer.
In the town of St Andrews and across Scotland, Jim Farmer’s name is synonymous with commitment and a true passion for the game of golf. From students here at the University to older generations, everyone who has come across Jim has their own story to tell that illustrates his love and enthusiasm for the game. As a youngster Jim was a fine all-round sportsman excelling in athletics and playing three years of professional football having left school. However, thankfully for the game, Jim decided to dedicate himself to golf and has continued to do so admirably for the last forty years.
Although he is perhaps best known for his contribution to the sport as a teaching professional, Jim also had an enviable record as a player. As an amateur he won the prestigious Lytham Trophy in 1970 and was selected for the 1971 Walker Cup Team. Jim went on to compete in six Open Championships including his first appearance here at St Andrews as an amateur in 1970. He was the leading player on the Tartan tour from 1977 until 1984 before turning his attention to the teaching side of the game. He spent 12 years as the Scottish National Coach and in 1987 was instrumental in setting up the Bursary Programme which has benefitted so many University students across the country, as well as producing a number of world class players. From club golfers to leading professionals, Jim has shared his considerable skill and vast knowledge of the game in order to help others progress. Although his playing days may be behind him, I have it on good authority that his short game is still something to behold. One student recalls that, upon asking him “who is the best putter that you have ever played with?” Jim simply replied “Well…me.” This illustrates, not only a man with tremendous confidence in his own ability, but a sense of humour that has made Jim such an approachable and well liked character.
Throughout his career Jim has accumulated an endless list of accreditations and awards which display his credentials as a teacher of the game and the respect that he has gained from his peers. Amongst these, he was awarded with the European PGA Five Star award; an honour reserved for an elite few, and was more recently invited to become the honorary professional at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, a lifetime post that has only been held by four others before him.
Jim has made an outstanding contribution to the game of golf, not only in St Andrews but across the nation. I am sure that even the other gentlemen being honoured here today, with countless major championship titles between them, would acknowledge that it is the work of Jim and the thousands of PGA professionals throughout the world that has helped golf grow into the global sport that it is today. And so it is only appropriate that, as a University and a community, we recognise him alongside the greats of the game.
Chancellor, in recognition of his contribution to the sport of golf at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and the Town of St Andrews, I invite you to present the University Medal to Jim Farmer.