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Dr David Cherry inducted into SA Golf Hall of Fame

David Cherry

Image of a young David Cherry - front Cover of the SA Golfer Magazine June 1979

(Sat 27 Oct 2012)
Induction speech by Mr John Hopkins (Chair of Golf Australia)

John Hopkins:

Ladies and Gentlemen it gives me great pleasure to announce the next inductee to the SA Golf Industry Hall of Fame:

DAVID CHERRY

A young David Cherry was introduced to the game of golf at age 5 by his father Dr Alan Percival Cherry a GP at Largs Bay.

David often used to caddie for his father around the Royal Adelaide layout - by his own admission David admits his dad was an ‘ordinary golfer’.

Throughout his youth David would catch the train from the family home at Largs to ‘Golf Links Station’ on the doorstep of the Royal Adelaide Golf Club.

In 1958 David’s father had just finished a round of golf at Royal Adelaide, when someone rushed into the clubhouse stating that a major accident had occurred just outside the gates of the club and that a Doctor was needed. David’s father didn’t hesitate to assist.

A few minutes later a tragic accident occurred and David’s father was killed. David was only 11 years old.

David could have easily walked away from the club at that point, but followed in the footsteps of his uncle a handy player, his mother herself a state player and his grandmother.

David’s grandmother, was the legendary Lady Britten Jones - a 10 time
State Amateur Champion, who was held in the highest regard. It was her influence that inspired David to pursue his golf.

Lady Britten Jones passed away in 1965 – just before David was first selected for the SA Junior State Team – which he says was a great shame as she would have loved to have known that all her support had paid off, to some extent.

At age 14 David started playing Pennant Golf for Royal Adelaide. His first Simpson Cup match was in 1964.

He quickly established himself as one of Adelaide’s best Amateurs, built around his ability of knowing how to play the percentages and his mental strength.

In 1967 winning 6 of his 7 matches for the season, David took Royal Adelaide to the Simpson Cup final. Royal Adelaide however couldn’t overcome The Grange and went down 4/3 in the final, with the loss remaining one of David’s biggest disappointments.
Royal Adelaide hasn’t made the Simpson Cup Final since.

In 1970 David was absent from interstate action because of examinations and again in 1972/73 whilst undergoing post graduate studies in in Europe.

David played golf for Warwickshire and only missed qualifying for the British Open at Troon by one stroke after incurring a two-stroke penalty.

Shortly after his return in 1974, David headed to Tasmania with the SA State Team - which was Managed by Mr Ev Siggs. David bonded extremely well with Ev, who then went on to become his caddie from that day on, throughout his career. (David has invited Ev and his wife Evelyn here tonight).

The highlight of David’s career came in 1975 when South Australia won the Interstate Series at Kooyonga with 4 wins from 5 matches just ahead of NSW.

The following year in 1976 David claimed his first big individual victory winning the State Amateur Championship eclipsing Dean Harris at Glenelg.

In 1978 in a rain delayed and interrupted State Championship Final he claimed his second State title with victory over John Muller. David was presented the Championship trophy by six-time State Champion Bill Rymill who said at the time ‘David was certainly among the six best Amateur players in Australia’.

David won his first Vardon Trophy in 1976 and went on to dominate stroke averages winning again in 78, 79, 81 and 82, becoming a 5 time winner, a feat unsurpassed.

After a few impeccable years, in 1978 David was appointed Captain and Manager of an Australian team which competed in Papua New Guinea. The Prime Minster of PNG Mr. Somare, himself a keen golfer, invited the Australian party to compete in the Huon Open at Lae.

South Australian Golf Association president Graham Keane at the time described Australia’s invitation as a “diplomatic honor to Australian golf and the appointment of Cherry as Captain-Manager as a recognition of Cherry’s standing in golf”.

The second major highlight of David’s Career came in 1983 when The Men’s State Team was triumphant at the Peninsula Golf Club winning 4 from 5 matches, once again finishing just ahead of NSW to claim the Interstate Series.

Also on the same trip, David partnered up with Neil Crafter to win the National Foursomes Championship.

Other Career highlights include -
- Royal Adelaide Club Champion 12 times
- Pennant Player over a 40 year period.
- 105 Simpson Cup Games over 20 seasons in the Top Grade
- 3 Club Champion of Champion titles
- SA State representative 17 years
- Winner of 6 SA Foursomes titles
- 3 time SA Medalist

With his state playing career over, David went on to become a fine Golf Administrator being elected Vice President of South Australian Golf Association under Bay McDonald, then President from 1994 - 98. Including holding Presidency of the AGU.

One of David’s other fine achievements, was his development of the computerization of the Vardon and Pennant scoring programs from 1986, as well as scoring programs for the Interstate Series and on one occasion for the Australian Open. David’s programs are still used today to calculate the Pennant and Vardon tables.

David has also been:
- Vice President of the Asia Pacific Golf Federation for 8 years.
- The Australian representative of the Asia Pacific Golf Federation and the Australian & Asia Pacific rep on the International Golf Federation since 1995.
- David also served on the Golf Australia Board for 4 years from 2007 - finishing in Nov 2011.

Ladies and Gentlemen, David Cherry