The former Tannadice keeper, Hamish McAlpine, is lending a big hand to the Alyth Golf Club team sprucing-up courses in the hope they’re given the green light to open up this month. And McAlpine (72) joked that if he’d had giant gloves 36 years ago Jim McLean’s side would have seen off Italian outfit Roma to reach the European Cup final.
“I’ve been doing a bit of volunteering at the club as part of my daily exercise regime,” said the former captain and club champion. “I live nearby and with some of the staff furloughed because of the pandemic I’m happy to help out the boys tidying-up broken branches and sweeping-up leaves. It’s been good craic and it gives me something to do."
“I usually get in three or four games a week so, like every other golfer, I’m desperate to get some good news from the government to given us access to the courses again, even if it is restricted at first.”
One-time Scottish Player of the Year McAlpine – who was part of United’s 1983 title winning side – reckons he’d have enjoyed even more success if he’d got his hands on super-sized gloves in a 20-year United career.
“When I was given these huge gloves to scoop-up the leaves I did say I wish I’d had them when I was playing. Back when I started out we used our bare hands, then there were thin green cotton gloves before better ones with rubber suckers and foam padding. Nowadays keepers have these massive gloves – and they get paid a few bob for wearing them.”
McAlpine, whose son and US Tour caddie Kevin is engaged to pro golfer Anna Nordqvist, who played a key role in Team Europe’s Solheim Cup success at Gleneagles last year, has been a member at Alyth for 50 years.
“When I was with United Jim McLean didn’t want us playing golf on a Friday with a game coming up on the Saturday,” he recalled. “But I’d manage to sneak in a game. Wee Jim knew but tended to turn a blind eye to it. And during the close season I’d be golfing all the time. Hopefully we can get the clubs out again this month. Everyone will be sensible about it. We’ve got the nine holes at Glenisla as well so that should help cope with the demand from members desperate to get out playing.”
(Posted on Wednesday 6th May 2020)