One of Wales’s most successful ever amateur golfers, Hew Squirrell, has passed away aged 87.
He won five Welsh Amateur titles, represented Wales 19 times in the Home Internationals in the 20 years between 1955 and 1975 including, in 1961, being part of the first Wales team to beat England.
Squirrell is second in the Wales Golf history books for both Welsh Amateur titles won (behind Henry Howell, eight between 1920-32) and Home International appearances (behind Iestyn Tucker, 25 from 1949-79), having represented Cardiff golf club and been an honorary member of Royal Porthcawl.
Squirrell was the first winner of the Berkhamsted Trophy, succeeded by the likes of Sandy Lyle and Luke Donald, and also won the French amateur title.
He said of the 1961 victory over England, “This was a big day for us, beating England for the first time, 12-3. Wales only narrowly lost to Ireland, we scored a record 23 points this year.”
Golf writer Bernard Darwin recorded: “Perhaps I may pay my respectful compliments to Squirrell. An elegant player he may not be but he is full of fight and hope and the most difficult man to beat in any company.”
Wales Golf chief executive Richard Dixon said, “It is with great sadness we heard one of our most illustrious former internationals has passed away.
“Hew has a firm place in Welsh golfing history. It is remarkable to be second on the all-time lists both for representing Wales in the Home Internationals and winning the Welsh Amateur Championship.
“Given the changes to the game in the modern era it is extremely unlikely he will be overtaken in either listing.
“Wales struggled against the greater strength in depth of the other nations in the early days of the Home Internationals, but Hew was part of a group of players who came through in the fifties who made Wales competitive.
“Along with Tucker, George Duncan, Tony Duncan, Tudor Davies and others they turned round welsh fortunes, including that first victory over England.”
Squirrell came up as a junior through the ranks of Cardiff Golf Club, gaining his first Wales cap in 1955, also captaining the Home International side three times.
After moving to England, winning the Hertfordshire County Championship twice, he joined Denham Golf Club North of London. Apart from winning the Welsh Amateur Championship five times 1958-60, 1964 and 1965, he finished as runner-up twice in 1962 and 1971.
His son Daniel Squirrell said, “Many Welsh golf clubs hosted Dad on numerous occasions over his golfing career, they have provided Dad and the family many fond memories.”