Sporting Person: DUNK, WILLIAM EDGAR, Golf
DUNK, WILLIAM EDGAR
|Member of the Sporting Hall of Fame
Dunk, the son of a greenkeeper at the Gosford Golf Club on the New South Wales Central Coast, won the Australian PGA five times, represented Australia in three World Cups, won the Open Championships of Malaysia and New Zealand, and set the Australian record for the lowest tournament score with a ten-under par 60 at Newcastle in 1970.
The Dunk family lived in the Gosford clubhouse when World War 2 began, and Billy sat for hours watching the members who had not gone to war play their rounds. The gold swing was indelibly imprinted on his mind and before he started at school he began swinging at a golf ball with a club his father made for him out of a piece of ti-tree.
Billy had lessons at Gosford, from the club professionals Arthur Downs and Peter Churcher but his mother strongly resisted when he said that he wanted to be a tournament golfer. She wanted him to be a hairdresser, finally she relented and promised that he could become a professional golfer if he passed his Intermediate Certificate. Billy became apprenticed to Peter Churcher a few months later after getting through his Intermediate Certificate examination. Churcher made him practice for hours until his hands were bloodied and raw, and after two years apprenticeship Dunk became a member of the PGA. On Churcher's recommendation he joined Alex Wilson, the Ryde-Parramatta club professional, as his assistant.
Wilson drilled Dunk for hours, hitting the golf balls from daylight to dark, and every Monday he gave Dunk eight hours solid tuition. Apart from perfecting Dunk's swing, Wilson taught him course strategy and the value of positioning the first shot so that it made the second easier. He had Dunk carefully studying his lies and the position of the flag sticks, and he gave him an exercise with a house brick aimed at strengthening his wrists and fingers.
Dunk received 9 pound a week as an assistant professional, 5 pound of which went on board. Out of the rest he would save to buy slacks and pullovers and other items of golf clothing. Wilson giving Dunk his first pair of tan "Gleneagles" golf shoes as a Christmas present.
Dunk went on to display a long list of successful winnings of tournaments and championships, but Dunk is probably best known for his course records and often freakish low scores. Dunk played in a number of overseas tournaments but detested any form of long overseas travelling as he was always glad to get home to Gosford to his wife Annette Fowler, and their two sons, Michael and Ian.
Bill, of course is not only a golfing legend in the World Professional scene, but also in the local district, and most certainly his home club of Gosford, where he is an esteemed Honorary Member.
1960 - Winner, New South Wales PGA Championships
1966 - Winner, North Coast Open
1967 - Winner, North Coast Open
1968 - Winner, New South Wales PGA Championships
1969 - Winner, New South Wales PGA Championships
1970 - Winner, North Coast Open
1970 - Winner, New South Wales PGA Championships
1971 - Winner, North Coast Open
1975 - Winner, Chrysler Classic
1977 - Winner, Tasmanian Open
1980 - Winner, Queensland Open
1981 - Winner, Victorian Open
1989 - Winner, New South Wales Seniors
1990 - Winner, New South Wales Seniors
1962 - Winner, Australian PGA Championships
1966 - Winner, Australian PGA Championships
1971 - Winner, Australian PGA Championships
1974 - Winner, Australian PGA Championships
1976 - Winner, Australian PGA Championships
1989 - Winner, Australian Seniors
1963 - Winner, Malaysian Open
1975 - Winner, Sanpo Classic (Japan)
1976 - Winner, Sapporo Tokyu Open (Japan)
1976 - Winner, New Zealand PGA Championships
1990 - Winner, Mitsukoshi Seniors (Japan)
1991 - Winner, JAS Cup Senior (Japan)
1991 - Winner, Misawa Resort Senior Open (Japan)
1991 - Winner Ho-Oh Cup (Japan)
1993 - Winner, Mizuno Senior Classic (Japan)
1993 - Winner, HTB Hokkaido Senior (Japan)