Driving Series


Ivor Robson Golf Legend

St. Andrews is once again the site of the Open Championship and for the past 41 times the Open Championship has been played, there has been just one voice that has announced the groups as they prepare to tee off on the first tee– the voice of Ivor Robson.

He has become an icon.

This will be the 144th playing of the Open Championship and it will be Ivor Robson’s last as the announcer at the first tee, thus completing his St Andrews career at the home of golf.

When the last group tees off from the first tee in the final round on Sunday, it will end a tenure that started for Ivor robson golf announcer at Carnoustie in 1975. He has not missed any championships–or a tee times–since then.

Listen to him in action:

Robson said he “cannot continue forever” as the first tee announcer and that there was not a better place to step down than the home of golf, the Old Course at St. Andrews.
He stated he will miss a number of things about the Open, but most of all he will miss the people.

“I feel you can’t go on forever and if you’re going to step off there’s no better place to do it than here. It’s time to go.”

In the time Ivor Robson has sent players off the opening tee at the oldest championship of the sport, he said it’s been the Opens played at St. Andrews which have become cornerstones of Robson’s legacy.

“They are all different, you know. I’ve had some nice ones, but this is special, St. Andrews. It is just magnificent.”

Robson will retire officially from golf at the end of this year after working the Race to Dubai events on the European Tour.

Robson has one of the most recognizable voices in golf. His voice became a source of comfort for so many golfers over the years. In a distinct accent and with a shrill, authoritative tone, Robson delivered each name. His referring to tee times in the English “game” and stating the announcements so simply made him a popular man in golf circles.

Golfers for years have looked forward to hearing Robson announce their names.

Part of Robson’s mystique is that he will not leave his post at the first tee from the moment the day’s first ball is hit until the last player in the final group tees off. He said he has no food, no drink and no breaks for the rest room.

Besides announcing the day’s pairings, Robson has other duties that are sometimes more important. He checks the golf ball of each player and often times will count clubs. In 1998, Robson was able to save Ignacio Garrido a penalty of two strokes after noticing he was carrying an excess of 15 clubs in his bag.

It is ironic that Ivor Robson ended up at the first tee. During the 1960s and 70s, Robson played on the Scottish Tour, but was not a fan of the opening tee. He said that while playing he feared the first tee and having his named announced.

It was a bit ironic. The first tee, eventually, became his home.