3 June 1945 – 9 September 2019
One of the great characters of professional golfing history.
With a pipe in his mouth and a bottle of vodka in his bag, Brian Barnes, who died aged 74 of cancer, cut a colourful, instantly recognisable figure on the European golfing circuit during his 1970s heyday.
Barnes was born in Addington Surrey, England, by Scottish parents, and represented England at amateur international level. He was educated at St. Dunstan's School, Burnham-on-Sea, and Millfield School in Somerset.
Taught by his father he represented England in the youth international against Scotland in 1964. In the same year he turned professional.
Also in 1964, after his promising career start, Barnes was enrolled in a special training program designed to develop a future British Open champion.
Photo:In the early days. The 1951 Open winner Max Faulkner acted as coach. (Brian cuts a sturdy figure at the back).
Financed by entreprenuer Ernest Butten the participants became known as the Butten boys.
The Barnes swing, like the man himself, paid only some attention to the rules.
The most significant deviation was how he started his swing. With a forward press( mostly used to relieve tension and inject life into the beginning) that complicated the motion, Barnes used the small muscles from the word go.