The world of golf, and the Curtis Cup family in particular, was saddened at the death last week at the age of 101 of Phyllis (Phyl) Wylie, nee Wade. Phyl was the oldest surviving Curtis Cup player from either side of the Atlantic, having played in the 4th Curtis Cup match at the Essex County Club, Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts, USA in 1938.
Phyl, an English internationalist, was born in Essex, but in 1939 married a Scot, Surgeon-Captain JI Wylie, and settled in Troon.
During the 2008 Curtis Cup match at the Old Course, St Andrews, she fulfilled an ambition when she crossed the threshold of the Royal and Ancient clubhouse for the first time, to attend the Past Curtis Cup Players' Dinner.
The LGU CEO, Shona Malcolm, said
“I was honoured to take the Curtis Cup along to Phyl’s 100th birthday celebrations at the Ladies’ Club, Troon, last year, and to hear first-hand her stories of playing in the 1938 match and her memories of spending time with Harriott and Margaret Curtis. Phyl kept everyone entertained with her tales of travelling across the Atlantic with her teammates on the SS Franconia en route to Boston, and had specific fond memories of the camaraderie and lifelong friendships developed on that five day journey.
She was sharp as a tack and always kept a keen interest in ladies golf. Observant all her days, she was convinced that the players of today don’t have the same fun that she and the grand old ladies of her generation had. Maybe all modern lady golfers should reflect on that – and approach the game with the same spring in their step and joi de vivre as Phyl.”
Phyl is survived by her son Ian and his family and the thoughts of everyone at the Ladies’ Golf Union, and the wider Curtis Cup family, are with them at this sad time.
A memorial service will be held in celebration of Phyl’s life at 3pm on Wednesday 21 November at St Ninian’s Church, Bentinck Drive, Troon, Ayrshire KA10 6HX to which all are invited.