Hayes‚ who turned 66 in July‚ was a precocious talent‚ recording his first hole in one at the age of nine. He went on to win the Swiss‚ Italian‚ French‚ Spanish and South African Opens between 1975 and 1979.
His touch deserted him‚ especially around the greens‚ and by the age of 30 his career as a professional was effectively over. It‚ however‚ served to sharpen his focus.
“My failure drove me to do the things that I did‚” said Hayes.
A strong media presence‚ especially as a broadcaster‚ as well as his ownership of the Zwartkop Country Club kept him at the forefront of the game in this country.
“I think often those people get forgotten. A lot of time we tend to forget administrators‚ club professionals‚” said Hayes.
“We don’t give them the credit they deserve for growing the game. I think it is so important that every single person gets the opportunity to play this game.”