PETALING JAYA: The local golf fraternity has lost its top rules official with the passing of William Eustace Van Geyzel at age 67 on Friday.
Popularly known as “Captain” or “Willy”, Van Geyzel was instrumental in the setting up of the national handicapping system (NHS) when he was the vice-president of the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA).
He was also an expert in the rules of golf and a qualified competition referee who golfers consult to interpret golf rules which are difficult to understand.
He often represented MGA as referee in regional tournaments.
Current MGA vice-president Low Teck San said: “Willy was passionate about the development of golf and the legacy he leaves behind is the national handicapping system, which is now used by all golfers. We will miss him”.
The NHS tracks the handicap of golfers who submit their scorecards wherever they play. Prior to the NHS, each club maintained its own handicap for its members.
Van Geyzel was also from 1998 to 2000 captain of Kelab Golf Negara Subang (KGNS). Its past president Tunku Shamsul Bahrin said the golf fraternity has lost a dear friend while KGNS has lost a staunch club member.
“He contributed greatly to golf in Malaysia, especially on the etiquette and rules of the game, which was important as golf boomed and thousands more people took up the game. His strict decisions may not please everybody, but he always remained steadfast to the rules.”
Despite being tough when it comes to rules of golf, those who know him say he is generous and helpful.
The managing editor of Par Golf magazine Jonathan Ponniah said Van Geyzel was one of the top golf administrators in Malaysia. “All of us in the industry will miss him,” he said.
Originally from Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan, Van Geyzel was a Master Mariner who used to work for the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation and later owned his own shipping business. He leaves behind a wife, a son, two daughters and two granddaughters.