Former European Tour golfer Ian Bolt has retired from his role at Bassett Down Golf Complex, having been a golf professional in Wiltshire for over 50 years.

Born in Scotland, Bolt has been in the Wiltshire area since 1969 when he turned professional at Ogbourne Downs Golf Club in Marlborough and has also been at North Wilts Golf Club and Cricklade Hotel and Country Club before spending the last 15 years as a professional and coach at Bassett Down.

During his career, Bolt has played at the British Open, on the European Tour, been named West Region Golfer of the Year twice, and had over 30 Pro-Am wins.

Now in his 70s, Bolt has decided to retire to spend time with his family, but said that he will always look fondly on his many years in Wiltshire, having moved from Scotland initially at 17 years old.

He said: “Wiltshire and this area has been very good to me during my time and I just wanted to say thank you for what it has done for me.

“I have been a golf pro since 1969 and qualified in 1972, so I think that I have done my bit and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

“It is a big wrench to give it up, I have been giving a couple of people their last golf lesson in the last few days, who I have been coaching for six or seven years, and it is quite emotional. It is not something I have done lightly.

“It has been very emotional because these people are clients but they are also friends.”

Bolt said that he had a lot of great memories from his time as a professional golfer that he would always carry with him in his retirement.

He said: “Qualifying to play in the British Open in 1974, that is something that will always stay with me.

“Meeting Seve Ballesteros and having breakfast with him one day in Spain, he was just a magical man.

“Playing in the European Tour was really something for someone like me, and it was something that would have been much more difficult without my mentors David Haslam and Ken Knox.

“But mostly, you meet a lot of people where golf is the common denominator, they would love to play golf like I can play, never mind somebody like David Howell, but it is great fun to be with people playing golf and listening to their stories.”