Oct 28 2009 by Stephen Robertson, Stirling Observer Wednesday
A TEENAGE golf star from Dollar has been killed in a tragic road accident just two weeks ahead of his 18th birthday.
Grant Dowie (17) was killed on Sunday afternoon when his green Vauxhall Corsa struck another car on the Dollar bends section of the A91 in Clackmannanshire.
His family this week paid tribute to Grant as a “gentle giant” who “lived and breathed golf and aimed to become a professional player”.
Tributes also poured in on Grant’s Bebo site, where friends told how he “made everyone laugh” and would “never be forgotten”. One added: “Golf will never be the same without you.”
His dad, Kenny (46) a Falklands veteran, who now works as a driving instructor in Dollar, sobbed that he, his wife Yvonne (43) and younger son Jack (15) would miss Grant “terribly”.
He said: “Grant lived his life to the full.
“He was a big gentle man, a strapping six feet four inches tall. There wasn’t a bad bone in his body. He was just a loveable, outgoing big guy who would never do anybody any harm, but would always wave to folk in the street and say hello.
“He was a gorgeous looking boy and the life and soul of the party. His friends thought the world of him, but he’s been cut down in his prime.
“He was going to be 18 on November 5. I won’t even be able to buy him his first pint. The world has just fallen out of my life.”
Mr Dowie said Grant had dedicated his life to golf.
He said: “Grant had finished his studies at Alva Academy and was in his second year studying golf at Elmwood College in Cupar, Fife. He was studying all aspects of the game from performance to coaching but he wanted to be a professional player.
“He won everything at County level in all ages, played in all the junior national competitions and represented Alloa Golf Club. This year he managed to play for the adult Clackmannanshire team against Stirlingshire and did well.
“He’d been on the Scottish Academy golf programme for a couple of years, but came out of that to go to college. He just lived and breathed the game and the professional at Elmwood Golf Course singled him out along with only a few others for high performance coaching.
“He felt he had improved greatly this year and his goal was to go as far as he could in the golfing world. I’d like to think he had the attributes to turn pro.”
“He’ll be so sadly missed by all of us, and we don’t know where we’ll go from here.”
Mr Dowie said he had taught his son to be a careful driver.
He added: “He breezed through his driving test, and had driven on that road hundreds of times; we’d done it in training.
“I’d given him money to fill up the car and he was on his way to Tillicoultry when he crashed. It’s just a tragic accident.”
One friend in Dollar said: “Grant was a lovely big guy. He had a great personality and was always joking. Everyone loved him because he just made people laugh. Everyone knew him, and yet you would never find anyone with a single bad word to say about him.
“He just loved his golf. He won every tournament he entered and was destined to be a pro.”
He added: “It’s such a dangerous road. A lot of people drive like idiots on that road, but he wasn’t one of them. He’d driven that road hundreds of times and was always sensible.”
The tragedy happened at around 4.10pm on Sunday, near Horseshoe House, on the “Dollar Bends” section of the road. His car crossed into the path of an eastbound Toyota, and struck its offside. Grant was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 56-year-old female driver of the Toyota car sustained serious leg injuries and was taken to Stirling Royal Infirmary.
Mr Dowie added: “We, as a family, wish that lady a very speedy recovery.”
A Central Scotland Police spokesman said the road was closed for six hours after the incident. He added: “A report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”
Anyone who witnessed the collision or saw either vehicle prior to the collision is urged to contact Central Scotland Police, Road Policing Unit, Stirling on 01786 456000.