Peter Alliss understood the passion and the pain of golf. He also appreciated and revelled in the myriad quirks, peculiarities and downright absurdities of this endlessly fascinating, flummoxing and funny old game.

“I’ve just waffled along, loving the game of golf and being observant,” he said of a broadcasting career illuminated by amiable chatter and genial bletherations.

Alliss, who has passed away at the age of 89, was guilty of the odd faux pas too. But he was very much a man of his time. And he made no apologies for that, even when the gravely offended demanded one.

Close your eyes and think of the lengthening shadows at an Open, the azaleas at Augusta or the russet, autumnal hues of Wentworth and Alliss’ voice and mellifluous tone will perhaps accompany you on this quiet, reflective meander.

Alliss brought golf to life. But he also brought everyday life to golf.

A television camera picking out an elderly, female spectator sitting behind the ropes and wrestling with a thermos flask, while her husband gazed hopefully at the prospect of a warm beverage and perhaps a Bakewell tart, could stir Alliss’ senses more than the club used by Duffy Waldorf as he sized up a tricky approach into the 14th.

In a game that often sees balls veer off the straight and narrow, Alliss’ enthusiastic penchant for venturing off piste would add colour, charisma and “cor blimey, O’Reilly” to golfing affairs.

Whether it was an off-the-cuff remark or a spontaneous flight of verbal fancy, his playfully quaint delivery tended to be as comforting as a bobbled cardigan and a packet of Werther’s Originals.

His sense of mischief, meanwhile, would come with the nod-and-a-wink of an impish raconteur as his trusty right-hand man, the late Alex Hay, chortled away in the background.

“I haven’t seen a grip like that since they closed the gents at King’s Cross Station,” he once said with an observation that was more Sid James than Henry Longhurst. Alliss was just as happy to offer asides as he was insight.

Never one to bombard the viewer with statistics or elaborate analysis, Alliss provided a voice of soothing reason and experience amid the many moments of mayhem that this daft game can effortlessly conjure.

As John Cleese remarked on social media last night: “The most sane and comforting voice I ever heard. I always thought that I could cope with the ending of the world if only Peter was commentating on it.”

When Jean van de Velde’s golfing world was collapsing around him on the final hole of the 1999 Open at Carnoustie, Alliss suggested the unravelling French farce was “more Jacques Tati than Jack Nicklaus”.

A brilliant player from a family steeped in golf, Alliss had authority through knowledge. As the years passed, his style and hoary unorthodoxy grated with

some but he was a national treasure.

The offer of an OBE in 2002 was turned down in his own, inimitable way.

“You’ve got to remember the generation I came from,” he told the Daily Mail many years ago. “Those who were given OBEs who didn’t serve in the war were thought of as getting it for ‘Other Buggers’ Efforts’. I didn’t feel worthy of it.”

When the BBC surrendered the live broadcasting rights to The Open in 2016 after 60 years, it cut Alliss to the quick.

The loss of Masters coverage this year meant the Beeb had no live golf at all in 2020. There is a sighing poignancy that, in this wretched year, the BBC has lost its cherished voice of golf too.