In the days since his passing at the age of 75, the tributes have piled in for Sandy Jones. “We’ve done nothing but answer messages of condolence from all over the golfing world,” said Alan White, the chairman of the Professional Golfers’ Association.

Throughout that world, Jones was widely regarded as Mr PGA.

Or, quite simply, Sandy. “You didn’t need to say Sandy Jones, everybody just knew him as Sandy,” added White.

A bit like Elvis, Sandy was very much a one-name person. The proud Gartcosh man certainly made a name for himself in golf administration.

Rising from the ranks of regional secretary of the Scottish PGA to the chief executive of The PGA itself, Jones – sorry, Sandy – would become a mighty figure of global prominence.

“I remember getting asked by the press on my first day at the Scottish PGA in 1980, ‘How would I like to be judged?’” he once told this scribe in one of our many chinwags down the seasons. “I said, ‘Christ, I’ve just started.’”

When he did finally retire after a near 40-year association with The PGA, he could be quietly content with the work he had performed. His dedication to that work was unwavering.

“He was a seven-day-a-week man,” said Lanark professional White, whose father David was a former Rangers manager. It was perhaps unsurprising that White’s phone would often ring demanding updates from the Ibrox frontline.

“Sandy was a big Rangers man and if I’d been at a game he couldn’t get to he was on to me wanting to know absolutely everything,” said White with a smile.

Jones’ tireless endeavours hauled the Scottish PGA circuit – which would be christened the Tartan Tour under his watch – into fresh financial territory and made it the envy of the other PGA regions.

“When he started, he was working from his house and we would send tournament entry forms and everything to him there,” recalled White of Jones’s formative days at the helm.

“What the Tartan Tour became was down to Sandy. He took it by the scruff of the neck. In the late 1980s and the early ’90s, the Tartan Tour was really flourishing. I remember one of my colleagues complaining because he’d played

23 Pro-Ams in consecutive days.

He was actually moaning that he was playing too much.”

They were different times for the domestic circuit; a golden era when the Scottish PGA Championship was on TV, the flamboyant Brian Barnes would mark his ball with a can of Drybrough’s beer and Stirling pro Ian Collins won a Porsche for a hole-in-one at Glenbervie. “In those days, there was essentially the Scottish circuit and the main European Tour and nothing in between,” said White.

“It’s not like now, where we have all sorts of tours. Back then, Sandy could get Scottish tour players to play at home when there wasn’t a European event on. I even remember Rodger Davis [the decorated Australian] playing in the Carluke Pro-Am.

“The rest of the regions at The Belfry [PGA headquarters] recognised the work Sandy was doing and made him the chief executive of the entire association on what he created in Scotland.”

Re-locating to the Midlands in 1991, Jones’ vision and leadership revamped The PGA and its brand. The old PGA manual, a sort of Wisden’s Almanack for teaching pros, was updated and the education programme vastly enhanced to include a university degree.

“It’s now a recognised qualification that can be used throughout the world,” noted White. Jones also helped modernise the Ryder Cup, forged stronger working ties with the European Tour and played a key role in bringing the transatlantic tussle to Scotland in 2014.

Whether it was the Ryder Cup or The PGA Cup – the club pros’ equivalent – Jones loved the cut-and-thrust of the competition.

“He was brutally competitive himself,” added White. “I played with him in a match against The PGA of Europe and I missed a three-footer on the last to win. He gave me such a hard time after it.

In fact, I always knew he was in a bad mood with me as he would call me ‘White’, not ‘Alan’.

“But that competitiveness showed in his work too. When he finally retired, the association was left in a great shape for others to take forward.

“The PGA wouldn’t be what it is now if it wasn’t for Sandy.”