One of the most respected and well-known golf commentators in the world, Peter Alliss lends his knowledge and experience to ESPN’s coverage of the Open Championship. He joined ABC’s golf commentary team in 1975 and has been with the BBC since 1961.
With more than 60 years of history with the Open Championship, Alliss works with ESPN’s Terry Gannon on the 18th tower.
Percy Alliss, Peter’s father, was a well-known British golf professional and Peter, who was born in Berlin, took up the golf gauntlet of the family and turned professional in 1947, when he was 16. During his pro career, which lasted until 1974, he won three British PGA Championships, played on eight Ryder Cup teams, played on 10 teams representing England in the World Cup and won 23 major tournaments, including two Spanish Opens, one Italian, one Portuguese and one Brazilian. He and his father are one of only two father-son duos to play in the Ryder Cup.
He spent only six weeks on the American tour in 1954, and therefore was little known in the U.S. as a player. He made his broadcasting debut with the BBC covering the 1961 British Open, won by Arnold Palmer.
Alliss tutored actor Sean Connery in golf before the classic James Bond film “Goldfinger,” which contains a pivotal golf match between Bond and the movie’s villain that was filmed at a British golf course.
Alliss claims, in his usual understated, droll manner, that he’s a golf commentator because he’s “just there as an old player, a lover of the game and a good weaver of stories.” Nevertheless he has held some of the greatest honors that can be bestowed upon a British golfer. In 1962 he was named Captain of the British Professional Golfers Association and, in 1967, captained the British team against its European competition in what is now known as the Hennessey Cup.
He again was captain of the British Professional Golfers Association in 1987, when the Ryder Cup was played at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, and Europe won for the first time in the United States.
As the first president of the Women’s PGA (1980-1984), an organization founded in the United Kingdom in 1980, Alliss was instrumental in lifting the women’s golf circuit off the ground in Great Britain and Europe.
He is past president of the Greenkeepers’ Association, an organization of men and women who tend the golf courses in Great Britain. He has been actively involved in golf course design, has written more than 20 books and has written for Golf World Magazine, the largest golf publication in Europe.