Ian Stanley was born in Melbourne and started playing at the age of 14 at the old Amstel Golf Club which backed onto his parents’ home in Ian Grove, Mount Waverley.
In 1966, he won both the Club Championship and Junior Championship and, later in the same year, won the Victorian School Boys at Huntingdale Golf Club.
As Amstel was moving to a new site in Cranbourne, Stanley was asked to join Huntingdale, where he honed his game under the watchful eye of club professional Geoff Flanagan.
In 1967, he won the Victorian Junior Championship at Huntingdale and in 1969, he went on to win both the Junior and Senior Club Championships (also played at Huntingdale). He followed this up with his second Victorian Junior Championship win all in the same year.
After turning professional in 1970, Ian served a three-year apprenticeship under the guidance of Geoff Flanagan. Stanley was a prolific tournament winner in Australasia from the mid-1970s through the early 1990s. He also spent seven years on the European Tour in the 1970s, where he was joint winner of the 1975 Martini International with Christy O’Connor Jnr, and finished inside the top-60 on the Order of Merit six times with the best end of season ranking of 27th in 1975.
In the early 1990s, Stanley joined Australia’s first pay-TV sports channel, Premier Sports, commentating on European and American tournaments. This led to the highly-rated Golf Show which is still successfully running on Fox Sports today.
From 1977 to 1978, Stanley worked with David Inglis in establishing the Australian Masters and obtaining sponsorships for the first tournament in 1979.
After the tragic accident which injured Jack Newton in July 1983, Stanley, with other businessmen, set up the Jack Newton Trust. Stanley travelled around Australia raising money through exhibitions and guest speaking engagements. This concluded with a sell-out sportsmen’s night held at the Southern Cross Hotel in September 1983.
In 1983, Stanley was approached by the PGA to take Newton’s position on the board where Stanley tried to establish an Accident & Sickness policy for each player; this was voted down in the 1986 PGA annual meeting.
His victory at the 1988 New Zealand Open was played at Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club on December 15 to 18. The beautifully prepared course and fine weather attracted large galleries on the opening days.
In the first round, Ian Stanley led with seven under par 64. Darren Cole shot 66 with Pavin, Delong and Clifford on 69. On the next two days while the fine weather continued, so did the excellent scoring.
Par or better became the norm for the leading ten players with only Clifford and Delong spoiling the pattern. Strong winds on the final day, however, affected many. Of the first thirty players to complete nine holes only one improved his position and twenty-seven had dropped at least one stroke.
The weather cleared later in the day and Clayton went out in 30 but he remained six strokes behind Stanley, who at the same stage was thirteen under par. Though this gap narrowed in the final stages, Stanley held on for a popular victory.
After turning 50, Stanley joined the European Seniors Tour, and in 2001 he won the PGA Seniors Championship, then the Senior British Open on his way to topping the Order of Merit. In total, he has three wins on the European Seniors Tour.
On retiring from the Senior tour in 2004, Stanley joined golf design and architect firm Thomson Perrett, where his principal design stage was golf greens. Stanley also project managed courses in Australia and China. The main golf courses in Australia included Ballarat Golf Club, Sandhurst Golf Club, Silverwoods at Yarrawonga, Mandalay Golf Club and Manly Golf Club, Sydney (greens and bunker designs).
Stanley was a director of not-for-profit organisation Tee Up for Kids, which raises money for underprivileged children in Victoria.
Stanley married his wife, Pam, in 1971. They had three daughters. Stanley died from cancer on 29 July 2018.