BOB WEST ON GOLF — Advanced age proves no impediment for sinking an ice

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, October 20, 2021

As a long-time golf writer, I have always been fascinated at holes in one and some of the crazy stories surrounding them. Among the goofiest was a guy in Dallas who pushed his tee shot into an adjacent road, saw it hit a car, rebound onto the course, roll onto the green and trickle into the cup.

The list of head-shaking aces includes newly minted golfers playing their first official round, duffers who topped the ball and watched it somehow find its way into the cup and groups where more than one player in a foursome celebrated an ace on the same hole.

Add Australian Hugh Brown to the can-you-believe-this list. Why? Because he’s two months shy of being turning 100 and his second ace last week came 61 years after his first. Brown hit his driver on the downhill, 161-yard, 5th hole at Indooroopilly Golf Club in Queensland.

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Lending some humor was the fact Brown, who didn’t think he could reach the green, hit into a group that was putting on the 5th. He couldn’t see the ball go in but heard yelling and shouting and assumed he was being cussed for launching his shot before the green had cleared.

Brown’s feat prompted me to check out whether he was the oldest golfer to ever record an ace. Turns out he not only wasn’t the oldest man – that honor belongs to 101-year-old Harold Stilson of Deerfield, Florida – but there is also an even older woman who bagged an ace.

That would be 102-year-old Elsie McLean of Chico, California. She authored what was her first hole in one with a driver on the 100-yard, 4th hole at Birdwell Park in Chico. Stilson scored his hole-in-one with a 4-iron on the 108-yard, 16th at Deerfield Country Club.

Moral to this story is for those who have yet to record that first ace, and are convinced it won’t happen, keep swinging. Brown, Stilson and McLean have proved it is never too late.

CHIP SHOTS: Sticking to the hole-in-one theme, David Evans of Port Arthur authored his second ace last Thursday at Babe Zaharias. Evans hit a 7-iron from 140 yards on the 2nd hole. Witnesses were Drake Romero, Mark Griffin, Derky Hardin and David Colten.

Format for the Monday Senior 50 Plus game at Babe Zaharias was 3 best balls. Winning the front at even par was the team of Raymond Darbonne, Dillard Darbonne, Tony Trevino and James Trahan. Taking the back at minus 1 was the foursome of Gary Fontenot, Steve Wisenbaker, Cesar Chavez and Keith Marshall.

The Super Senior Saturday 2 ball at Zaharias ended in a tie on both nines.

Posting plus 1 on the front in gusty north winds was the team of Bill Hanley, Ted Freeman, Troy Touchet and Harrell Guidry and the group of Ed Holley, Rufus Reyes, Don MacNeil and George Adams. Sharing first on the back at plus 3 was foursome of Earl Richard, Rusty Hicks, Rick Pritchett and Buddy Hicks, and the Hanley team.

In the Thursday 2 ball at Zaharias, the team of Bob West, Rusty Hicks, MacNeil and Frank LeBlanc claimed the front with minus 4. Winning the back at minus 5 was the team of Russ Gloede, Ron LaSalle, Bobby Wactor and Richard Menchaca.

The Wednesday DogFight at Zaharias was played in a 2-man flighted 9-hole-best-ball, 9-hole-scramble format. There was a three-way tie for first in Championship Flight with the teams of Keith Mullins-Raymond Darbonne, James Vercher-Glenn Judice and James Cady-Ted Freeman all shooting 67.

First Flight ended in a two-way tie at 69 between the duo of Wisenbaker-Charlies Leard and John House-Rick Pritchett. In Second Flight, Harrell Guidry-Dwayne Benoit carded 72 to best Harry Green-Richard Menchaca and Dillard Darbonne-Dan Flood by five strokes.

A 76 won Third Flight for Sid Ducote-Mike Junot by one shot over James Johnson-Dale Carter. Closest to the pin winners were Vercher (No. 2), Jerry Watson (No. 7), Cady (No. 12) and Guidry (No. 15).

Remember the name Tommy Morrison. Projected to be the top-ranked schoolboy player in the class of 2023, the high school junior from Frisco, Texas stands 6-10, wears a size 17 shoe and is projected to peak at 7-feet. Morrison, who has committed to the University of Texas, seems to have one major problem – getting golf shoes that fit.

Nike shoe sizes don’t go beyond size 16. Morrison, who commutes to California to work with Patrick Cantlay’s coach, has said he hopes to meet Michael Jordan and enlist his help for a special Nike shoe. Given Jordan’s love of golf, that may well happen.

There seems to be more and more golf carts tooling around the streets in Mid-County. For those looking to one-up their neighbor, Italian sports car manufacturer Lamborghini is working with Indian company Kinetic Green Injury on a stylish, souped-up golf cart that is supposed to be available in 2022.

Among its unique design features, the Lamborghini cart will have solar panels. It will be primarily marketed for airports, hotels and restaurants, but will be made available to country clubs and individuals willing to write a big check. No word at this point on how big that check will have to be.

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