The senior men’s golf championship will be played at my club this weekend, an annual event that precipitates a run on knee braces, analgesics, ibuprofen and antacids at area drug stores.
It’s also a fun weekend filled with conversation about insurance, surgery, the stock market and Nancy Pelosi.
You must be 50 years old to enter. Fortunately, there is no upper limit on age. The older gentlemen who are not too proud to admit they’ve lost distance over the years, not to mention other things, are allowed to play in the Super Seniors Division, hitting from the gold tees, which shortens the course and gives the ego an occasional nudge in the ribs.
But don’t let the shorter course and the Super Seniors designation fool you. There’s some fierce competition there. A friend and I tied for first place a couple of years ago and had to go extra holes in a playoff. It was a memorable battle. I had to throw four straight bogeys at him to win it.
Seniors golf at the club level is not much different from that played by younger people. Seniors do have the advantage of not being able to remember some of their poor shots. And you can wear mismatched clothes and be considered either an eccentric, half blind or basically just an old slob.
You can have a really loopy swing and nobody cares. It’s OK to talk to yourself, but preferably not when someone is putting.
One problem that is fairly prevalent among older players is eyesight. One of the fellows I play with can’t follow his tee shots about half of the time. When he complained about it, another member of our group said, “That’s because you’re looking up the middle.”
And, let’s face it, as time goes fleeting, so does the body. Hall of Famer Billy Casper knows the feeling. “Like a lot of fellows on the Senior Tour,” he said, “I have a furniture problem. My chest has fallen into my drawers.”Still, we play and still, we hope. Now, where is that striped shirt that goes so well with these plaid pants?