Sunday, November 16, 2008

92 Year Old Hangs Up His Golf Spikes

I have had the pleasure of knowing and playing golf with Father Wright for the last seven years. I call him Father Wright as he was an ordained Baptist preacher for over 60 years. He has been married to his wife, who he calls The Mrs. for 70 years.

Father Wright has been using the same Wilson Staff driver, three wood, five wood and Wilson irons for as long as he could remember. The woods are actually the old woods and not the metal woods that nearly all of us use now. He says he putter is like new since it is only 15 years old!
He always said it was the golfer and not the clubs that made the shots run true.

The first round of golf that I played with Father Wright was seven years ago on his 85th birthday. We were on the first tee and he dropped to one knee and said a quick prayer. I asked if he had asked God to help him shoot a low score. He said, owe no, he had asked God to help me with a low score. I thanked him and I would find out later that God had not answered this prayer.

He asked that for his birthday present that he be allowed to use a tee as long as his ball was in the fairway. I agreed and then I got the golf lesson of my life. This 85 year old did not miss a fairway during the entire round. He never hit the ball over 175 yards all day but it was always straight as an arrow.
He used his three wood on a 140 yard par three and rolled the ball up to within four feet of the pin and made his only birdie of the day.

Once Father Wright was within 50 yards of the pin his skills at using the pitch and run shot were extraordinary. He never used his pitching wedge but he was deadly at running the ball up to the pin with his six through nine irons.
Once on the green he would pull out his 15 year old titlist blade putter, step behind the ball to take a look at his line and then step up to putt with the confidence of a professional player. H would then make one practice swing and then sink his putt. He never had more than two putts on any green all day.

I was in awe of his ability to focus and concentrate over each shot and then talk about anything you wanted to between shots and then he would refocus when it was his turn to play the next shot. It was like he had a light switch in his head and he could turn his concentration on and off at will.

When the round was over and I was adding up the score he said it felt like he had shot an 81 today. He was right on with the 81. I had just been embarrassed by a man 30 years my senior. I figured that he was a man of God and would have something prolific to say after defeating me so badly. Instead he gave me the following advise:
Don't worry about your score while playing, just worry about the next shot, that is the only thing you have any control over. Just one shot at a time. You can add them all up when you are done.

Four months ago at the age of 92 Father Wright had a stroke. I had gone over to his apartment after he was released from the hospital. I asked how he was and he said he was afraid that he could not play golf any more, his strength was about gone. The Mrs. chimed in that she had listened to him talk about his golf game for the last 50 years so maybe she could now get some rest. She chuckled and then reached over and held Father Wright's hand with the kind of love and affection that only comes with being married to the same person for 71 years. Yes, there is more to life than playing golf!

If you have any great hacker stories or tips for your fellow hackers, please use the comment section. I look forward to sharing your tips or stories with as many of my fellow "Hackers" as possible.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if it was because this gentleman was a man of god or just had great genes, either way to be ale to play golf until the age of 90 was truely a blessing.

Stephen said...

90 years old still playing golf? He is awesome. Hard to believe actually.