Underlining the recent publicity given to the health benefits of golf, a 91-year-old member at Stoke Park Country Club, Spa & Hotel scored a hole-in-one this week – watched by playing partners with a combined age of 267!
John Bush aced the picturesque 168-yard, par-three third hole on the Lane Jackson nine – the club’s 21st hole – for his third hole-in-one, the other two coming when he was a mere stripling in his eighties.
Bush’s playing partners in his regular fourball were also veterans of the fairway: Dennis Child is 89, Bob Cook 90, and James Grant a youngster at just 88. Which all prompted officials at the historic club to pose the question: Is this the oldest fourball in the country?
Director of golf Stuart Collier said: “What a brilliant feat by John. I don’t reckon there can be many people who’ve had their entire collection of holes-in-one since they turned 80.
“And, when you look at the guys in that group, with a combined age of 358, you have to ask is there a more vintage regular fourball in the country …?
“All four golfers are part of our special 80+ membership category, which was created by Stoke Park to allow senior members to continue playing golf and enjoying all the aspects of membership at a reduced rate with access to nine holes of golf per day.
“It’s been a great success and the elder members have embraced it, not just for the golf and fitness aspects, but also the increased social interaction.”
Bush’s achievement is remarkable – but he’s not the oldest golfer to record a hole-in-one. That record is believed to be held by 103-year-old Gus Andreone, who in 2014, as the oldest member of the Professional Golfers Association, aced the 113-yard, 14th hole of the Lakes Course at Palm Aire in Sarasota, Florida.
In Europe, the oldest golfer to record a hole-in-one is believed to be 99-year-old Swiss Otto Bucher, from Geneva, who holed out on the 130-yard 12th hole at La Manga Club, in Spain, in January 1985.
Collier smiled: “That means John only has to wait another eight years or so to be the oldest in Europe. And, to be fair, I wouldn’t put it past any of the guys in that group to do that!”
Stoke Park Country Club, Spa & Hotel www.stokepark.com