Old golfers never die…

1 04 2012
...they only lose their balls.

…they only lose their balls.

I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but I found myself actually whining when my tee shot finished right in the middle of the 16th fairway at Glacier Greens the other day. (And no, I wasn’t playing # 14 at the time, if that’s what you’re thinking). “I BELTED that,” I said to my playing partner, Joe Dunham, “and it’s STILL twenty yards short of the fairway bunker.” Smokin’ Joe – who’s used to my occasional outbursts of self pity by now – had two points to make in response: firstly, and fairly reasonably I must admit, why on earth would I WANT to be in the fairway bunker? And secondly – and this was the one that hurt – I wasn’t exactly getting any younger, so what else did I expect? Losing a few yards off the tee was an inevitable part of becoming a senior golfer.

This was the second time that my advancing years had been brought up in conversation recently. On the other occasion, one of my younger siblings – they’re all younger, now I come to think of it – had pointed out that I turn 60 next year. Technically, this is true (December 8th, if you want to start saving up for a gift), but I hadn’t really thought of becoming old any time soon. I’m not really ready for it. In fact I berated some poor guy on the phone last week for the green fees he wanted to charge for a golf trip that I’m helping to plan on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State next month. He told me that the five of members of the group who were over sixty would get the discount senior rate at a couple of the courses, while Steve Ellis and I would have to pay full whack. I pointed out that he’d make more money if he gave me and Steve the junior rate and charged all the old guys full price, but he didn’t seem to grasp the economical advantages of my suggestion.

So there are obviously pros and cons about getting older. And then this morning  I received an email which definitely tipped the scales in favour of embracing the concept of joining the senior ranks. I’d like to share the email with you:


Please note the following modifications to the rules of golf, as pertaining to Senior Golfers, to take effect forthwith:

1. Any ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be placed at an equidistant point on the fairway without penalty. Seniors should not be penalised for hitting into tall grass that the greenskeepers failed to mow.

2. A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed not to have hit the tree unless it rebounds onto the fairway. Bad bounces should play no part in senior golf. The player shall estimate the distance the ball would have travelled had it not hit the tree and play from there.

3. There is no such thing in senior golf as a ‘lost ball’. A missing ball is clearly on or near the course and will at some point be pocketed by someone else, making it a ‘stolen ball’. Obviously it would be unfair for the senior golfer to compound the felony by calling a penalty upon him/herself.

4. Any putt passing over the hole without dropping shall be deemed to have dropped. The law of gravity supersedes the rules of golf.

5. Putts that stop close enough to the cup to be blown in, may indeed be blown into the hole without penalty. (This does not apply to a ball stopping more than six inches from the hole. No one wants to make a travesty of the game).

6. It is not necessary to record three putts. Having spent decades suffering on the golf course, senior golfers have endured enough hardship already. Two putts per green are ample.

7. There is no penalty for so-called ‘out of bounds’. If penny pinching golf course owners bought enough land to begin with, ‘out of bounds’ would not be an issue. Senior golfers deserve an apology, not a penalty.

8. There is no penalty for a ball entering a water hazard. Golf balls should float and senior golfers should not be penalised for manufacturers’ shortcomings.

9. All golfers will have seen advertisements claiming that scores can be improved by purchasing new golf equipment. As most senior golfers are on a fixed income, they are unable to buy new equipment. In equity, seniors may subtract from their net score not more than one stroke for each club in their bag that is more than five years old.

10. Bunkers. You’re kidding, right? What would a senior golfer be doing in a bunker? Free throw, obviously.

As stated above, these rule changes for seniors come into effect as of April 1st.

Yours in golf,

Olaf Rilpo (Senior Golfers’ Rules Committee)




10 responses

1 04 2012
Glennie the sandbagger

Perfect! Timely, indeed. It would seem that the incredible political power of the the “baby boomers” now entering the ranks of the senior citizens has kicked in once again. Next move: triple the CCP, the OAS and free green fees and preferred tee off times for those over 60. Oh. Throw in no charge golf carts as well.

1 04 2012
Bagger Dave

Preferred tee times and free golf carts for Seniors seem very sensible suggestions to me, Glennie. Perhaps we could bring this up at the next AGM. Let Glacier Greens be the standard bearer for Senior Golf in B.C.!


1 04 2012
Bud Bryan

Please note that I Bud Bryan will make use of all the aforementioned rules
of senior golf 2012 as stated above. I will also need another 6 strokes
for my injured knee, when and if it ever heals. Hope to be back before middle of the month.
Bud Bryan

1 04 2012
Bagger Dave

To be honest, Bud, there are members of the group who think it would be kinder just to have you put down rather than spend public money on your bad knee. Luckily, the majority think that it’s best to keep you going so you can keep contributing $4.50 every Sunday morning.

1 04 2012
Dave Laird

What the hell ? Posting at 6:44 am on a Sunday morning ? Two replies before 8:00 am ? I’m thinking Brooker and Parsons better rejoin the ranks @ Highland, they’re far too bright in the early morning to be retired.


1 04 2012
Bagger Dave

There’s no chance whatsoever of me going back to Highland, Dave, and I’m pretty sure the administrators will be happy to hear that…


1 04 2012
Dave Laird

Do you suppose Glennie the sandbagger may have missed the date, which he perhaps may not have done if he got up at a reasonable hour?


1 04 2012
Bagger Dave

Let’s not get onto the topic of your failure to embrace early morning golf, Lairdo. If I had my way, we’d be on the first tee at 6:30 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This seems an eminently reasonable hour to me.

2 04 2012

As regards lost or stolen balls; the last time I asked you if you had any balls you said no. Most in your fearsome foursome would agree with that statement.
Anyway, you don’t even qualify for being a senior yet, as it is a measure of maturity isn’t it?
Seriously, though, love the blog. Plageurism at its finest, well done kipper. Thanks.

2 04 2012
Bagger Dave

I still remember my ‘lost or stolen’ ball in the rough on # 18 at Gold River, and you loitering suspiciously in the area, looking as if butter wouldn’t melt.
We need to do that again, Peter – it was a blast!


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