It can be Hell getting old, but becoming a senior golfer has its benefits. Senior rates save one a bundle in greens fees. People expect us to tee off from the forward tees. In fact, it can be fairly easy to impress others who assume anyone over the age of 60 should be in a rest home. I became a minor celebrity one day down in Florida. As I was making the turn the starter asked if I was checking in. I told him I was making the turn. He nodded and said, “Oh, you are the guy who walks and carries.” If I were Native American, that might be a decent name; like “Dances With Wolves”, I could be “Guy Who Walks and Carries”. Unfortunately, being a senior golfer is not always a stroll in the park.
On another golf website, a number of posters identified foursomes of "seniors" (whatever they think “senior” means) as being the typical group that would not allow faster players to play through. My response that they were stereotyping was lost on them. Kids, what do they know anyway.
Still, I can understand why some might develop a stereotype about us (I am 63). Frankly, there are more of us "seniors" out on the course than just about any other demographic group in many places. The odds of occasionally running into a slow/rude/clueless/angry senior is a lot higher than most identifiable population segments one finds on a golf course.
When someone talks about seniors being slow, I always flash back to a round I played at the quintessential “muni” in Sarasota, FL, “Bobby Jones Golf Club.” The courses are flat as a pancake, not too difficult and cheap. I had joined a threesome and we were following a foursome of walkers who appeared to average 90 years in age. They were a bit slow but the course was fairly full and no serious gaps were evident. As we walked off the 4th green, I saw one of their group creeping along a wetland near the 5th tee with ball retriever fully extended. When we arrived at the tee, someone in his group, which was walking down the fairway, shouted at the guy, “Morrie, put the damn ball retriever away and move it!!” While there certainly are seniors like “Morrie” playing golf, my experience is many seniors are pretty darn fast. When you may only have a few years left on Earth, you tend to want to move along.
As to rude, at 63, I know I have become a touch more outspoken when I see someone insisting on being an idiot. For example, the caddie who always stood on the far side of the green away from the direction of the next hole. He was informed to get his butt over where his player would be exiting. Of course this bit of wisdom was delivered only after I walked the length of the 175 yard par 3 on which we were waiting.
There is also the possibility that I have become a bit clueless as a senior. The single who drove up with his clubs rattling and music playing while I was teeing off on #18 seemed to think so. He asked if he could play in with us on #18 and I told him "No, unless you are a lot less noisy." He looked at me like, “what the heck is wrong with this clueless old guy?”
I know the golfer who whistled a ball past my head on the finishing hole recently might say seniors are angry. As I walked to my car, he rolled up in his cart and offered up this explanation for why they did not yell “fore.” “Sorry dude, my buddy and me (sic) lost sight of my shot.” Let’s just say my response is unprintable and he left thinking senior golfers can be pretty angry “dudes”.
Now that I think about it again, maybe those guys on the other website were right. Maybe I am just another slow/rude/clueless/angry senior golfer.