Age no barrier for golfer


For someone who once called golf a game that involved nothing more than hitting a “silly ball”, Ruby McMurtrie has done pretty well since she took the sport up more than 30 years ago.
The 82-year-old, who plays off a handicap of 11, recently shot a 71 at her home club of Waitoa Park, a par-3 and par-4 course which has more than 170 men’s and women’s members.
Par for female members is 66.
For older golfers, recording a score one or two strokes lower than their age is a special achievement. Completing 18 holes in a score 11 strokes fewer than your age is something else again.
While Mrs McMurtrie, who has been a member at the club since 1980, was content with her round, she felt she left a few strokes on the course.
“Coming up to the hole, when I was putting, the ball would just stop before it went down … it was about three times that happened.”The most enjoyable aspect for her was not her low score, but the people with whom she shared her best round.
“I think it’s the company you have got; that makes you feel relaxed.”Her 71 comprised 35 on the front nine and 36 coming home.
Over the course of her 36 years in golf, Mrs McMurtrie has won the senior women’s club championship nine times and, remarkably, recorded five holes-in-one.
She said the thing she enjoyed most about playing golf was spending time with others her own age.
However, there was a time she had no love for golf whatsoever.
“My next door neighbour talked me into coming. I thought it was a stupid game hitting a silly ball … but I got into it. I like the challenge of beating yourself.”Mrs McMurtrie, who generally plays three times a week, reckons she has a few more years left in her yet and said she would play “as long as my legs can take me”.

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