Local knowledge never goes out of date, at least not for Harry Goulding of Seaford. Goulding caddied for Hall of Famers Patty Berg and Betsy Rawls at the 1951 opening of what is now Eisenhower Park's Blue Course. So he was among the first to see the par-3 eighth hole.
He never forgot how to play it. Recently, at 82, he made a hole-in-one on it.
"It was a beautiful feeling," he said of the 4-hybrid shot on the 122-yard hole. "When I hit the ball it felt so good. You don't even feel it because it hit the sweet spot."
Goulding has nothing but good memories of the course that was called Salisbury when he was caddying there as a teenager. He recalls that on opening day, the male head pro merely walked along because he was a bit intimidated by the women pros. Now Goulding, a retired New York City police officer, plays the familiar layout with the Salisbury Senior Golf Club.
"I didn't see it go in. The eighth is elevated, over a trap," he said, adding that he was playing with fellow club member Gene Crimmins. "I brought the cart around back and started walking up the hill with my putter. Gene says, 'Put the putter away.' "
It was his third ace, but his first since 1973. "I never thought I'd get another one. I don't hit the ball as far as I used to," said the man who once, while on the job, had to climb the stairs of the Empire State Building to help tourists during a blackout. It took 47 minutes but he was fine. "It was from all that caddying, three loops in a day. I don't know how I did that."
Joyce: 65 on eve of 75
Tom Joyce had an unforgettable way of ushering in his 75th birthday. On the eve of the occasion, he shot 65.
Joyce, the pro emeritus at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury and a former Senior PGA Tour player, did it at the upstate Woodstock Open at the Woodstock Country Club. He said it is a nine-hole course that golfers played twice.
"I putted the ball well that day, but I've been hitting the ball all right lately," he said. Joyce finished third in the Long Island Senior Open's Super Seniors division at Laurel Links (two spots behind Mike Caporale of North Hills, Charlie Stucklen of Sebonack won the regular division).
Joyce will head to Monterey, California this month for the Senior PGA Professional National Championship, where he is exempt as a former champion.
So how does an aging golfer keep scores low? "The toughest part as you get older is your nerves, so you have to keep working at chipping and putting." he said. "And try to stay as flexible as you possibly can. The ones who play best are flexible ones, like Bob . They really get the club back and get clubhead speed."
The 18th Annual Marty Rybecky Golf Classic, benefiting Port Washington Youth Activities, will be on Columbus Day, Oct. 12, at the Village Club of Sands Point. Visit pyasports.org . . . The Long Island Shootout, a fundraiser for junior golf programs organized by several local pros, will be Oct. 19 at Southward Ho Country Club, Bay Shore. Visit birdeasepro.com/longislandshootout.