06 Apr 2023 | Feature stories |
Portsea trio power on
by Dane Heverin
With a combined age of 270 years, Portsea Golf Club’s Jack Meaden, Theo Fatouros and Bob Riley are proving that age is no barrier in golf.
The trio became a playing group in the club’s Saturday competition not long ago and they have produced some outstanding results.
In February, 95-year-old Jack shot 89 – the first time he had broken his age – and off the back of that remarkable effort he has lowered his handicap from 26 to 23.
“It was just one of those lucky days when 20-foot putts were dropping in. My playing partners’ mouths were open. They couldn’t believe it any more than I could. Everything went in the hole,” Jack recalled.
The 42-year member of Portsea lives in Melbourne but has a house in Sorrento and travels down the Mornington Peninsula weekly for golf.
He used to play socially with his wife of 70 years Lois, but due to her poor health, he teamed up with Theo and Bob.
“I play in a cart because it’s a hilly course. Bob walks it and Theo and I ride the cart together,” Jack said.
Bob, 85, is the youngest member of the group and has been a Portsea member for 36 years with his family having been involved in the club across multiple generations.
He plays off a handicap of 15, has broken his age on six occasions in the past year and remarkably rides roughly 100 km each week on his bike as well as playing croquet.
Theo, 90, has also been a mainstay of Portsea as he has called the club home for 32 years.
Whether on course or in the clubhouse, Theo is often found in deep conversation about his beloved Richmond Tigers in the AFL.
Jack, Bob and Theo are serving as inspiration for their fellow members to persevere with game, and Jack cannot encourage other golfers enough to get out on course.
“I think most people give up too soon. The way I see it, the longer you do something, the more likely you’ll do something well,” he said.
“Even if you have to use a cart, you may as well use any help you can get, like the forward tees that they give us. Look, 50 percent of golf is hitting the ball and sometimes it goes well for you, but 50 percent of it is the contact with other people, the social part. It’s the mixing with your mates that keeps people going.”
Remarkably, none of the trio are the club’s oldest member with that title belonging to 96-year-old Bill Horn who plays twice a week with a nine-hole group.
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