For most people it is hard enough to reach 100 years old, let alone play golf, but for centenarian John Skipper teeing off with his friends in Adelaide is the natural way to celebrate.
- John Skipper has been playing golf for over three quarters of a century
- He marked his 100th birthday on Wednesday with his regular game in Adelaide with friends
- Mr Skipper said he was facing a busy schedule in the coming days but would always find time for a round
Mr Skipper has rarely missed a game in 77 years and, after turning 100 today, marked the rare milestone with a round at the Royal Adelaide Golf Club (RAGC) where he has been a member since 1944.
It followed a near win over the weekend in the TG Wilson Mixed Canadian Foursomes event, Mr Skipper and his daughter coming second.
“I like golf and usually play it on Wednesday, with friends,” he said.
Always time for golf
A retired obstetrician gynaecologist, Mr Skipper also served in the army during World War II.
He said he was facing an “awesome” amount of activity over the next few days, having received birthday letters from the Prime Minister, the Governor-General, and the Queen.
“I have various official functions to go to and I’ve got to make a few speeches and things like that,” Mr Skipper said.
A game for life
Mr Skipper attributed his longevity to good genes.
“I’ve lived a normal life, but I’ve been lucky because I’ve overcome a lot of health hiccups and illnesses and all the rest of it,” he said.
Asked if his golf game had improved over three quarters of a century, Mr Skipper said his handicap had become worse, although he was still playing on 30 “which is pretty good”.
RAGC general manager Andrew Gay said Mr Skipper was the only centenarian in the club’s history, which was testament to the idea of “golf being a game for life”.
“He still plays at least once, if not twice a week with his regular group and is still loving it,” he said.
“He bought a new set of clubs recently and gets lessons with our pro, Tony.
“It’s been pretty exciting having John reach that milestone.”
Mr Skinner’s planned 18-hole round today was abandoned after 13 due to rain.
He did not have his best game due to windy conditions — and pesky ABC journalists distracting him with questions and photos.