What do you do when you reach 100 years old? Play golf of course


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.

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.

An elderly man smiles from inside a golf buggy
John Skipper attributes his longevity to good genes and a touch of luck. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

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”.

A man in a hat stands next to a golf buggy with golf clubs
Centenarian John Skipper has been playing at the club since he was 23 years old.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

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.


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