THE METHUSELAH GOLFERS OF UITENHAGE
ethuselah is the oldest person mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. The son of Enoch and grandfather of Noah, he died at the age of 969, seven days before the Great Flood. In the late 1970s a few older members at Uitenhage Golf Club ( Eastern Cape), who could no longer walk 18 holes, decided to play a weekly nine holes on a Monday afternoon. The “Methuselah Golf Club” was established in September 1980 as a sub-section of the golf club to cater for senior members. It was the brainchild of Vic Owen, a retired bank manager, and began with eight members. Membership grew and in 2001 a committee was formed to manage the club a airs under a code of ethics. This was to cater for Uitenhage members and country members who were 55 and older with an o cial handicap.
The Methuselahs have a unique handicap system in an endeavour to allow each member a better opportunity of winning a prize at least once a year. All members start on a scratch handicap. Every time a member wins a competition, he or she is given minus-one for a rst place, or a minus-half for second and third. These minuses are accumulated and retained for the rest of the year.
On July 1 all members on scratch are given a plus- one and an additional plus- one each month until December 1. When a member wins he automatically loses the plus and becomes a minus-one. If members are unable to play to their club handicap as a result of illness, age or disability, the executive has the power to adjust their handicap for Methuselahs competitions.
The Methuselahs offer a wonderful opportunity for senior golfers to remain active and competitive and enjoy the friendship and camaraderie which comes with it. The members have had aneurisms and heart by-pass operations, knee and hip replacements, plus su ered from cancer, strokes and other serious illnesses.
The Methuselahs have celebrated 35 years of existence and have held their rst memorial day for all those members no longer with us. It would be interesting to hear of other clubs with similar handicap formats.