THE METHUSELAH GOLFERS OF UITEN­HAGE

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Above) -

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.

M

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