Earlier this week, PGA Professional Gus Andreone recorded his eighth hole-in-one on the 113-yard 14th hole at the Lakes Course at Palm Aire in Sarasota, Florida. As the news traveled across the interwebs, it soon became clear that Andreone, who is 103 years old, had achieved what was likely a record-breaking event, as the oldest person to make an ace.
There’s no way to know for certain, according to the PGA of America’s website, but one thing is for sure — no one older has ever notified “a golf institution with proper verfication” of such a feat.
Cliff Schrock, Editor at the Golf Digest Resource Center, believes Andreone does indeed hold the record.
“We would see Mr. Andreone’s ace as the oldest for male or female golfers if Palm Aire’s Lakes Course is indeed a regulation layout. It looks that way to me on their website,” Schrock told PGA.com in an e-mail.
According to Schrock, the oldest man previously to hold the record was Otto Bucher, 99, of Geneva, Switzerland, on the 130-yard 12th hole at La Manga (Spain) Club in January 1985. He also mentioned that 101-year-old Harold Stenson made an ace on 108-yard 16th hole at Deerfield Country Club in Deerfield Beach, Florida, in 2001, but unfortunately, that was only a nine-hole par-3 course.
“We stubborn traditionalists don’t like to recognize records unless they take place on a regulation course,” Schrock said.
Andreone has been a longtime fixture of the PGA, serving the organization for 75 years. A wooden statue of him overlooks the Gus Andreone Practice and Teaching Facility at the Palm Aire Country Club. It was presented to him on his 100th birthday to recognize his contributions to the game.
So, how did the 103-year-old, who is reportedly in good health, celebrate his record-making hole-in-one?
“You do like you do any other time. You tee the ball up and take a club and tee the ball up and take a swing. Just another swing like you do any other time,” Andreone said of the hole-in-one, according to Tampa Bay’s Fox 13 News. “I just got my arms in the air, just like anyone else would do.”
Stories like this one never get old.