“You should get up and enjoy the day, take a little time to look around, enjoy the scenery and the golf course and the people you’re playing with,” said Gus Andreone back in 2011 when he was interviewed by PGA.com to celebrate his 100th birthday. Surely Gus’s positive mental attitude helped him on Wednesday when, now 103, he knocked in his eighth career hole-in-one, making him the oldest person ever to achieve that feat.
The monumental event took place on the 14th hole of the Lakes Course at Palm Aire in Sarasota, Florida, when Gus pulled out his heavy artillery, a driver, for the 113 yard hole.
Cliff Schrock, editor at the Golf Digest Resource Center said, “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.”
PGA.com reported that Gus surpassed the previous record holder, Elsie McLean, as the oldest player for her hole-in-one in 2007 at Bidwell Park Golf course. Before Gus notched his name in the history book, Otto Bucher, 99, of Geneva, Switzerland, had a hole-in-one on the 130-yard 12th hole at La Manga (Spain) Club in January of 1985 rendering him the previous record holder for oldest man to record a hole-in-one.
Harold Stilson at the age of 101 scored a one on the 16th hole (108 yards) in 2001 at Deerfield Country Club in Deerfield Beach, Fla., but the feat is not recognized by Golf Digest because it occurred on a par-three course. “We stubborn traditionalists don’t like to recognize records unless they take place on a regulation course,” Schrock said.
Andreone had his first hole-in-one in 1939 and has been a member of the PGA of America for over 75 years. On his 100th birthday a wooden statue of Gus was put up overlooking the Gus Andreone Practice and Teaching Facility. PGA Senior Association Writer Bob Denney wrote at the time that the sculpture “symbolizes the humble man’s unpretentious affection for the game, his profession and what it means to wake up every day knowing that there’s more golf to be played.”
The indefatigable Andreone ,who shot an 83 on his historic round, lives by the motto, “As long as I can swing a club, I’ll be playing the golf.”