Great People. Great Golf. Great Memories.
Competitive & Non-Competitive Golf
How to Play Golf with People Your Own Age
by Larry Gavrich
from the book “Glorious Back Nine: How to Find Your Dream Golf Home”
When I was in college, my youngest brother, 11 years old at the time, was a masterful chess player. Either I or my sister would drive him from our suburban New Jersey home into New York City to compete in tournaments. I recall one match in which he played against a 50-something gentleman who, something like 15 minutes into the match, knocked over his king and extended his hand to the little kid across from him. I recall thinking, “Why don’t you play against people your own age?” I was thinking about the older man…
…which brings me to the Senior Golfers of America (SGA), one of the best affinity golfing groups you’ve likely never heard of. I say that with a mix of confidence and bewilderment because there are only about 1,000 people on the group’s mailing list and millions of golfers over the age of 50 in the U.S. (a large percentage of them living inside the gates of golf communities). SGA has the kind of programming and history that deserve better, and I am doing my small part here to spread the word. (Full disclosure: SGA Director Catherine Powell is posting an article about my new book for her membership and I, impressed by SGA’s vigorous schedule for senior golfers, offered to write about her group.)
In non-pandemic years, SGA events are scheduled virtually every month, and even in this chaotic year of 2020, the group has kept to its domestic schedule. The events, which are both competitive and non-competitive, are a mix of lavish and demure: “Lavish” as in Christmas at The Cloister in Sea Island, GA, or a few days at Hotel Royal and the Crans sur Sierre Golf Clubin Crans-Montana, Switzerland; “demure” as in The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama and Linville Lodge in the North Carolina mountains. Somewhere in between lie such stalwarts as Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines, both on the schedule for mid 2021. I hope to attend the group’s Lobster Festival event next year in Boothbay Harbor, ME, a leisurely four-hour drive from my home in Connecticut.
You might get the feeling, at this point, that membership in this club is exclusive and that you will have to take out a second mortgage to afford it. Au contraire. Annual membership for a single is just $75, for a golfing couple $125, and for a golfer and non-golfing spouse, $100. The only requirements for membership, besides being a lady or gentleman and adhering to the written and unwritten rules of golf, is to be 50 years old or older.
If you would like to learn more, contact SGA Director Catherine Powell at email@example.com.