2013 UGA Championship
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When you shoot your age in golf there are two good things that have happened to make it possible. One, you’ve become a pretty good golfer, and two, you’ve managed a long life in pretty good physical condition.
That’s pretty fortunate. Some even have the good fortune of being able to shoot their age more often than not. Ralph Emery, at the age of 89, is in that category. Emery has shot his age at least once on all the Utah courses he has played.
Recently he not only shot his age, but he set a personal record of scoring 12 shots under his age. He shot a 77 at Rose Park. He shot a 39 on the back from the white tees and then shot a 38 on the front from the blue tees. During the round he had two birdies as the result of sinking a long putt and hitting a 7-iron within two-feet of the hole.
“That 7-iron to within two feet of the hole is just further evidence that when you hit a ball it has to go somewhere,” he quipped. His previous best record was ten strokes under his age.
“There are lots of times I don’t shoot my age,” Emery said, “particularly when I’ve played three days in a row. That’s when I start hitting the big ball before the little ball and when that happens the little ball doesn’t go very far.”
“After playing three days in a row I feel awful. I can’t do that anymore,” he said. “Sure, I use a cart, but getting in and out of a cart for almost every shot wears an old man out.”
“Also, I don’t shoot my age very often at Meadowbrook. The rough is too tough and I don’t have the strength to hit it very far out of the rough,” he said.
His best round of golf in his lifetime was a 67 at Alpine Country Club in a pro-pro tournament that required everyone to hole out on every hole. He also shot a 30 at Forest Dale and a 63 at El Monte, ‘but those scores need an asterisk because of the shortness of those courses,” he said.
He is grateful for the golfing group that invites him to play with them. The leader of the group is Sterling Larsen, one of Utah’s most avid golfers. They get together two or three times a week and play various courses for either nine or 18 holes, but mainly play Mick Riley, Meadowbrook, Rose Park, and Glendale. The group will also occasionally take a weeklong trip out of town.
Emery was honored by the UGA and the PGA several years ago when they dedicated the 2008 Utah Senior Open in his name.
Born, Christmas Day, 1922
89 years old