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96-Year-Old Sinks Hole-in-One at Ogden Country Club
Bryce Jensen is 96 years old, which in and of itself is a pretty nice accomplishment.
But that’s not why we’re here today.
No, we’re here today because Mr. Jensen is not only a 96-year-old World War II veteran, he’s a 96-year-old World War II veteran who scored a hole-in-one a few weeks ago at the Ogden Golf and Country Club.
Now THAT is an accomplishment worth bragging about.
Funny thing is, Mr. Jensen didn’t want to brag about it.
“I had a lucky shot,” he said.
A lucky shot? Well, perhaps if it was the only ace he’d ever recorded. But the truth of it is, Mr. Jensen now has eight holes-in-one to his credit. So luck may have had something to do with it, but only a little.
The ace occurred on Aug. 12 and it came on hole No. 16, from about 150 yards out. He used a 5-iron to do it and from what Mr. Jensen’s son said, it wasn’t a fluke.
“It was just beautiful,” Chuck Jensen said. “It went over the front sand trap and just rolled right up toward the cup. He picked his tee up and started heading toward the cart like a lot of older guys do. I told him, ‘Dad, you better look at this one, it looks like it may go in.’
“It just curved and rolled up and went right in the hole. It wasn’t one of those off the cart path, off the tree kind of things. It was just a beautiful shot.”
When asked if he plans on scoring another ace next year, Mr. Jensen just chuckled and said he wants to keep playing golf for as long as possible.
“If I’m lucky I’ll be able to play again next year,” he said.
Mr. Jensen took up golf at age 17 and except for the time he spent in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he’s been playing regularly ever since. During “the big war,” Bryce was stationed in Miami Beach and then onto Guam.
“(In the military) you did whatever they told you to do,” he said.
One thing Bryce wasn’t told to do was golf, so he didn’t. But when the war ended and he came back to the states, he picked it up again and hasn’t looked back.
It’s a fact: Anyone who chases that little white ball around the big green field has at least a few good stories to tell. And Mr. Jensen is no different.
For example, his first hole-in-one. It came “40 or 50 years ago, on a Sunday morning,” he said.
His playing partner that day told everyone about it and, as the tradition goes, the guy with the hole-in-one has to buy drinks for everyone else.
“They were only 50 cents in those days, but I still remember it cost me $127 dollars,” he said with another chuckle.
And at that his voice trailed off a little, then he added, “It’s been a great game for me.”
It certainly has. Who can deny the greatness of the game in Mr. Jensen’s eyes? He has been good to it over the years and obviously it has been good to him.
“Dad’s slowing down a little,” Chuck said. “But when you get out over the golf ball, muscle memory takes over and good things can happen. You may be a little unsteady on your feet all the way over to the ball, but when you start swinging it’s just something you’ve done for a lot of years.”
The fact that Mr. Jensen earned himself a hole-in-one at age 96 is a wonderful thing, made even more wonderful because it happened while he was playing with his son, Chuck, and daughter, Jacque Nielsen.
“We had a little lunch then went out and played nine holes,” Chuck said. “For a few days after that he was about 10 years younger.”
Great story, isn’t it?
And even at age 86, a hole-in-one is still one heck of an accomplishment.
Jim Burton is the Standard-Examiner’s sports columnist. He also covers the Utah Jazz and the NBA. He can be reached at 801-625-4265 or at [email protected] He tweets at http://twitter.com/jmb247