6 March 2024

100 years old and still swinging: There's no place Bert would rather be than on the golf greens

| Jarryd Rowley
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Age, just like his handicap, is just a number for Bert (middle) who celebrated his 100th birthday last week. Photo: Jarryd Rowley

Age, just like his handicap, is just a number for Bert (middle) who celebrated his 100th birthday last week. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

Once you hit a certain age, you’re excused for not getting out of the house as often and choosing to sit back and relax.

But for 100-year-old Bert Adams, he can’t think of anything worse than being parted from his beloved greens at the Wagga City Golf Course.

Bert and friends make their way out bright and early twice a week for a nine-hole game of golf and despite admitting that his game isn’t as good as it once was, he insists his love for the game is still as strong as it was when he began 90 years ago.

Bert began his lifelong love affair with golf in 1930 when he played his first nine holes on a course just outside of Dunedoo.

“I was only five or six years old when I started and I’ve been playing ever since then,” Bert said with a grin.

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Despite playing golf for a decade, Bert didn’t join a golf club until after World War II. During the war, Bert served as a Lancaster bomber navigator with the RAAF’s No 467 Squadron and flew 29 missions over Europe before being sent to the Pacific Theatre.

Once Bert returned from his time in the Royal Australia Air Force, he joined his first club as a member of the Mendooran Golf Club, located about 45 minutes from Dubbo.

“I played there for about five years,” he said.

“I have great memories of playing there; it was close to where I grew up. After a few years there I joined as a member of Mudgee Golf Club.”

While at Mudgee, Bert’s golfing skills began to flourish. He even drew a 14 handicap (for any non-golfers reading, anything under 20 is considered above average).

In 1964 Bert moved to Wagga and began playing at the now Wagga Wagga City Golf Club. Bert said that being out on the greens gave him a purpose to get out of bed each morning, especially in his old age.

“I’ve played a lot of golf with a lot of people. I enjoy the company more than anything because the golf itself definitely isn’t improving,” he said.

Bert has travelled the world and played on golf courses in Quebec, New Zealand, Las Vegas and Buffalo but said there was nothing like playing in courses across the Riverina.

Bert’s eagerness to play and welcoming personality have made him a popular face around the Wagga City course for the past 60 years.

Wagga City Golf Club golf operations and business manager Marcus Lotz said that Bert epitomised everything the golf club valued and described him as a welcoming presence among members.

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“Bert is one of the nicest blokes you’ll ever meet,” Mr Lotz said.

“Here at Wagga City Golf, we really value our members, but we also want this course to be as accessible to newcomers as possible. Having people like Bert and his mates Ken and David really helps make this course a friendly and welcoming environment.”

The Wagga City Golf Club held a special barbecue lunch for Bert on Thursday (29 February) marking 60 years since he became a member while also serving as a 100th birthday celebration.

Despite Bert reaching triple figures, he is adamant he will continue playing until the day he physically can’t.

“When you’ve played as much golf as I have, it becomes a part of who you are, and I love it. I’ll keep coming out and playing with Ken and David as long as I can,” he said.

People can find the trio on the course at 8 am every Monday and Thursday.

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