At 93, how does a golfer accomplish a significant first that doesn't involve hitting the ball to an unknown location?
Ask Milton Grover, a 93-year-old retired doctor who resides at Lanier Village Estates, a life care facility in Gainesville.
While most senior citizens his age are not nearly as active, he and a few of his friends take to the course at Chattahoochee Golf Club every Wednesday. Last week, he achieved a feat most fail to accomplish in a lifetime of playing golf - Grover nailed a hole-in-one.
"I thought it went off to the right," said Grover, who used a driver on the 150-yard No. 12. The hole is an uphill shot from the tee, which means a blind shot to the pin. "It must have caromed off the hill to the left, down to the right. I tend to play that whole to the right because I don't hit it that long anymore and I don't like to hit it to the middle or left because it kicks down to the left."
Grover's swing, to this day, has been described as smooth, and the ball always goes straight down the middle. He and his playing partners - he was part of a threesome, all of whom live at Lanier Village - knew it was a good shot, but were puzzled when they couldn't find the ball.
"We were looking for his ball of the edge of the green," said Zett Hearin, a retired General Electric employee who was part of Grover's threesome. "We couldn't find his ball anywhere. I walked over to the (pin), almost jokingly, and said, ‘Maybe it's in
To his astonishment, there it was. After a good five minutes, the search for Grover's ball concluded.
"I said to (Grover), ‘Does your ball have two blue dots on it?,'" Hearin said.
It was resting perfectly at the bottom of the hole, not wedged between the flag, meaning it slowly rolled to its destination. Grover had just made his first hole-in-one in 70 years of playing golf.
In an age where chest bumps, organized celebrations and other forms of gloating are prevalent, the retired men in Grover's group simply high-fived him, patted him on the back and proceeded to the next hole.
"We didn't jump around like the young people do," said Art Nelson, a retired pilot who was the third member of Grover's threesome. "But it was still a big to-do."
Grover disputes Nelson's stance that the celebration was light, claiming he went airborne.
"I jumped up and down a couple of times," Grover said. "I couldn't believe it. I've been playing a long time and have never done that."
Though Grover's accomplishment is remarkably admirable, he's going to have to stay on the course nearly a decade to make history. According to About.com, the oldest golfer to make a hole-in-one is 102-year-old Elsie McClean. She aced a par 3, 100-yard shot at Bidwell Park in Chico, Calif. four years ago.
"I'm a long ways from that," Grover laughed. "I guess I have something to shoot for."