July 22 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
A 92-year old golfer from Norwich spoke yesterday of his joy at reaching 80 years of membership at the same club.
Current handicap: 16
Best ever handicap: 9
Best ever round: 77
Favourite hole: 7 as it’s the most challenging
Number of holes in one: 5
Year club was founded: 1910
Geoffrey Crosskill first joined Eaton Golf Club in 1934 aged 12 after his father encouraged him to take up the sport at the club where he was a member. Even the outbreak of the Second World War and a heart attack couldn’t keep Geoffrey away from the course for long and he still plays nine holes as often as he can get up to the course.
He said: “I’ve always been very happy here; the club members and the staff have all been so friendly. I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
Since he joined, the golf club has undergone many changes and areas Geoffrey once used to practise his game have since been built on, but the biggest change to the club came during the Second World War.
He explained: “I served in the Royal Air Force during the war but I did manage to play a few rounds when I came home on leave, although the course did look a little different.
The US Open
American Olin Dutra took the title in 1934, netting him a prize money of $1,000
This was the year The Masters was launched. Horton Smith won the first ever tournament, although until 1939 it was known as the “Augusta National Invitation Tournament.”
Henry Cotton, later knighted, was the winner of the British Open, beating South African Sid Brews
The Ryder Cup
Still in its infancy having been launched in 1927, the biennial Ryder cup was won by Great Britain in 1933 and by the United States in 1935
The Walker Cup
Finished USA 9, Great Britain and Ireland 2 on the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland
“Much of the land had been ploughed over to make room for growing vegetables so some of the holes had to be halved to make up a full course of 18 holes.”
Geoffrey also fondly remembers doing a tour of coastal golf courses with friends and playing for the veterans team, which he describes as “some of the best times.”
While many people half Geoffrey’s age might struggle with getting up for an early tee off four days a week for the 3 and a half mile walk around the course, the 92-year old believes his love of golf is responsible for keeping him in good health. Geoffrey says the secret is “regular exercise and keeping a careful eye on what you eat.”
Despite all the exercise, Geoffrey suffered a heart attack last year, although doctors commended him on his active lifestyle, and he continued to come to the club as often as possible to walk with friends and daughter Jane round the course during his recovery period.
Club captain Trevor Seadon feels Geoffrey’s achievement is something to be proud of. He said: “Geoffrey is a truly remarkable man and golfer. His handicap is 16, which is remarkable by any standards. Everyone at the club is enormously proud of him.”
Eaton Golf Club president Doug Stewart echoes these sentiments and said Mr Crosskill was an example to others at the club.
“We don’t see a lot of him, because he is usually out on the course before we arrive, and he’s coming back in as we turn up.
“He is our longest-serving member and he just keeps going on and on. We are all very proud of him, and hope to emulate him one day.”
Just as Geoffrey was once inspired to take up golf by his father, he himself has inspired grandson James to take up the game, although he has taken some time away from the green to spend time with his young children.
With his father Alec a club captain, Geoffrey himself reaching an impressive milestone and now grandson James a member, the history of the Crosskill family and the golf club remains intertwined. Whether or not James will manage to beat his grandfather’s record of 80 years and counting remains to be seen.
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