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  • Last modified 153 days ago (April 17, 2019)

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Par for the course: Golfers stay dedicated to sport even as seniors

Staff writer

Baseball is heralded as America’s pastime, but for Marion resident Jerry Smith, it’s golf that has remained in his life.

“During the summer I go six or seven days per week,” he said. “Unless it’s raining or 100 mile per hour winds. That’s about the only thing that keeps me away.”

Smith and his wife, Lois, have been members at Marion Country Club since 1988.

“After you play it so many times, you can almost tell which way the ball is going to break without looking,” he said.

Smith, 73, identifies as a competitive person, and one way they increase the stakes is by making small wagers, he said.

“You say ‘OK, I won a quarter today,’ ” he said. “It’s like keeping score. It makes every shot mean a little more.”

Don Bredemier has been golfing at Marion Country Club since his teen years, and his tenure as a member began in 1977, he said.

“I remember back when we had sand greens, and the membership my folks paid was about $25,” he said.

While Bredemier, now 63, is a longtime member, he doesn’t play as frequently as some.

“I don’t play as much as I used to, but I’m still a member,” he said. “I’ll continue be a member even if I don’t play. It’s an important activity for the community.”

While the advantages of seeing friends and enjoying the game are most important, burning some calories is a side benefit, Bredemier said.

“It’s not why I go out there, but it is great to go out and get exercise,” he said. “You grab a golf club and play a few holes by yourself just for the exercise. It’s better than a walk around the block.”

Two factors that remained consistent through the years are community involvement, and the club’s minimalistic nature, Bredemier said.

“Membership has stayed consistent,” he said. “It’s gone up and down a bit, but it’s just about enough to sustain it. Marion’s not big enough to draw in the people for tennis courts or a fancy clubhouse.”

Last modified April 17, 2019

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