Maureen Parker is 91 and a legend at the Byron Bay Golf Club where she continues to enjoy the sport and play in team events.
‘Her experience, knowledge and encouraging attitude have come to the fore as a mentor to the club’s new members who have gone through its beginner golf clinic for women,’ the club’s development coordinator Margaret Pierce said.
The latest to benefit from her wisdom is Freda Phillips (see photo) who was thrilled to get a few tips from the nonagenarian.
‘She showed me one little trick that has transformed my hitting. I am so excited,’ Freda said.
Maureen began her golfing career in 1974 at the Amberley RAAF base playing socially with a friend while their husbands worked at the base.
‘There was nothing else to do we, just loved it once we got going,’ Maureen said.
On one occasion she and her friend were on the course when it started teeming with rain. A couple of the RAAF lads who had been working on some renovation work at the club house came out in a truck and offered to bring them back in. ‘No, no, we are having one of our best rounds so far,’ they said, and kept on playing, according to Margaret.
Maureen’s enthusiasm has stayed with her and led to playing in Malaysia, followed by Ipswich on her return home to Australia and finally here in Byron Bay.
It was at Ipswich that she really began to play some very good golf getting her handicap down to 12 in one year. Having started in fourth grade she soared up the ladder to first grade in 1977.
At Byron she has held roles as president, acting captain and chief handicapper and is now a much-loved mentor.
Maureen puts her active longevity down to the fact she has never driven a car. ‘I walk everywhere I can,’ she said.