The news of PGA Professional Gus Andreone's hole-in-one was obviously a big deal. The 103-year-old man recorded the eighth ace of his career on the 113-yard, 14th hole of the Lakes Course at Palm Aire in Sarasota, Fla. But as the news traveled the social waves, it also became clear that this was in all likelihood a record event, that Andreone is the oldest person to record a hole-in-one.
There's no sure way to know, but we can say that nobody older has ever notified a golf institution with proper verfication.
Cliff Schrock, Editor at the Golf Digest Resource Center, believes the record is now Andreone's.
"We would see Mr. Andreone's ace as the oldest for male or female golfers if Palm Aire's Lakes Course is indeed a regulation layout. It looks that way to me on their website," Schrock told PGA.com in an e-mail.
Accoridng to Schrock: The oldest male previously was Otto Bucher, 99, of Geneva, Switzerland on the 130-yard 12th hole at La Manga (Spain) Club in January 1985. He noted that 101-year-old Harold Stilson aced the 16th hole (108 yards) in 2001 at Deerfield Country Club in Deerfield Beach, Fla., but that course, however, has nine par-3 holes.
"We stubborn traditionalists don't like to recognize records unless they take place on a regulation course," Schrock said.
As such, Mr. Stilson was listed with an asterisk.
Golf Digest had Elsie McLean as the oldest player for her hole-in-one in 2007 at Bidwell Park Golf course; she was 102.
Andreone has long been a fixture, serving the PGA of America for over 75 years.
There's a wooden statue of Andreone, the creation of Palm Aire club member John Gray, which overlooks the Gus Andreone Practice and Teaching Facility. The statue, presented in 2011 to honor Andreone on his 100th birthday, "symbolizes the humble man's unpretentious affection for the game, his profession and what it means to wake up every day knowing that there's more golf to be played," wrote PGA Senior Association Writer Bob Denney.
Perhaps just as incredible as the ace itself is the length of time between Andreone's first ace and his latest: 75 years. His first came in 1939.
ESPN's SportsCenter even gave Andreone some well-deserved recognition on Twitter:
Here's a video piece we did with Andreone at Palm Aire on Sept. 30, 2011 -- his 100th birthday. At the time, Andreone was the third oldest-living PGA member.
Believe it or not, the 103 years young Andreone still plays golf three times per week.
In the video, Andreone says his "par" for the course these days is "90."
"If I shoot a bogey on every hole, that's a 90," he said.
With that being the case, we can tell you Andreone shot a nifty 7-under 83 (in relation to his par) on Wednesday in the round that included his latest ace.
We'll leave you with this beauty from Andreone: "As long as I can swing a club, I'll be playing golf."