94-year-old WWII vet notches 10th ace of his career

By Scott Linesburgh
Published on
94-year-old WWII vet notches 10th ace of his career

VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. -- Wallace "Lucky" Lowman figures he's got as fitting a nickname as anyone in the world.

He has a loving family, survived being a fighter pilot from World War II through the Vietnam War and is healthy enough at age 94 to have recently made his 10th hole-in-one.

"Yeah, it's a pretty damn good nickname," Lowman said with a chuckle, as he relaxed inside the restaurant recently at La Contenta Golf Club in Valley Springs. "I've been very lucky in many ways."

La Contenta is his home course. Lowman owns a home overlooking the ninth hole. He is such a popular figure in the clubhouse that the club's annual award for the player who best represents the game is called "The Lowman."

"Lucky is a fixture here, and he's one of the greatest guys you will ever meet," said Steven Del Cielo, the assistant pro at La Contenta. "He's an inspiration."

Lowman is a heck of a golfer, too. He was a member of the PGA for 20 years. His lowest handicap index was 3, and he's currently about a 14, which he deemed "too high." But his nickname has nothing to do with his fortunes on the course.

"There was a guy I served with during World War II which gave me the name, and it stuck," Lowman said. "My real name is Wallace Edward, and I don't like either of those. So I was fine with Lucky."

Lowman said he flew 52 missions over Germany during World War II and still was flying fighters in Vietnam at 49 years old. He served with the United States Air Force for 30 years (1943-73) and eventually made his way to Calaveras County in 1979. He had played at La Contenta three years earlier and liked the area.

He definitely was going to settle somewhere where he had easy access to the game he's loved since he played in high school while growing up in Lincoln, Illinois.

"This is a great course, and there are great people around here," Lowman said. "My wife (Loretta) and I are very happy here."

BUZZ: Gigantic gator | Golf shot miscue

Lowman plays three times a week, and on May 25 he used a 3-wood on the 165-yard eighth hole at La Contenta to land the ball just left of the hole and got the roll for the ace.

His first hole-in-one was in 1952 at Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacramento. Five of his 10 have been at La Contenta, but it was his first on No. 8.

"I actually didn't see it go in," Lowman said. "And when it did, I didn't make too big a deal about it. I high-fived some people, but only because they put up their hands first."

He said one of the things he's proudest of is the Lowman Award, which features a photo of him as a young pilot and clear glass casts of his hands holding a golf club.

"It was quite a thing for them to do," said Lowman, who always is willing to give advice to young golfers.

"He has helped me tremendously with my game, Del Cielo said. "And he comes out and shoots under his age almost every time. He's amazing."

And he doesn't plan to slow down.

"I'm the kind of guy that likes to do things," Lowman said. "I love golf, and I can still do it."

This article was written by Scott Linesburgh from The Record, Stockton, Calif. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.