Gus Andreone, the oldest PGA of America Member, celebrated his 106th birthday Saturday in Sarasota, Florida, with a tip for anyone interested in longevity.
“Do something outdoors like golf,” said Andreone, who was elected to PGA Membership in 1939. “This game has been my life, and it has never disappointed. I get on my feet, am out among friends and you keep moving.”
Andreone said the 2017 summer has been one of excessive heat and afternoon showers to crimp his twice a week golf game at nearby Palm Aire Country Club. Then, there was Hurricane Irma that forced Andreone and his wife, Betty, 100, into a Community Shelter for a 30-hour stay.
With the major storm now a memory, Andreone emerged ready for more golf and was honored last Wednesday by Palm Aire members – two days before his actual birthday. There was room for 16 candles on his birthday cake.
“I feel honored and humbled,” said Andreone. “There are so many wonderful friends who have come to me through golf. I am anxious for the next day.”
Andreone said his daily exercise regimen has enabled him to enjoy a special life.
Each morning, he does various exercises in bed, working on his legs, raising his back and then riding an exercise bike. If weather allows, Andreone swims 30 minutes and mimics his golf swing underwater.
He and his wife walk at least half a block or more in the evenings following a meal. He possesses a specialty rubber band to help with stretching. Oh yes, he also has a current Florida driver’s license.
“I often drive to the store, do errands, and stay away from the busy roads,” said Andreone.
Betty Andreone, who is Gus’s anchor, is the daughter of the late PGA Professional, George Lumsden. While Gus made national headlines on December 14, 2014 by recording his eighth career hole-in-one, Betty didn’t want to be overlooked. She has made three aces in her golf career, which was curtailed several years ago after undergoing heart surgery.
Betty, who is Andreone’s second wife, had a bit part in the film “Caddyshack.” She was the woman joining Judge Smails’ wife at the Bushwood Country Club for the infamous “Baby Ruth” pool scene.
Betty also keeps up with her husband’s exercise routine by using a smaller version elliptical exercise machine.
“I have been blessed, no question,” said Andreone. “I thank all my friends in the PGA and throughout golf for being so kind.”
Gus Andreone – By the Numbers
106 Oldest Living PGA of America Member
78 Years of PGA Membership (May 29, 1939)
1934 Gave his first golf lesson
66 Course record-holder: Edgewood CC; St. Clair CC in Pittsburgh area
8 Career holes-in-one (spanning 1939 – 2014)
3 Bronze stars earned in World War II; served in the U.S. Army (10th Armored Division)
1 Winner of the December 1983 Pennsylvania State Lottery