Inspiring People: 96-year-old golf champion motivates others to keep swinging
To say golf is a lifelong game would be an understatement for one Cape Coral man.
Hank Pelletier started playing at the age of 12 in 1937, the same year Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated for the second time. Now, at 96 years old, he still plays three times a week.
“I call him Mr. 150,” said Pelletier’s friend Thomas Carrasquillo. “150, 150, 150. He’s on the green. One putt. Par. He’s gone. He’s a machine.”
Pelletier’s game was so good recently, he won a tournament at Palmetto-Pine Country Club, shooting an 83 while playing from the members’ box.
“He blew away the field,” Carrasquillo said. “He really did. He won by a landslide.”
“It was a fluke,” Pelletier said, laughing off his success. “It’s just one of those things. Everything came together and I shot an 83.”
His ease on the course inspires others hoping to make this a lifelong sport. But Pelletier says it’s the game that inspired him to keep moving after losing his wife of 72 years in September.
“When you’re living alone, you need an outlet, and this is my outlet,” Pelletier said.
It doesn’t hurt to be good at your outlet. Pelletier says the secret is to enjoy what you’re doing. And on top of playing golf three times a week, he still finds the time to works out just as often.