Cyril shoots his age

23:28, Jun 03 2012
Cyril Scammell
Too easy: Cyril Scammell says golf is a funny old game, and playing well is just a bonus. The 77-year-old shot 77 last month.

Not many golfers can say they have shot their age at golf, but it's no big deal for Cyril Scammell.

Mr Scammell, 77, has been playing golf for almost 50 years and shot his age for the first time when he was 70.

Originally from Southland, he moved to Nelson in 1981 and then to Blenheim in 2000.

In his 75th year he bettered his age four times, but the following year he did not do it once, said Mr Scammell, who plays off a 14 handicap.

On May 27 at the Blenheim Golf Club, he managed to shoot his age again, but failed to take home the top prize.

Although he has 16 senior club championships under his belt, Mr Scammell said just playing the game was enough.


"It's a bonus for me being out here, playing golf the way I can.

"It's a bonus once you hit this sort of age, and I just hope I can keep playing as long as I'm able to."

He plays golf twice a week at Blenheim Golf Club, and clocks up about 8 kilometres of walking every time he plays a round.

Six years ago, Mr Scammell had breathing problems and underwent aortic valve replacement surgery in Wellington.

"Since then I'm great.

"I'm really lucky, I've worked hard and I've kept fit."

At the age of 41 he played golf off a "scratch" or zero handicap and played 30 years on a single digit handicap. He has twice hit a hole in one.

Fellow golfer Russel Deans, who has been at the Blenheim club for three years, said Mr Scammell was a great golfer with a good temperament.

"He's a great fellow to play with. He never gets upset if he loses," he said.

"He and I have a lot of little grudge matches to see who's gonna buy the beer."

Despite his impressive record, Mr Scammell said golf was unpredictable.

"It's a funny old game.

"You can play good one day, and then the next ... who knows."

The Marlborough Express