Early this month 48 senior golfers from Great Britain, Canada and the U.S. shucked aside their professional and business cares to check in at the Pine Valley Golf Club in Clementon, N.J. They ranged in age from 55 to 81, and had arrived, ostensibly, to play the 18th Seniors International Matches. Their main concern, however, was to renew old friendships, serve the cause of international good will and try their luck on the Pine Valley course, considered to be the toughest in the world. They had, all in all, a high old time.
"It doesn't matter who wins the tournament, does it?" said Andy Wilson, a Canadian in his early 60s. No, came the response, but if the seniors weren't trying to win they gave good imitations of golfers who were.
Senior golfers, who can no longer hit long, go to extreme lengths to achieve accuracy. The golf swings at Pine Valley were as colorful and various as the autumn leaves that flanked the narrow fairways. Ellis Knowles, 73, captain of the American team, and a six-time U.S. Seniors champion, squeezing his extra-long 45-inch driver in a "baseball" grip, achieved surprising control and distance with a slow but beautifully paced swing. On the other hand, Charlie Leaver, a Canadian in his late 60s, ruefully confessed: "My pro says my swing looks like a pig's tail—all curlicues on the backswing."
Final score: the U.S. 35½, Britain 23½, Canada 13. But everybody was a winner. The tournament proved an agreeable tonic for the players lucky enough to take part. At Pine Valley you never saw a more junior-looking bunch of seniors in your life.
November 23, 1959
Trap shot by Britain's James Kennedy hoisted his ball from vast, unraked trap.
Compact swing by James Moir, 73, of Britain sent ball into seventh fairway.
Determined shot by John Brown, 75, of U.S. sent neat approach to 18th green.
Angry chop by British team's T. A. Torrance, 69, came after shot into trap.
Tight finish by Britain's Rear Admiral C.H.G. Benson, 75, completed trap shot.
Hands-high finish by Britain's Cowan Shankland lofted ball onto 14th green.
Set to drive is Great Britain's Sir Cecil Carr, 81, with Ellis Knowles, 73, of U.S.