ITV profiles nonagenarian golfer
The television network ITV Anglia has run a profile on a 90-year-old female golfer who is enjoying the game she has played for more than 60 years.
The two and a half minute footage looked at Brenda Chapman, who has been receiving coaching from PGA professional Caroline Grady, and is now hitting the ball further than she was five years ago.
Brenda, who is a member at Eaton Golf Club, told the reporter that the game is keeping her young. “It’s easy to sit in your armchair and not get off your bottom. I suppose it’s the Peter Pan attitude to life, you’ve got to carry on, particularly living alone. It’s no use thinking I can’t do that, you’ve just got to get up and do it,” she said.
Grady, who is based at Dunston Hall, said: “Brenda has been playing golf for more than 65 years and is in great physical shape. I am so proud of her work ethic, desire and passion – not only for golf, but in her daily life. With golf, age is no object if you are passionate about the game and love to play. She is an incredible student and I am very honoured and proud to teach her.”
Brenda added: “I regularly enjoy playing nine holes with my friends. I could walk 18 holes but prefer to conserve my energy for my weekly classes in Indian dance, pilates, mah-jong, calligraphy and computer studies.”
Former Ladies European Tour player Grady, who has been at Dunston Hall in Norfolk for more than 10 years, added to yardage gains by encouraging Chapman to make key alterations to her swing.
She said: “We added, on average, 15 yards to Brenda’s drive by drastically changing her ‘swing of old’, flattening her back swing in order to create a shallower angle of attack. Now, correctly, she is able to hit up on the ball, not down, to reduce spin and add distance.
“We are working on a ‘toe strike’ to gain some further yards – so our work is not complete yet. Brenda is a wonderful student to work with. She puts a lot of time in and has gained some amazing results. Age is no barrier to improving your game.
“It is a reality of life that as you get older you can lose distance. But Brenda has proved that by making alterations to technique you can regain those lost yards.”
Adding significant gains to a 90 year old’s drives isn’t the only recent achievement for Grady. She has helped another Dunston Hall QGolf Academy student – Michael Fiddaman – get his handicap down to 16 just four months after taking up the sport.
Academy director Mark Pearson said: “The successes we’ve seen at Dunston Hall show that good coaching can have a positive effect on golfers regardless of age or handicap.”