An 83-year-old golfer who has been a member at the Glencruitten course in Oban for 48 years has welcomed the fourth generation of his family to the club.
Pat Murphy, who has suffered a heart attack and was diagnosed with diabetes last year, is the oldest club member by ten years but still manages to play up to two rounds in one day – and shows no signs of slowing down.
He is now also golf coach to his great grandson, 12-year-old Andrew Ritchie, who has just taken up the sport.
Andrew’s membership means the Murphy clan has five members playing regularly at Glencruitten, including Pat’s son and daughter, Philip Murphy and Diane Colewell, and Philip’s 14-year-old son, Steven.
Philip, who was club champion in 1994 and 2000, said: ‘Dad will play on a Friday morning with the older club members, then meet up with me and some of my friends later in the day to play another 18 holes. He’s incredible.
‘He’ll play up to four days a week and just recently won the club’s Family Trophy alongside Diane.’
Asked about the secret of his longevity, Pat replied: ‘My electric trolley. I got it after my heart attack.
‘I think golf is a challenging game, so I keep playing to try and improve.’
Pat, who moved to Oban from Banavie in 1962, said he only started playing golf at the age of 35 after getting caught sniggering at a struggling golfer on the first tee at Glencruitten.
‘I was in the old West Highland Hospital but they let me come down to the golf course for a walk and I watched someone duff their tee shot,’ he explained.
‘I had a wee laugh to myself but the club pro, Dougie Ireland, heard me and told me it wasn’t as easy a game as I thought.
‘I gave it a try and really liked it and, having played shinty before, I had reasonable hand-to-eye co-ordination.’
Pat, who also takes part in archery three times a week, now plays off a golf handicap of 14 but has been as low as seven.
He has worked in Oban as a barber and on the telephone exchange.