Dale Brown is what you could describe as a veteran Maine golfer. As he approaches his 78th birthday on July 21, he realizes his better playing days are behind him.

“Before I turned 75, my index always was under five,” he said, admitting that number has grown to 7.9.

That does not mean that the resident of Turner who currently plays out of Fairlawn is not having his share of big moments. One of them took place in a Maine State Golf Association mid-week event at Waterville on June 30, when he recorded a hole-in-one on the par-3, 154-yard second hole, using a 7-iron. That earned him a “skin” and closest-to-the-pin on that hole, worth a total of $205 in pro shop credit. His score of 82 for 18 holes did not place him in the top three, gross or net.

Brown did make good on the tradition of hole-in-one golfers having to buy drinks for everyone by purchasing a half-keg of beer for all of the tournament golfers. So that hole-in-one did not come inexpensively.

As a former member at Waterville, Brown is familiar with the course, and it was his third ace on the second hole. While at Waterville, he won three club medal championships and two match-play titles. In addition, he won two club championships at Martindale when he was a member there.

Brown claims to be a 70-year golfer, having started as a kid at Oakdale, where he was a caddy, shagged balls and played when time allowed. He grew up in Mexico and played basketball and baseball at Mexico High School, which did not have a golf team. Because of his involvement at Oakdale, Brown won several titles there, but he cannot remember specifically what they were.

Memory at his age can be tricky, as evidenced by the fact that he said he had recorded eight holes-in-one — the three at Waterville, two at Martindale, and one each at Riverton in New Jersey and Tallamore in Pinehurst, N.C. You say that is only seven, and it is, because he had a senior moment when asked about the eight aces.

Most of Brown’s golf playing days have been in Maine, but there was a 12-year stretch when he was in the paper business and living in Moorestown, N.J., where his business meetings often took him to such prestigious country clubs as Pine Valley and Merion. You can bet that some of his best business deals were the made on golf courses.

Still, his fondest memories come from the “old days,” one of which was about caddying at Oakdale. He recalls being paid 45 cents to carry a golf bag nine holes, and 90 cents to carry the bag 18 holes. With a 10-cent tip, he would make a dollar, which was significant money in those days. But it got better.

“At age 15, I was allowed to have a junior membership there,” he said of Oakdale, which continues to operate its nine holes in Mexico. “It cost me $5 a year.”

Chances are that Dale Brown got his money’s worth.

As a post script, Brown and three others, playing in an MSGA Senior Tour event July 5 at Augusta, finished third in team gross.

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Stephanie Rodrigue of Fox Ridge, shot 74 for second place in the MSGA Junior Tour girls’ oldest-age division at Martindale on July 5.

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The upcoming MSGA schedule calls for the Maine Amateur Championship on July 12-14 at York, and the traditional weekend tournaments July 15-16 at Sugarloaf.


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