In some ways, Harriett Dean is a typical senior citizen.
For example, she loves to play bridge and spends her winters in Arizona.
On the other hand, she loves to play golf and still shows up each Wednesday morning at Weyauwega’s Weymont Run Country Club for its Wednesday Ladies League.
Dean, 94, has been golfing since the course opened in the early 1970s.
“At the time they were opening the course, they had to sell so many memberships in order to open, so my husband bought a membership,” she said after golfing another round. “He started golfing and I said, ‘No way.’ He said, ‘Well, just come out and try it.’ I came out and tried it once and I was hooked.”
Dean also heads out to the golf course once a week in Arizona during the winter.
“We have two golf courses in our resort,” she said. “I play the nine-hole and I walk the course. I hope I can still do it this year. I think I can. I feel like I’m 50.
“I used to be an exceptional golfer,” she added. “I was younger then, so I did all right. It was something my husband and I could do together. Of course, I don’t have the strength anymore. As I got older, my expectations went down, but I still love it. There’s just something about it.”
If Dean’s name sounds familiar, she taught math at Weyauwega-Fremont High School for 24 years.
“I have a busy life,” she said. “I had six kids to take care of and I taught mathematics. Half the people golfing out there that are originally from Weyauwega were my students.”
Another league golfer, Waupaca’s Barb Lanham, has been golfing for 64 years.
“My husband was an avid golfer – a very good golfer – and I didn’t want to be a widow,” she said. “I thought I had to do what he’s doing just to see him. That’s the way I started. I gave it up for 10 years to bring up four children, but I took it up again after the kids were a little older.”
Lanham, 85, also lives on a championship golf course in Florida during the winter.
“I go out three times a week, sometimes four,” she said. “I love it. I go into withdrawal here because I was only golfing nine holes a week. Down there, I’m golfing 18 (holes) three or four times a week.”
Lanham is the first to admit that she’s not as good a golfer as she used to be.
“It’ll come to a point every year where you drive (the ball) a little less and so forth,” she said. “I have no plans to give it up unless I can’t walk anymore. I don’t expect to do it in a wheelchair. I’m probably hooked more than my husband ever was. It just gets in your skin.”
League golfer Mick Van Lieshout, 83, of Amherst took up golfing after her husband, Ken, retired in 1992.
“Ken’s a good golfer,” she said. “I just go for the fun. I had the worst game I ever had today. This is no day to interview me.”
Golf is not as easy as it looks, according to Van Lieshout.
“I’m still learning,” she said. “Don’t let anybody tell you it’s an easy game. It’s not.”
All three golfers said a bad round doesn’t carry over into the rest of the day.
“I never let it bother me,” Van Lieshout said. “If that was the case, I’d have stopped golfing 20 years ago. We’re only in it for the fun.”
They also don’t plan to hang up the golf clubs any time soon.
“I’m a very active person,” Lanham said. “If you don’t use it, you lose it. I never thought about ever giving it up.”
“Not me, but my husband’s talking about it,” Van Lieshout said.
“I haven’t even thought about it, even when I golf so bad,” Dean said. “Golf and bridge, that’s my life. There was a time when I golfed every day. If I didn’t do this in the summer, I don’t know what I’d do.”