THERE was only one place Queenslander Mary Hadden wanted to be on her 100th birthday – hitting the fairways at the Maroochy River Golf Club for her usual twice-weekly golf game.
Mary, who reckons she still has a strong competitive streak, was surrounded by friends and fellow passionate golfers as she also marked 60 years of golf, a pastime she believes helped her reach her birthday milestone.
“I have been hitting golf balls for 60 years now. Before that, I was a tennis player and I loved it dearly… my husband thought I would never be able to give it up,” Mary said.
Admittedly carrying that strong competitive streak, golf is more than just a leisurely swing.
“All sports I’ve played have been competitive… I played competition tennis for about 15 years. Aside from golf, I play bridge and that is also competitive,” she added.
“My twice weekly games are kept interesting by the people I play with because there are lots of different people including ladies at my Maroochy River club who are in their 80s and 90s…. I have always played in the A grade division of the club, but now I play in C grade. I still play well, but unfortunately not as well as I used to.”
According to Mary, golf has been the sport to keep her young as tennis may have been a little too tough on the joints.
“In my opinion, I think everyone should get out onto the green to stay active and have a hit because it really is so good for you.”
“At the club, there are quite a few girls that are over 90 who enjoy playing regularly – it helps to keep us all active!”
Mary, originally from New South Wales, is now a resident at the Immanuel Gardens Retirement Living and Aged Care community in Buderim on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.
So aside from golf, is there anything else she believes helps keep her staying fit and active?
“Nothing specific – I don’t neglect my diet at all, I like to keep healthy. I am also a very sociable person – I love people,” she said.
“Really, I think it’s in the genes. I don’t go to the gym to work out or anything like that, but I do like to keep busy and that keeps me going.”
And some words of wisdom?
“… I have always gone through life just enjoying it. I do believe in helping people as much as you can, I have helped a lot of people along the way.
“Really, the best we can do is just to enjoy life – there is no point in being miserable or worrying about something you have no control over.”