News / Sport / Community / 11th March 2021
97 and still aiming for a hole-in-one
A strong faith, an active lifestyle and a healthy appetite is what Bill Wilkin puts down to his longevity.
Bill turns 97 this Saturday, 13 March, and plans to celebrate by playing yet another round of golf.
Born in 1924, Bill, to this day, still gets a round of golf in at the Coonabarabran golf course at least once a week.
“I think it’s important to stay active, I eat three good meals a day that I cook myself and I believe in god,” he said.
“My family keep me going too, my two sons and their wives, they look after me very well.”
Originally from South Australia, Bill joined the air force in 1942, served three years and married in 1946.
The married couple, Bill and Betty, lived in Murray Bridge until 1962, when they moved to Coonabarabran.
“I had been playing golf for a couple years but after we moved here I gave it up because I was too busy farming,” he said.
“We came here basically on the price of land at the time, as it was too expensive back in South Australia.”
Bill once again picked up a golf club in 1995 and hasn’t looked back since.
He said his handicap reached as low as 30, but said it may have increased slightly over the last few years.
Bill was philosophical when it came to explaining his passion for the sport.
“The game intrigues me,” he said.
“Each time you are competing against yourself and your previous score and you’re trying to improve every time.
“The company is good too - you meet a lot of good people.”
Despite playing thousands of holes over the years, Bill is yet to hit the elusive hole-in-one.
But given his intimate knowledge of the course it won’t be a surprise to many if he nails one some time soon.
He nominated hole six as his favourite because it was one of the more testing.
“It’s a tough one because it’s shaped like an oval, if you get up on top it can roll off again.
“I’ve come close a couple times, very close, but haven’t got it yet,” Bill said.
His chances are not diminished any by the quality of the course either, which he said is currently in perfect condition.
Thanks to the drought, he said his favourite golf course resembled more of a desert.
“But it has come back remarkably well,” he said.
“It goes to show the hard work put in by the greens’ staff and all the volunteers who help out.”