Keeping It 100
With one swing of the driver, a Dutch centenarian becomes an internet sensation
Everyone knows there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but there is such a thing as great publicity. That point was driven home this past Saturday, when 100-year-old Dutch golfer Susan Hosang teed it up at the European Tour's KLM Open in the Netherlands.
The event hosts a Beat the Pro challenge each year in which average duffers get to play a par-3 with a trio of professionals during tournament play. If the amateur’s shot lands closer to the pin than the pros’, then he or she wins a free trip on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. This year, for the carrier's 100th anniversary, the organizers tracked down a 100-year-old golfer for one of the slots.
Hosang's driver from the 177-yard 13th tee at The International golf course did not land closer than the shots of the three pros she joined—Matt Wallace, Thomas Pieters, and Patrick Reed—but with a skip onto the tee box and solid strike, she became an internet sensation. “I hit it bad,” she said, “but it doesn’t matter—I was here.”
Hosang, who didn’t start playing until she was 70 and only did so because all her friends had grown too brittle to play tennis, still plays nine holes three times a week, although she says, “If I’m feeling really good, I’ll play 18.”
By Sunday night, the crush of attention had died down enough that Hosang agreed to answer a few emailed questions for The Fringe.
The Fringe: Do you wish you had started playing when you were younger?
SH: Yes, sure. It is much better to start younger. But in the past it was an expensive and time-consuming sport.
The Fringe: Would you suggest that more women play golf?
SH: Yes, it is a good sport for women.
The Fringe: How does playing golf make you feel?
SH: It makes me happy and free.
The Fringe: Who is your favorite player?
SH: Joost Luiten.