Outdoor Life With Tess Maune: 95-Year-Old Sand Springs Golfer Reflects On His 77 Years Hitting The Links

A Sand Springs man has been making memories on Green Country golf courses for nearly 90 years.

Friday, April 7th 2023, 7:49 am


The Masters have kicked off and for 89 years the tournament has brought us some of the greatest moments in professional golf. But a Sand Springs man has been making memories on Green Country golf courses for nearly as long. 

“I'm thoroughly convinced golf is the best sport for anybody to take up,” said Jim Metcalf. “I think it's one of the greatest games that there is.” 

Most days of the week you'll find Jim Metcalf playing a round of golf at the Tulsa Country Club.

“It's a game that you can play until you get really, really old.” Metcalf said. “I've been here so long; I don't even have to pay dues anymore. They have a 30/80 rule. If you've been here over 30 years and you're over 80 years old, it's free.”

Metcalf is a 95-year-old Merchant Marine and Army Veteran, who picked up the sport 77 years ago, right after World War II ended.

“The first time I ever played golf or was even on a golf course in my life, was in Yokohama, Japan in the fall of 1946. I was in the Army, a friend of mine was a golfer and asked me to go play golf and we went out in combat boots and fatigues. That kind of got me hooked on golf,” said Metcalf.

He’s been playing ever since and really upped his game after retiring from OneOK in the early 90s.

“If the weather's where you could play golf, I'll play golf five days a week, so that's 90 holes a week,” he said.

Metcalf rarely plays alone. Every Tuesday through Friday he hits the course with a group of guys who, together, have four decades covered: 95-year-old Metcalf, 85-year-old Jim Roberts, 77-year-old Dave Been and and 62-year-old Brent Van Norman. 

The Jims have played together for years, then they brought in Been and when Van Norman moved to Tulsa last year, they added him, too.

“They didn't want to see me playing by myself, so they invited me in, “said Van Norman.

And through the swings, cigars, birdies and boogies, a bond was born.

“We have dinner probably once a month or so,” Van Norman said.

“At least once a month, so we've grown to be good friends,” Been added.

“We get to vent all our emotions, good and bad,” Metcalf said. “You can form friendships for life, and you can also determine the character of a person pretty well by golf.”

Metcalf has made a lot of friends out on the links over the years, and at 95, he's had to say goodbye to many as well. 

“I've buried a lot of golfers, that's the way life is. I'm just trying to take every day, one at a time,” said Metcalf. 

With each round, he’s staying active and in shape, showing that even with close to a century under his belt, he has no plans of slowing down.

“I'm just happy to do it. I think golf is one of the reasons that I've lived as long as I have. It's a great game,” he said.

Metcalf has made a hole-in-one seven times and on every par three at the Tulsa Country Club. Almost all of those happened in just the past few years.


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