Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Aging Colorado Springs golfer makes shot for family, friends to remember

By Jesse Byrnes, jesse.byrnes@gazette.com - Updated: July 28, 2013 at 8:50 am

For one Colorado Springs golfer who has played the sport for more than a half-century, hitting a hole-in-one two days ago was a remarkable event - one that he can't remember but that friends and family will never forget.

Charles Towner, who will celebrate his 95th birthday Thursday, made a 160-yard hole-in-one at the north No. 2 hole at the Kissing Camels Golf Course on Thursday.

Towner, who goes by Charlie, has dementia and short-term memory loss, so he has no recollection of the event.

Still, his family and golfing friends can't stop talking about it.

"He's very good. His putting for his age is very sound," said Harold Poe, 82, who was golfing with Towner on Thursday afternoon when he made the shot.

Poe said his own ball hit short of the green. "When we walked up to look at the ball, (Charlie) thought he was where I was," Poe said.

When they got closer, they realized Towner's shot had landed in the hole using his 3-wood club.

Poe called Charlie's wife, Pauline, to tell her the news. "That guy made a hole-in-one," he said.

"As far as I know, it was his first," Pauline said. "Even if he remembered, he wouldn't tell about his good game. He thinks that's bragging."

"It's pretty remarkable," said Michael Loosley, an assistant golf professional with the Garden of the Gods Club where the course is located.

The club averages about one hole-in-one each year, and Towner's was the club's third this year. A plaque at the club with Towner's name will join about 50 others who have achieved the rarity.

"He hits the ball then 30 seconds later doesn't remember where it went. But he can repeat it quickly," Poe said.

The pair go golfing about three to four times a week, hitting nine holes at a time. Poe describes his golfing buddy of more than a decade as a "sound" golfer and an "intelligent, knowledgeable and charming" person.

"I've heard him say many times that he never had any golf lessons," Pauline said of her husband, who was born on a ranch in eastern Colorado.

He has been playing golf since his 30s and often makes birdies (one stroke under par), she said. A couple of years ago, he made an eagle (two strokes under par). Each winter, the couple travel to Manzanillo, Colima, just south of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, where Towner enjoys golfing. "He loves golf and getting out with the guys," his wife said.

Friends and family, who will gather to throw him a birthday party next week, continue to congratulate him for his accomplishment.

"He's an amazing gentleman," Poe said.

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Connect on Twitter: @jessebyrnes

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