Age no barrier for veteran Cahill

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
87-year-old Capel Golf Club member Phil Cahill with his impressive collection of scorecards which outline his achievement.
Camera Icon87-year-old Capel Golf Club member Phil Cahill with his impressive collection of scorecards which outline his achievement. Credit: Justin Fris / South Western Times

Capel Golf Club member Phil Cahill has a special record which will take some beating by even the most ardent of golfers across WA.

Cahill, 87, recently carded his age during a round of golf for the 60th time, in 50 years of playing golf.

Along with this impressive record, he has kept scorecards from every time it has occurred as proof.

“I started shooting my age 12 years ago when I was 75,” he said. “I had nearly done it a few times before that and I had kept my cards.

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“But of course once I carded my age, I discarded those cards which almost made it.

“When I read in The West Australian that Barry Jones had shot his age 40 times, I thought ‘well, I’ve shot my age 60 times now so I should probably stick my head up’ and get the club to say a bit about it.”

Originally from the Wheatbelt, Cahill’s passion for golf began back in 1969, during a particularly tough year on the land.

“I started playing in Merredin after I finished my football career,” he said. “It was back in 1969 during a drought year up there – so that makes it 50 years that I’ve been playing golf.

“I came down to Capel in 1998 (where the day after he moved in, he joined the golf club) with a handicap of 11 after a good win at Kellerberrin a few months beforehand.

“Within 12 months, I was on a handicap of 16 because I couldn’t handle the conditions. I then saw our club pro Jim Mercer – and got a few pointers from him which have seen me through all of the way.

“Even recently, I got him to check my grip on the club.”

Cahill’s sporting longevity is not restricted to golf – he also played cricket from 16 years of age and ended as a 66-year-old.

He is philosophical about the nature of his record and maintains it is all about continual improvement.

“I have to state that almost all of my scores have been played on veterans courses, which are shortened,” he said.

“Either at Scroungers or at South West events.

“I just started keeping the cards and four of them have been scored at courses outside of Capel.”

Capel Golf Club general manager Paul Campaner praised Cahill for both his demeanour and skills on and off the course.

“Phil’s a bit of a legend around here,” he said.

“Golf’s a bit of a unique sport where juniors can play with their grandparents at the same venue and even the same game.”

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