You often hear the adage that “age is just a number.”
Tom Williams of Colo is living proof.
The 91-year-old has had quite a season on the golf course, shooting his age not once, not twice, but three times so far this season.
Few golfers ever shoot their age for 18 holes, but the former golf superintendent at Indian Creek Country Club now has four rounds to prove that age doesn’t have to prevent anyone from playing good golf including a best 18-hole total of 88 at Highland Golf Club in Iowa Falls on July 15.
Williams, who grew up in rural Collins and still attends church regularly there at the Collins Christian Church, didn’t start playing golf until he was about 40 years old when friends asked him to come out and play with him. Mostly self-taught, Williams continued to get better and learned to love the game.
Sports have always occupied part of Williams’ life. Though just 5’9”, he played basketball at Colo High School until graduation. After graduating in 1945, Williams played softball for a while before taking up golf. Harold Miller of Nevada was one of those who convinced Tom that he ought to learn the game.
Meanwhile, his keen mind helped him be competent in fishing, hunting and playing cards, activities that still interest him today although somewhat limited mobility has slowed him down in the hunting and fishing departments. His mind, however, makes him the perfect card player to keep score when his pitch buddies gather.
Williams began farming in 1945, switched to the hardware business in 1948, then went back to farming from 1949 to 1984. Following a short time in the fertilizer business, Tom took over taking care of the Indian Creek Country Club. He retired from that job in 1993.
He has one hole-in-one to his credit, notching an ace on the par-three No. 4 hole at Jewell during a Lions Club tournament a few years ago. He has played Monday mornings in the traveling Mid-Iowa Golf Association outings for many years. His best 9-hole score came at the Twin Anchors course in Colo, a 35, and he came up with a 36 at Indian Creek. Recently he had his best 9-hole round of this year when he carded a 43 while playing at Indian Creek.
Though he doesn’t shoot rounds in the 30s anymore, he’s seldom in the 50s. He still belongs to the Indian Creek club and usually gets two to three rounds in each week in addition to his Monday seniors play.
Williams plays cards with his friends even more often. He plays cards (pitch) with a group of guys after finishing golf on Mondays, plays with another group every Tuesday afternoon and most Thursdays find him at ICCC playing either pitch or cribbage. He also gets together with Collins friends to play another card game, 500, every so often. Until health prevented him, he used to bowl in the seniors league at Sports Bowl in Nevada.
Tom married wife Phyllis (Stoaks of Ames) on Aug. 29, 1948 (71 years ago) and the couple raised three children: daughter Linda and sons David and Dean. His daughter still plays cribbage with him when she’s around. His wife, however, has never shown interest in his golf and card playing.