90 is Marg's age, not golf score

Marg Swaysland practices her putting at the Yeppoon Golf Club yesterday.
Marg Swaysland practices her putting at the Yeppoon Golf Club yesterday. Allan Reinikka Rokagolf

MARG Swaysland celebrated her 90th birthday in January with "a present to me, from myself" - a motorised golf buggy.

But until then, from the time she started playing regular golf as a member at Stanthorpe in 1956, Marg had always chosen to walk the course.

"I'm pretty fit for my age," quips the vibrant nonagenarian who plays three times a week at Yeppoon Golf Club.

"Occasionally in the past I might jump in a cart with another lady if she had a spare seat, but I have always preferred to walk the course. But even though age is just a number, I suppose at 90 I should start to slow down a little."

A Queenslander all her life, Marg was born in Maryborough, lived her childhood years near Eidsvold, moved to Brisbane with her parents during the years of the Second World War and then settled on an orchard near Stanthorpe with her husband, and lived there for half a century.

"I have had an unbroken golf club membership since 1956," she proudly declares, but confesses to being "a very average golfer".

"I am currently playing off 36; the lowest I have been is 17; and I have rarely broken 100. But I love the game and I will keep playing until I drop."

Marg, who has lived in a retirement village a couple of kilometres from Yeppoon Golf Club since 2004, has a simple golf philosophy.

"I go to golf to meet my friends, have a chat and enjoy my time there. I take my sticks along, and if I play well it's a bonus," she says.

And while Marg may have the latest technology ferrying her around the course these days, she has a no-fuss attitude when it comes to her golfing equipment. She carries only nine clubs in her bag and that includes a Scottish-made eight iron "a hundred years old like me" that she never uses, but has sentimental value.

"My first set of golf clubs were burnt in a fire at Stanthorpe in 1974, but they were insured," she said.

"I was able to buy a new set and most of my clubs today are those. It's the player, not the equipment, that's important."

With a host of experience packed in to her nine decades, Marg has a theory on why she has lived so long and is still active.

"I was lucky enough to pick long-living parents and have a riotous youth," she explained, without giving away any secrets, although she still enjoys a cold stubby on a hot day.

She has also worked hard. And while playing Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at Yeppoon is now a tad easier in her new buggy, she concedes her golfing ritual may well be a little too arduous for most her age

Topics:  golf

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