My Trip to the
National Senior Olympics
by Joe Mosconi
My trip to the National Senior Olympics
In 1990 I qualified for the National Senior Olympics in a golf tournament held at the Dayton Hawk Course for players in my age group (60 – 64). The Nationals were held in Syracuse, N.Y. on 1-2-3 July 1991. The following is a brief account of my trip.
30 June 1991 – Departed Kettering at 5:30 A.M., the day following the wonderful wedding of Elena and Rick. The trip from Dayton to the Syracuse area was uneventful. I arrived in Syracuse at 2:35 P.M. and only had a few minor mishaps before I located the place where I was required to register. I got to the building at 2:58, which was great since they closed at 3:00! I received my “goodie” bag which contained a lot of little items for you to remember the 1991 National Senior Olympics. Most importantly, I received directions to the Syracuse Airport which was the location of my motel. I got to the airport without a problem and started to look for the Quality Inn where I had made my reservation. I looked all over the place and could not find the motel! I pulled into a Best Western motel and called the Quality Inn. To my surprise I found that I was not registered at either one. I checked with the desk at the Best Western and luckily they had a single. I filled out the registration form and the clerk said that my name sounded familiar. He checked and sure enough it was. I had made reservations with the Best Western, not the Quality Inn! The Good Lord looks out for drunks and dummies, and I don’t drink.
1 July 1991 – I checked with the desk and received directions to Green Lakes golf course. I studied the maps, followed the instructions given and turned a 20 minute drive into an hour and 45 minute trip that let me see all of the east, north, south, and west sides of Syracuse. There are moments in my life when I think I need a Keeper! I have no sense of direction. Fortunately, each of the 10 different people I stopped and talked to were all very nice. I finally arrived at the golf course and played a practice round with a gentleman from Louisville, KY. He was not in my age group. I should have known that because I beat him badly. We also played with a husband and wife team from NY. He was not participating but she was. She was 80 years old and I had to sink a long putt on the last hole to beat her! She was a golfing machine. Never left the fairway and could chip and putt with the best I’ve ever seen. She is proof positive that golf is played from 50 – 60 yards in. The golf course is 6200 yards long but there was not a level spot anywhere. I’ve never seen or played a course like that. The greens are huge and had elephants and and camels buried under each of them. A level putt could not be found. I shot pretty good considering you had a number of blind shots to the greens. I hate courses like that. My prediction on what it would take to win a medal was 145. That is one over par.
2 July 1991 – First round completed. I shot 79 (40 – 39) and was pleased except for two holes. I had a double and triple bogie. To my surprise I was only six shots out of the lead. The next best score was 75 with a group of 76, 77, and 78’s. I guessed about 9 – 10 scores were better than mine. I thought if I shot lights out on Wed., I might have a shot at a medal.
3 July 1991 – My tee time was 9:52 but I got to the golf course early. When you drive like I do, you have to get an early start. I went to the starter and told him I had an early flight out and needed to be moved up. I had already checked and one of the men assigned to the 9:00 tee time had to withdraw. I got the time and it worked out nicely. I played very well but the best part of my game, putting, left me. I shot 78 with five 3-putt greens and a lost ball. I could have put myself in the hunt but it wasn’t in the cards – but everyone there had the same story! I didn’t feel badly about not winning. I gave it my best shot and mide up my mind that I would get to the 1993 Nationals that will be held in Baton Rouge, LA. The next time I’m not limiting myself just to golf. I’m starting immediately to train for the track and field events.
You should have seen and heard the competitors. Win or lose, we all had a ball! All of us were talking about doing better in 1993. This was only the third National Senior Olympics and over 6000 athletes participated. There is no doubt in my mind that it will do nothing but get bigger and better and I want to be part of it. As Patti has said, “Dad, you love to compete!”
Although I didn’t win any medals, I have lasting memories of a great event and I’m writing this for my children and grandchildren. I want them to know that you can play and be competitive throughout your life if you prepare yourself properly.
|Back to Stories|