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Village of Winifred Golfer Has Shot His Age Over 500 Times

Every seasoned golfer knows scoring declines with advanced age. Even pro tour players can see their competitive edge falling on the regular PGA tour as they enter their 40s.

Don Jeppsen managed to reach the milestone of shooting his age in July 2004, when he shot a 73 from the white tees at Hacienda Hills Country Club.

It took him another year to be able to do it again.

“I really didn’t think it’d happen very often. I’m 80 years old,” the Village of Winifred golfer laughed.

Jeppsen’s pace has rocketed up quite a bit over the past few years. Every week he adds to his total number of rounds two or three times, which has sent him past the 500 threshold earlier this year.

Jeppsen’s struck his 500th on Jan. 11 at Evans Prairie, when he delivered an 82. Instead of showboating, he kept it to himself until his group was summing up the day’s monetary split at the end of the tour. 

In an interview with The Villages Daily Sun, he specified one of the best rounds of golf so far was the one in June 2008 when he carded a 69 from the white tees at Lopez Legacy.

“I had a 37 on the front line and 32 on the back nine,” he recalled. “I couldn’t miss. I was draining putts; it was one of those days when you’re a little unconscious. But it’s never happened again.”

Marvin Witt, one of Jeppsen’s golf buddies, suggests his friend plays at least 20 years younger than his driver’s license.

“He does everything well,” said Witt of the Village of Lynnhaven. “He outdrives a lot of the younger players. He has an excellent short game. You’d think he’s in his 60s, with the way he plays.”

“Every once in a while, my buddies give me the needle and say, ‘We want to see your driver’s license. We don’t believe you,’” Jeppsen laughed.

“He just does it so easy”, said Witt. “It’s fun to watch him, and he’s a great guy to be around. He’s very low-key, not the kind of guy that brags about doing this or that. I like that about him.”

Jeppsen putts everything out. He disclosed that putting can be frustrating for him at times. 

“That’s golf,” he added. “Sometimes you’re hot and sometimes you’re not. It’s very enjoyable, but a very frustrating game sometimes.”

“There’s no giving him putts,” Witt said. “He says it’s not fair to say you shot our age if you didn’t do that. When it comes time to putt, no matter how short, he will putt it in.”

When asked if shooting his age is still meaningful, Jeppsen replied it is.

“It’s kind of a special moment, so I thought I’d make a record of it,” he added of that initial accomplishment. “Then once I did it, I thought I’d just keep marking it down. I never dreamed that it’d end up like this.”

Although, no record of players shooting their age exists in The Villages, the record for the most times shooting your age belongs to the late T. Edison Smith, a longtime coach and athletic administrator in Moorhead State in Minnesota. He had accomplished it a massive 3,359 times, by the time he passed away in 2012 at the age of 95.

“I won’t live long enough,” Jeppsen said. “I don’t know if I’ve played that many rounds of golf in my life.”

Jeppsen did, however, have a peculiar round just after New Year’s at Mallory Hill. After a score of 39 from the green tees on the Amelia nine, they turned to Caroline and, as he said, “the wheels fell off.”

It was his seventh-lifetime hole-in-one. He also managed to break his age, finishing at an 84 despite the 8 and 9 on his scoreboard.

“I came up to the next hole and said, ‘I’d better get a birdie on this hole.’ So I picked out a pitching wedge and hit it into the hole. I went from making a 9 to a 1.” 

Jeppsen started at age 12, boasts of a humble beginning in golf via the caddie ranks, at a private club northwest of Chicago.

“I did that all the way through high school,” he said. “Even when I came home from college, I did a little bit of it even though I had another job. That’s where I really learned the game and learned to respect the game.”

Attributed Source, The Villages Daily Sun