NAHANT — 80-year-old Swampscott resident Alex Lindsey captured the Nahant Golf Club men’s club championship earlier this week, posting a 5-over 95 (30-34-33) in the 27-hole tournament, edging Nahant’s Dan Taylor (30-34-33) by two shots.
The win was Lindsey’s second straight and 19th overall. He won his first title 34 years ago.
Lindsey said he had special inspiration this year: his 57-year old son Jeffrey.
“My son has serious heart failure, and he got a new heart about three weeks ago at Mass. General,” said Lindsey. “He’s home now and doing really well, so I just got inspired to play. I had not planned on playing at all, but when I saw how well he was doing I got jacked up and inspired and decided to play.”
Lindsey got his start in golf as a 14-year old caddie in upstate New York near Alexandria Bay, a small town just south of the Canadian border.
“We would sneak out on the golf course to play and I found that I liked it, but didn’t really play again until I got back to it in my early 30s,” Lindsey said. “I was a math professor at a college in Virginia. With summers off, I had a lot of hours to practice, so that’s what I did. I love to play, but I really love to practice and hit balls whenever I can, to this day. I never really competed in tournaments until I was in my mid-fifties.”
And compete he did.
Lindsey qualified for three U.S. Senior Amateurs and, amazingly, advanced to match play in every one.
“That’s probably my proudest accomplishment, qualifying for match play in all three, but I was never able to win a match,” Lindsey said. “Still, it’s not too bad for a guy coming out of a par-30 little, blue-collar golf course where we used to shovel the snow off the greens so we could play in the winter. For me, making those three cuts is something special. I got to play with some pretty big players, guys like Fordie Pitts and Charlie Volpone, so every one of them was memorable.”
Lindsey carries a USGA handicap of 6.0.
“That’s the highest it has ever been since I first got a handicap,” Lindsay said. “I still hit the ball 225-250 and will not play the senior tees, but play the regular tees. I have a solid swing and I’m still pretty flexible, but it’s all about this great equipment. I can’t hit 185-yard eight irons the way these kids in their 30s do, but I can still hold my own pretty well.”
Nahant golf professional Gary Lynch said Lindsey is the real deal.
“Al is a very good player who really works at his game. He doesn’t play golf for fun, he plays to get better and, even now, is always working on things all the time. I mean, if I had to guess, he had 50, maybe more, years on Dan, but for him it’s not about the age, it’s about competing no matter who you are playing.”
Lindsey said the course was in perfect condition for the championship.
“Our new superintendent, Brett Waterman, has just done a great job. The wonderful conditions of the course due to his efforts were certainly part of what drove me to compete.”