Page 27 From Winter 2011 Florida Golf Magazine ©Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved. Subscribe at
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Golf’s Ironman Gary Wiren: At 75 he’s still got game and easily drives a golfball 300 yards.

By Craig Dolch, Palm 2 Jupiter

Dr. Wiren will be offering a one-day POWER GOLF SCHOOL FOR SENIORS program during the months of March, April, and May at PGA National Spa & Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. For information and details on how to get that lost distance back call 561-626-4176 or email

On his 75th birthday Dr. Gary Wiren demonstrated for everyone at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach Florida that he can still hit a 300 yard drive.

        Some guys celebrate their 75th birthday by having a big party, going on a trip or having a nice, quiet dinner. Not Dr. Gary Wiren.
        The North Palm Beach resident celebrated his 75th birthday the best way he knows how-by combining his love for golf and fitness. Wiren showed up at Trump International Golf Club-where he is PGA Master Professional instructor-determined to show he can still hit the ball longer than a dissertation or root canal.
        The goal was to reach 300 yards, and he surpassed that-powering a drive 307 yards on the par-5 ninth hole, despite wet conditions. That’s right, the 75-year-old hit a 307-yard drive. Talk about a birthday bash.
        This may seem like a surprise to everyone…except Wiren. “I’ve been training and preparing for this day,” he said. “That drive just didn’t happen by accident. I wanted to prove to people that just because you get older, it doesn’t mean you still can’t hit a golf ball a long way.”
        While Wiren has done almost everything in golf-he’s written 11 books, has 13 film credits and produced four videos on the sport; is one of the world’s most foremost golf memorabilia collectors; and is one of only three people to be inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame and The Golf Magazine World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame-his passion for fitness is equally impressive.
        Here’s a 5-foot-11, 187-pounder who works out six times a week, does exercise while be brushes his teeth or gets his gas tank filled, bringing new meaning to the term “pumping gas” and who also has hand grips placed throughout the house like some middle-aged people do with reading glasses, and says he’s stronger today than when he played college football at Huron University in South Dakota.
        "The reason why many older men stop playing golf is they get frustrated when they can't hit the ball far enough to reach par-4s in two shots anymore. Women are less ego-involved but generally in need of more distance. It's inevitable that as we age we lose strength and flexibility, but many golfers let it happen too soon."
        Player was one of the pioneers of fitness and weight lifting among touring professionals as the the South African carved out his Hall of Fame career despite his relative small frame (5-foot 7, 150), so he can relate to Wiren as well as anyone.
        When Player, who coincidentally turns 75 on Nov.1, was told of Wiren’s long birthday drive, he couldn’t stop laughing he was so happy for his friend.
        “That’s so encouraging and I admire his so much” said Player, who has a home on Jupiter Island. “Gary has always been a man who really cares about people. He loves to show them all the clubs he’s collected. He’s a great communicator and I think it’s just wonderful that he can still hit a ball that far.”
        To prove his 307-yarder wasn’t a fluke, Wiren went to PGA National last week with a sophisticated launch monitor that measured every aspect of his drives.
        This computer said his best drive carried 298 yards, rolled 7 more (for 305), he had a club head speed of 118 mph and a ball speed of 169.9 mph. “That’s (PGA) Tour level,” he said.
        Wiren has always been able to hit the ball a long way. When he was 47, he won the South Florida section of the National Long Drive Competition when his first attempt went 387 yards, 1 foot. The runner-up, a teen-aged Gary Nicklaus of North Palm Beach, was 50 yards behind Wiren.
        But Wiren’s interest in golf isn’t just about his game. He pointed out the number of recreational golfers in the U.S. has dropped from 30 million to 26 million the the last decade, and he says the reasons are obvious.
        “There are three main drawbacks to golf-cost, time and difficulty,” he said. “Yet people keep building longer, tougher courses—just so they can protect par-and all that does is add to the cost time and difficulty.
        “Protect par? Who cares if someone breaks par? When Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile, they didn’t make the track any longer. We have to make golf more fun and less difficult for the average player.”
        Wiren knows the best way for him to enjoy the game is to preserve his fitness. That’s why he has those grips throughout his house and even in his car. There can’t be idle time when you’re trying to beat Father Time. Asked how he wants to spend his 80th birthday in 2015, Wiren didn’t hesitate. “Same thing,” he said. “With a 300-yard drive.”

Four days after his 75th birthday at PGA National using technology to measure, Dr. Wiren drove 305 yds. The conditions were unfavorably soft at both venues.

Page 27 From Winter 2011 Florida Golf Magazine ©Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved. Subscribe at
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