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
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. Thats
right, the 75-year-old hit a 307-yard drive. Talk about a birthday
This may seem
like a surprise to everyone
except Wiren. Ive
been training and preparing for this day, he said. That
drive just didnt happen by accident. I wanted to prove
to people that just because you get older, it doesnt mean
you still cant hit a golf ball a long way.
While Wiren has
done almost everything in golf-hes written 11 books, has
13 film credits and produced four videos on the sport; is one
of the worlds 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.
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 hes stronger today
than when he played college football at Huron University in South
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.
who coincidentally turns 75 on Nov.1, was told of Wirens
long birthday drive, he couldnt stop laughing he was so
happy for his friend.
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 hes collected. Hes a great communicator and
I think its just wonderful that he can still hit a ball
To prove his
307-yarder wasnt a fluke, Wiren went to PGA National last
week with a sophisticated launch monitor that measured every
aspect of his drives.
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. Thats (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
interest in golf isnt 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.
three main drawbacks to golf-cost, time and difficulty,
he said. Yet people keep building longer, tougher coursesjust
so they can protect par-and all that does is add to the cost
time and difficulty.
par? Who cares if someone breaks par? When Roger Bannister broke
the 4 minute mile, they didnt make the track any longer.
We have to make golf more fun and less difficult for the average
Wiren knows the
best way for him to enjoy the game is to preserve his fitness.
Thats why he has those grips throughout his house and even
in his car. There cant be idle time when youre trying
to beat Father Time. Asked how he wants to spend his 80th birthday
in 2015, Wiren didnt 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.