'Age-Shooter' Records in Golf

Walter Morgan hits a shot during the first round of the Royal Caribbean Golf Classic in 2004 on the Champions Tour.
When Walter Morgan was 61, he carded a round of 60 on the Champions Tour.

Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images


In golf, an "age shooter" is a golfer whose score for an 18-hole round of golf matches or betters his age. For example, a golfer of age 70 who shoots a 70 or better has just "shot his age."

The age-shooting records that follow take into account only those rounds played on golf courses of 6,000 yards or more in length.

Youngest Golfer to Shoot His Age

The overall record for youngest golfer to shoot his age belongs to Bob Hamilton, the 1944 PGA Championship winner, who shot his age of 59 at Hamilton Golf Club in Evansville, Ind., in 1975.

The golfer who holds the youngest-age-shooter record on golf's major professional tours is Walter Morgan, playing the Champions Tour. In 2002, at age 61, Morgan shot a 60 in the AT&T Canada Senior Open Championship.

On the PGA Tour, that record belongs to Sam Snead. Slammin' Sam fired a 67 at the Quad Cities Open in 1979, when he was 67 years old. Then he set a new record a day later, shooting 66.

Oldest Golfer to Shoot His Age

The oldest-known golfer to shoot his age was 103-year-old Arthur Thompson of Victoria, British Columbia. Thompson was playing the Uplands Golf Club in Victoria when he accomplished the feat in 1972.

Most Strokes Below One's Age

How about the record for beating your age by the most strokes? As far as is known, the overall record belongs to John Powell. In 2017, at the age of 86, Powell fired a 64 — 22 strokes better than his age — in the final round of a Southern California PGA section senior tournament. The tournament was played at Indian Spring Golf Club in La Quinta, Calif. Powell lowered the record by one, besting the 21-stroke difference established by 93-year-old Ed Ervasti, who in 2007, posted a 72 at Sunningdale Golf & Country Club (Old Course) in London, Ontario.

On the pro tours, the most-strokes-below-age record is held by major championship winner and Hall of Famer Bob Charles. In 2012, when Charles was 76, he carded a round of 66, 10 strokes below his age, at the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open on the European Senior Tour. Previously, this record was held by Jerry Barber, who in 1994 fired a 69 in the Champions Tour Kroger Senior Classic, nine strokes below his age.

Golfer Who Shot His Age Most Often

The record for most times shooting your age belongs to T. Edison Smith of Moorhead, Minn. Frank Bailey of Abilene, Texas, had long held this record, matching or beating his age 2,623 times, from age 71 until age 98.

But in 2006, Smith passed Bailey and continued on with the record until his death in 2012 at the age of 95. Smith, a doctor, first shot his age when he was 68 years old. Before he was finished Smith matched or beat his age an amazing 3,359 times.

And in 2012, a 71-year-old named Bob Kurtz set a record by shooting his age seven times in one day (he was doing a golf marathon to raise money for charity).