Local man equals his age on links
Ramon Johnson’s athletic dream is an aspiration that only recently became attainable.
Unlike many sports, where youth is equal to achievement, Johnson, a 71-year-old South Lake Tahoe man, had a plenty of time to hone his skills in pursuit of his goal.
Clubs, bag and balls in tow, Johnson roamed the fairways of golf courses, hoping to someday accomplish the daunting task of carding a score equal to his age.
Then it finally happened.
On August 14, Johnson shot a 71 at Tahoe Paradise Golf Course, matching his age and putting his dream into the books.
“The game of golf is the most unpredictable of all sports. (And) a basic rule of thumb (is that) a golfer’s average distances reduce by two yards for every year over the age of 55,” said Johnson, noting that good health goes along with ability to shoot one’s age. “It’s not as easy a task as many golfers may think. Over many years of having played more than my share of golf games, I have only known of two individuals that have performed this rare event.”
Johnson shot 36-35 on Tahoe Paradise’s par-66 layout, including one birdie on the front and one on the back. Needing a par-4 on the 377-yard 18th, his third shot landed within six inches of the cup for a tap-in dream-maker. The round also included nothing worse than a bogey and was witnessed by two other players.
Impressively, Johnson said he has narrowly missed his goal three times since 1993, when a trio of final scores were one stroke better than his age.
While a hole-in-one, according to Johnson, is a golfing feat which often draws the most praise from everyday players, he’s far more proud of the concentration and consistency required to shoot an age.
“There are many holes-in-one daily and it’s possible for most anyone,” said Johnson, who has yet to accomplish that feat. “Matching (an) age requires steady play on each hole (and) a minimal margin for mistakes and mishaps.”
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