Belfast Telegraph

Five rounds of golf a week the reason I never feel below par, says sprightly Bert at 86 years old

By Donna Deeney

Bert Whoriskey may be City of Derry Golf Club's oldest playing member at 86, but he can still cut the mustard when it comes to competitions.

Hail, rain or sun, the sprightly Waterside man is out on the course for four hours five days a week, and he credits the game as the secret of his good health.

Bert admits to a competitive nature, which showed itself in all its glory last week when he beat all-comers to shoot the top score in a competition.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Bert said the cream of Northern Ireland's golfing scene - Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke - are his inspiration every day.

He said: "A game of golf makes me feel on top of the world and every day is a challenge where I try to be a bit better than the day before.

"I am very competitive and I like to think I can hold my own with anyone.

"It's a great feeling when you come back into the clubhouse and can say you have won.

"For me the greatest golfer of them all was the late Seve Ballesteros, but we have produced excellent golfers here like Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke.

"They are the boys you want to be like. They are all incredible, but for me Rory has the edge.

"He has it every way, even when he is playing badly, he can turn it around and come back, but McDowell and Clarke are excellent too."

Bert started playing more than 40 years ago and since then has rarely been away from his clubs.

He explained: "I play five times a week, every week of the year. The only days I am not on the course are a Friday and a Sunday, but whether it is raining, blowing a gale or the sun is shining, I will be there.

"Before I retired I worked for DuPont and had to go to Singapore for three months, but I wasn't there too long before I found out where the nearest golf course was.

"I have played at the K Club too, but some of the best courses are here on our doorstep, so we are very fortunate.

"Over the years I have lost count of how many games I would have played but I did play with some great people here in Derry and the camaraderie is incredible.

"I walk for four hours every day around the golf course and I am the same weight I have always been.

"One of the people I play regularly with is Dr Stone, who is retired and a handy man to have around you when you are my age.

"But seriously, I truly believe that if more people played golf the doctors' surgeries wouldn't be so busy.

"It is great for the mind as well as the body.

"I think one of the worst things you could do when you retire is to go to the corner and turn on the television, because if you do that you might never get up again."

While Bert credits his good health and fitness to his time on the course at City of Derry, he also attributes his wellbeing to his wife of 62 years, Kathleen.

He added: "Kathleen takes great care of me, she is a fantastic cook and baker, so I have the best of food when I am at home.

"She is happy that I am fit and able to play at my age and doesn't mind one bit when I go out the door."

Belfast Telegraph


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