Lancaster – One of the newest members of the Ohio University Lancaster Golf team is bringing something to the green that many of his teammates don't have much of yet – life experience. Bill Clark is the oldest member of the team. At the age of 52, he is 22 years older than the team's second-oldest member. But, he loves every second of it.
"It's been great. I've never played competitive golf, and all the guys out here have been helping me with the finer points of what it would be like to play in a professional tournament," said Clark. "They're treating me as one of the guys. It's just great."
Clark lives in Lancaster and started attending OUL after he lost his job in Columbus. He was a test technician and his job, along with others at the company, was shipped to China. Clark decided to pursue an accounting degree under the Trade Assistance Act.
"During last summer classes with Dr. Guerriero, we were talking about golf, and he mentioned he was the assistant golf coach here, and we started talking," said Clark. "He said, 'Why don't you try coming out?' So I ended up coming out and here I am."
Age, however, isn't the only obstacle Clark faces playing on the golf team. Two years ago, Clark had his right hip replaced, and he has arthritis in his lower back and left hip. So, he had to find some creative ways to work around his pain while playing on the team.
"I got a ball cup retriever. It's a suction cup that fits on the end of my clubs," said Clark. "I use it to get my balls off the green or out of the cup, so I don't have to bend over."
Clark should have his accounting degree at the end of next school year. After that, he hopes to find a job and get back into the workforce. But, he knows he'll miss playing on the golf team.
"Golf has been my hobby and passion for 34 years and to be able to participate at this level has been enjoyable. I know I would never be able to make the pro tour, but for me this is like my pro tour," said Clark."You only go around once in life, you might as well fulfill it."