Door County Golfer Profile

Hometown: Sturgeon Bay

Occupation: Retired auto dealer

Age: 80

Years Playing: Since I was 14-years-old

Handicap: A 9, the highest I have ever been. I used to be a scratch golfer.

Home Course: Horseshoe Bay

Best 18-hole score: 62 in Florida in the early ‘80s. I’ve had a 65 at Maxwelton and Alpine.

Favorite course ever played: Coeur d’Alene in Idaho. The grass was phenomenal – the fairways looked like greens. They built a floating island (for a million dollars) on a par-3. It had trees and sandtraps.

Best Golf Memory: Many years ago, playing in the Cherryland Open at Maxwelton Braes. I was grouped against Manuel De La Torre (one of the best golfers in the state at the time). I was so nervous when we teed off on 10. I scored an 8 (quadruple bogie) and he took a 6 (double bogie). He put his arm around me and said “Let’s leave that hole where it is and go play golf.”

We had a great round of golf, and he went on to win the tournament.

Golf Accomplishment Most Proud Of: In 1947, when I was 16-years-old, I won my flight in the Resorters’ at Peninsula. I still have the trophy.

Hole-in-one?: Not a one (but have had three double eagles).

Game strengths: Short game

What needs work: Right now, I can’t hit the ball far enough – I can’t generate distance.

What’s in the bag: Cobra irons, Cobra hybrids and woods, Ping putter, Cobra driver.

Favorite Pro Player: Larry Mize – I have played with him a few times – he’s such a gentleman.

Who’s Your Caddy? Every year I would play in a Pro Am tournament at the Disney course. One year I played in the same group as the pro, Larry Mize. He didn’t really use his caddy much, so he offered him to me. He was the best caddy I ever had – he read all my putts, told me what clubs to use. He took away my nervousness and instilled a lot of confidence in me. I shot a 73 and it was the easiest round of golf I ever had.

Favorite Foursome: Paul Mathias, Johnny McCormick, and Danny Nesbitt

Tip to Share: Negative thinking and nerves destroy a golf game. Don’t have too many thoughts floating in your head before you hit. Select your club, select your target – then only allow two thoughts in your head: 1) Watch the ball and 2) Keep your hands loose (or any one thought that will help you to hit the ball better).

Pick up the latest copy of Door County Living where Bill Boettcher is featured in Bonnie Spielman’s article, “Still Shooting His Age: A Golfer Looks at 80.”