BARTOW, Fla. — Bartow Golf Course celebrated 100 years Saturday and one of its most frequent golfers was there to celebrate his 100th birthday.
- Herbert Dixon turned 100 years old on September
- Crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to him before Saturday tournament
- He has been playing since he was 14
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Herbert Dixon turned 100 years old on September 16. He stills golfs at the course daily, driving his golf cart and walking around the holes looking for the best angle. He even has a cell phone.
"Living day by day. Staying out of trouble. Don't smoke. Don't drink and try to eat the proper foods. That's it," explained Dixon. (It's) very boring sitting around the house, looking at TV. I don't want that. So I choose golf and that's it."
He's scored eight hole-in-ones in his lifetime, including one two days after his 100th birthday. He's been playing since he was 14.
"I used to play professional in the black league. During that stage, I won over 50 golf tournaments," he said. "Coming up, I wasn't allowed to play in PGA. A lot of times you wasn't allowed on the golf course."
He used to caddy as a teen and said even at the Bartow Golf Course, he was only allowed to play on it once a week until the course desegregated.
But now decades later, it's a different story.
"Happy Birthday to you," the crowd sang before beginning Saturday's tournament. A mixed crowd came to celebrate his and the golf course's 100th birthday.
"I've been playing here for 40 years," said Chris Banks, a golf pro at the course. "He's always been a role model to me and helped me out through my younger years, and he's always been a great role model to all of us."
During the four-man scramble tournament, the National Black Golf Hall of Fame read a proclamation in Dixon's honor. He was an inductee in 1998.
The only thing that was missing was another hole in one.