99-year-old golfer showing age is just a number
BARRIE -- On the back of a jersey given to him by friends, Norm Barker shares the same number as "The Great One," Wayne Gretzky.
One could argue the nickname is also fitting for Barker, who, at the age of 99, is said to be one of the top golfers at his club, and as for the 99, it's a number that isn't slowing him down, at least not anytime soon.
"Two cups of coffee and a bit cereal, and then it's off to the golf course depending on what kind of tee time I can get," says Barker.
Barker plays three or four times a week with friends in the Old Timers Fun League (OLF), and he's won the league's trophy more than once.
"The best game I had this year was a 95," he says.
Born near Manchester, England, the Second World War veteran survived the sinking of two ships in the Merchant Marine Navy before moving to Canada where he worked as a loss prevention engineer for a large insurance firm and started golfing in his 60s.
For 60 years, he's perfected his game, and today, he's something of a celebrity around the Cranberry Golf Course, inspiring others to live long and prosper.
"Norm just hit one down the middle about 160 yards, which is pretty darn good for someone his age," said one on-looker.
Another saying, "you watch him, he comes right around, brings the club right around behind his head, got a better swing than I do, I think."
After spending the day on the golf course, Barker can usually be found at The Collingwood Legion, having a beer with friends.