A 90-year-old veteran made a hole in one on D-Day on Wild Wing’s Avocet Course. Amazing, right? It’s not craziest thing about Lee Bevard’s story. The odds of making a hole-in-one are approximately 1-in-12,500. Bevard is much rarer than that. The Illinois native, who turns 91 on July 15, plays golf three times a week, works as a starter on Myrtlewood’s Palmetto Course two days per week, and toils in his yard the other two days.
“I play 140-150 rounds per year,” said Bevard, who greets people with a firm handshake and a smile. “I have no complaints with my health.” As the hole-in-one attests, Bevard doesn’t have many complaints with the state of his game either. He plays off a 14 handicap and if shoots his age, “I’m not very well satisfied.” The man has lived long enough and retained the skill to make shooting his age a rough day on the course. Incredible. He wasn’t upset when his scorecard matched his age at The Witch, and he recorded a 67, his best score ever.
On the day he made his fourth career ace, Bevard shot an 85 – with four doubles, he noted – but his unforgettable shot on the 100-yard fifth hole (red tees) was the only one that mattered. Bevard was playing with his regular group, two guys in their 40s and another young pup in his 60s. “I hit a 9 iron and it looked like a good shot,” Bevard said. “It hit about 6-10 feet right of the cup and we all saw it go in. It was quite a shock. I don’t know if I was as excited (as his playing partners). There was a lot of hugging and hollering, ‘It went in!”
Bevard’s path to a quartet of aces has been an unconventional one, given that he didn’t take up the golf until he was 42. He played basketball and baseball during his stint in the service, which ran from 1950-52, and continued to do so until he felt like his body was telling him it was time to take up golf. With the hardwood and baseball diamond in the rearview mirror, Bevard became an avid golfer, which naturally led him to Myrtle Beach. In 1980, Bevard and his wife, who passed away three years ago (after 67 years of marriage), bought a piece of property at Myrtlewood and built a house. After a long career at Sears, Bevard left the cold Illinois winters and headed to Myrtle Beach for good in 1985. By his estimation, he has played between 140 and 150 rounds per year since relocating, meaning Bevard has played more than 5,000 rounds in Myrtle Beach. Incredible as an ace on D-Day by a 90-year-old veteran is, playing 5,000 retirement rounds and teeing it up a 150 times per year is even more improbable.
If you are playing the Palmetto Course and Lee is your starter, make sure you say hello.