Gus Andreone died on Saturday in Sarasota, Florida, after suffering a massive stroke. His remarkable life was filled with the love of his nation and the PGA of America.
At the age of 107, he was the oldest PGA of America member. Perhaps the best way to honor him is to narrate his remarkable life story.
He was after all the son of an unflagging coal miner who grew up in Pittsburgh. Then, teenage Gus began caddying at the St. Clair Country Club. He worked his way into the golf shop and gave his first golf lesson in 1934 at age 23.
Five years later, Gus earned his PGA of America status. He would later earn, not one, but, three bronze stars for his heroic military service, which included fighting in the battle of the bulge during world war II, after his commanding officer suffered a nervous breakdown and Gus braved up to lead his group and victoriously returned them home.
Gus recorded 79.4 years of PGA membership - the third longest in golf history. He carded eight-lifetime holes-in-one. With a 66, he is the pride of Palm Aire Country Club and holds the same record at two Pittsburgh-area golf courses.
At age 31, he was just settling into a career in golf, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He would enroll into the 61st Armoured Infantry Battalion, 10th Armored Division, that is where he earned his Bronze Stars.
However, during the war, Gus maintained his thirst for teaching and promoting golf. This desire to return to teaching golf helped keep his spirits up as he fought until the war ended in 1945.
Discharged after the war, Gus finally returned to golf and eventually became head professional at Edgewood Country Club in Pittsburgh in 1947, a job he held for 34 years.
He also won the Pennsylvania lottery in 1983 and twice in the Florida Lottery proving that Gus enjoyed a life of both luck and accomplishment.
His first hole-in-one struck in 1939, and at 104-year-olds Gus carded his last on 12 December 2014, on Palm Aire’s 113-yard No. 14 hole. Golf Digest proclaimed Gus the oldest to record an ace on a regulation golf course.
Eight years after the death of his first wife, Gus in 1985 married Betty, the daughter of late PGA pro-George Lumsden. She recorded three holes-in-one in her career and had a brief scene in the golf movie “Caddyshack.”
Gus Andreone is survived by 101-year-old Betty and 14 nieces and nephews. May his soul rest in peace.
Copyright ©2014 Golfweather.com, All rights reserved.Part of the WGT Media Network