101-Year-Old Pro Spends Birthday Analyzing Golf Swings

PGA Life Member Joseph "Bud" Lewis developed the reputation as a student of the golf swing whose powers of communication made him one of the legendary teachers in the Philadelphia PGA Section. So, it should come as no surprise that as Lewis turned 101 on Sunday, August 30, he spent part of the day watching televised professional golf.

Lewis said he enjoys the opportunity to rest in his apartment and be his own armchair analyst. "I'm keeping my eye on how dead-square the players are at the top of their swing," said Lewis, who resides at Wyncote House, No. 905 in Wyncote, Pa. "I see quite a few that are doing it all in one motion. That's great. But, can they chip?

"Most people can't chip. I worked on my short game all the time. I put a golf cart in front of me, and worked on chipping over it, to get more of a backswing. I enjoy the game, always have. I never got mad at it."

Lewis said that he spent four full days watching the 91st PGA Championship, and paid tribute to newly-crowned champion Y.E. Yang of South Korea. "That was really something for that kid to win it," said Lewis. "What a chip he made [on the 14th hole for eagle] on Sunday!"

The oldest living and longest-serving PGA of America member, Lewis this summer surpassed the previous PGA membership service record of legendary Gene Sarazen. Lewis has now been a PGA member 78 years and four months - two months longer than Sarazen. Last year, more than 200 guests gathered at Manufacturers Golf and Country Club of Fort Washington, Pa., to honor Lewis on his centennial birthday. Lewis had served at the club for 37 years.

This year, Lewis's birthday was marked by visits by grandchildren, great grandchildren, birthday candles mounted on cinnamon buns and late afternoon in front of the TV to watch the final round of The Barclays. "My father enjoys watching the golf swings of today's players," said his daughter, Jean Kriz, 69, of Oreland, Pa.

Though bothered by a painful lower back that has reduced his ability to walk, Lewis doesn't miss a weekly game of bridge with friends at Manufacturers Golf and Country Club.

Lewis also is the father of sons, Joseph, 72, a PGA Life Member from Las Vegas; and Dan, 70, a retired Titleist salesman from Doylestown, Pa. Another daughter, Diana, is deceased. Lewis has 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

"My father has been able to get out on the golf cart and gives tips to friends and also to players that include me," said Jean. "He keeps his routine, his spirits high and that's why he's 101!"