Esther Pelletier was in an ornery mood after carding a triple-bogey six on the part-3 sixth hole at Middleton Golf Club. As she started walking with her pull-cart to the next tee, not realizing the brake was on, she even got madder.
"Maybe it's time I quit," Pelletier, of Andover, told her regular playing partners, Nancy Rainville, of North Andover, and Elizabeth Weilbacher, of Gloucester.
Rainville and Weilbacher convinced her otherwise. Thankfully. Pelletier's next shot proved to be, well, one of the most memorable of her golfing career.
A hole in one. The first of her career.
At age 91.
"I was feeling for sorry for myself. I haven't played well this year, too many 5's and 6's," said Pelletier, who says she started playing with her brother when he was 17 ... in 1942.
"I just hit the ball and after that I couldn't see it when it got close to the green. My eyesight isn't as good as it used to be. The girls both said, 'Did you see that? It went in ... It disappeared!' I said, 'Don't just say that to make me feel good.' We walked up to the green and I went right to the hole. They were right. It was right there in the hole. We gave each other high-fives."
Pelletier's shot, said Rainville, landed in front of the green and rolled "gently" toward the cup before fallling in.
"It was so exciting for me. I had never seen a hole in one," said the 69-year-old Rainville. "Esther can't see that far so we tell her where her ball goes. She was very excited. We all were."
Pelletier has been playing in the Middleton G.C. Women's League for more than a decade. She has always taken the first tee time at 7:30 a.m.
"She's the first one here in the morning, ready to go," said Linda Lacroix, of Middleton G.C. "She's an amazing person. Some people drive a cart. She walks every time."
But golf is not Pelletier's only athletic activity. She lifts weights or swims five days a week at the YMCA. She only stopped running three years ago, after starting at age 74.
"I'm just a regular person," said Pelletier. "I'm five feet tall. I've always played golf. I enjoy going to the 'Y' to lift weights and swim. My biggest problem is I hate getting old. I hate it."
Pelletier, who lost her husband in Bob Pelletier in 2001, lives alone and still drives, shops and cleans her house, like she always has.
"What's striking about Esther is her competitiveness," said Rainville. "To this day she hates to lose. In our group Elizabeth usually as the best score. Esther is second best. They're both better than me."
Pelletier received a certificate from the course stating she hit her 5-iron 140 yards for the hole in one.
"I don't agree," she quipped. "That hole couldn't be longer than 110 yards. But I'll take it."
Pelletier says she is a "huge" Patriots fan. She's still upset with Roger Goodell for suspending Tom Brady, "which was wrong," she said.
"I have to be close to the TV to see everything well," she said. "I'm very happy with the with Jimmy G (Garoppolo) and (Jacoby) Brissett have played. They're also good looking young men, like Brady."
While longevity is in Pelletier's genes -- her sister Victoria Capone passed away three months ago at 101, whom Pelletier called "my best friend and the best gift I ever received." -- she often wishes she could locate that elusive Fountain of Youth.
"I always ask Santa every year if I could be 5-foot-10 and 20 years younger," said Pelletier. "But I think he's ignoring me."
You can email Bill Burt at email@example.com.