To Mark Twain, golf was a good walk spoiled, but to Bill Santor, who will mark his 100th birthday on Easter Sunday, golf has been and still is a wonderful life lived.
"It's given me so much," Santor said. "Great experiences and great memories."
Like when he competed against Byron Nelson in the Kentucky Open. Or when he played nine holes with Bob Hope during World War II. Or when he teed it up in the same tournament as Babe Ruth. Or when he made two holes-in-one in a two-week period at age 87.
In his prime, Santor was one of the best amateurs in Ohio. He passed the golf gene on to his children. His son Tom played at the University of Kentucky. His daughter Patty played at Bowling Green State, and is now a teaching pro in Florida.
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Bill Santor still plays golf a couple times a week at Griffin Gate, where he's lived since 1991 with his wife of 72 years, Nettie.
His legs are failing him, and so is his eyesight, but Santor is still capable of scoring well. Just last week, he carded a 42 for nine holes.
He has shot his age so many times that he laughs off the accomplishment as if it were a tap-in putt.
"It's crazy," his son Tom said when asked about his dad's knack for still hitting the sweet spot.
"He's a freak show."
Patty Driapsa, who works at The Club Pelican Bay in Naples, Fla., said she finds it "incredible" how solid her father still hits the ball. "He has a little trouble maneuvering in and out of the cart, but hey, at 100 years old, you'd expect to have a few challenges."
Bill Santor's introduction to golf came when he began caddying as a 12-year-old in Youngstown, Ohio. He earned 25 cents for 18 holes.
He got a few hand-me-down clubs and started playing when he was 15. A natural athlete, he quickly found his groove and was winning area tournaments within a few years.
He continued to caddy on occasion to earn entry-fee money for tournaments. One of his best gigs was looping for Ben Fairless, president of U.S. Steel.
"He'd give me $30 for expense money," Santor said. "That was like $300 then."
In 1935, Santor played in a tournament in Cleveland and the field included Babe Ruth, the most famous athlete on the planet at the time.
When World War II began, Santor enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Fort Knox. He was upset when he was told the post's golf course was mostly restricted to officers. But Santor's golf talent and gift of gab got him playing privileges.
He was second low amateur in the 1943 Kentucky Open, which was held on Fort Knox's Lindsey Course. Byron Nelson, who had already won four majors (two Masters, a U.S. Open and a PGA), won that Kentucky Open.
When Santor was shipped overseas during the war, he still played some golf.
As a staff sergeant, he was part of a Third Army team that won a military golf competition in Paris in 1945. The spoils of victory included an engraved gold watch that he's worn for 65 years.
Part of Santor's time in Europe was spent running the golf course at a resort called Marienbad on the Czechoslovakia-Germany border. It was where troops on leave would go for rest and relaxation. And it was where Bob Hope visited during a USO trip.
"The manager came up to me one day and said, 'Billy, you've got to play with Bob Hope this afternoon.' I said, 'What?!' I went out and played nine holes with him, and I beat him," Santor said.
Before he returned home after the war, Santor got in a lot of golf at Marienbad.
"I played every weekend with a captain, a colonel and a general, and here I was a staff sergeant," he said.
"They gave me the colonel for a partner, and he couldn't hit a bull in the ass with a handful of gravel. I'd have to take out $6 every time we played."
Golf was also an integral part of Santor's civilian life.
Patty remembers that family vacations were usually golf destinations. Nettie also played in those days, so there was a family foursome.
Bill worked for a business equipment company for almost 50 years, and he did his share of schmoozing on the golf course. Ever the competitor, however, he never lost to a client on purpose.
"One guy asked me if I played 'customer golf.' I said no, and I threw a 68 at him," Santor said, laughing.
While luck is a factor in getting a hole-in-one, there's skill involved, too, especially when you've had 10, Santor's running total. In 1999, he aced the par-3 fourth hole at Griffin Gate on May 3, and aced it again on May 14.
New technology in golf clubs and balls has helped Santor stay in the swing of things after 85 years in the game. His odd-looking interlocking grip — his left thumb is tucked under the club — still allows for a smooth stroke that can send a drive 175 yards.
"I can't swing too hard, but I can still hit it OK," Santor says proudly.
Patty Driapsa said golf "is basically what keeps my dad going. It's the world he lives in. It's been a game of a lifetime for him, that's for sure."
Tom Santor, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, said golf has been "one of the cornerstones" of his father's life -- "his family life, his business life, his social life. When he's on a golf course, wherever that might be, he feels like he's home.
"I think that's where he's most at peace."
And still fairly close to par.