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Losing distance to age? Not this 75-year-old

Dr. Gary Wiren turned 75 last week, an age when most have trouble hitting it beyond their shadow, or so it often seems. But Wiren, the senior director of instruction for Trump Golf properties, set out to prove the fallacy of that notion, while hoping to inspire other seniors.

On his birthday, at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., the turf soft, Wiren went to the par-5 ninth hole, where at the 300-yard mark from the tee box he had positioned a large sign.

"The first one I hit," Wiren said, "it plugged at 299 yards. Then the numbers I put up were 310, 307, 302."

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Three days later, he was at PGA National, where he used FlightScope and its 3D Doppler Tracking Golf Radar system to take measurements.

The numbers were eye-popping for a septuagenarian: 298-yard carry, 305-yard total distance, clubhead speed 118.1 miles per hour.

"When I was younger, I did about 124," he said.

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"The purpose is to try to encourage people who, as they age, are losing interest in golf because they can't hit it anywhere anymore and can't enjoy it. I'm trying to show that the decline can be leveled off more, that it doesn't have to be as steep, through exercise programs. I would like to motivate people."

Wiren, who said he works out at a gym three days a week and at home another three days, intends to start a program, Power Golf for Seniors, in March at PGA National.

-- John Strege

 
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