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One accomplished golfer


At 81, Milwaukie's Paul Davis Jr. still shoots his age

by: JOHN DENNY - At 81 years of age, Paul Davis Jr. of Milwaukie has had five holes in one and he can still shoot his age. He is still in pursuit of his first double eagle and he said he believes it might still be possible on the 463-yard 18th hole at Stone Creek Golf Club, under the right conditions - a really strong wind at my back, and a lot of luck.Longtime Milwaukie resident Paul Davis Jr. doesn’t think it’s such a big deal. But Davis, who is 81, scored his fifth hole in one during a round of golf in July 8 men’s club play at Stone Creek Golf Club.

“I can’t understand why you are calling me,” Davis said. “It’s no big deal. I’ve played with a guy who had 15 holes in one.... I played at Glendoveer last Friday (July 12) with a guy from Happy Valley who is 85 (Bud Unruh) and he’s got eight of them. You should be doing a story on him.”

“I’ve been working here for 10 years and I can’t think of any one else [besides Paul Davis] who has had that many holes in one,” said Davis Torgerson, who works in the pro shop at Stone Creek. “He’s pretty amazing. There aren’t a lot of guys that are 81 and can still shoot their age.”

“For all the golf that I’ve played, I’ve only had three (holes in one),” said Stone Creek professional Ted Westling. “It takes skill, but it also takes luck.”

Paul Davis Jr., who has been playing the game of golf for 50 years, scored his fifth ace on the 125-yard sixth hole at Stone Creek, using his 8-iron.

Davis, who still has his scorecards for all but one of his five holes in one, recounted his previous aces:

“The first one was on Aug. 1, 1984, in a tournament at Mountain View in Boring — 155 yards, on the 10th hole, using my 8-iron....

“The second — 1992 at Pleasant Valley, 135 yards on the 13th, an 8-iron....

“The third — Feb. 23, 1995 — same course, same hole as the second, same club....

“I’ve lost or misplaced the fourth, but I think it was in Los Vegas, around 15 years ago.”

Davis, who retired 25 years ago as a senior sales representative for the Consumer Products Division of Scott Paper Company, says he used to play at Pleasant Valley with Safeway retiree Marv Britton, a golfing buddy who claimed to have shot 15 holes in one.

Davis was a Johnny-come-lately to the game of golf.

“I didn’t really start playing until I was 31,” he says. “My kids were grown and I’d been playing basketball for so long that I had ‘Spalding” imprinted on my forehead. I decided it was time to do something else for exercise.”

Davis says he learned the game from a neighbor, Bob Durgan, when he lived in Spokane.

“He was the nephew of Joe Durgan, the pro at Down River Golf Club,” Davis says.

Davis says he used to play golf five days a week, with an average score in the high 70’s. His lowest score was a 69 at Pleasant Valley.

Now he plays two days a week with the men’s club at Stone Creek, typically shooting in the high 80’s.

“I shot my age, 81,” he says of his July 8 round of golf that included the fifth hole in one.

Asked the secret to scoring a hole in one, Davis said, “Close your eyes, hit the ball, and a lot of luck.”

He added, “I really don’t know. It just happens.”

He said that when he shot his most recent ace it was on a men’s club KP hole, where two of his three partners came close to getting holes in one.

“Jeff [Gumer] stepped up and jacked it three feet from the flag,” Davis says. “The next guy, James Patterson, rolled it around the pin. We thought it went in. And the other guy, Bob Hicks, was already on the green. Two birdies, a par and a hole in one in the same group. That doesn’t happen very often.”

Davis added, “I’d much rather have gotten KP without the hole in one. I would have made $6. It ended up costing me $50 for drinks. That’s the code of the Golf Club. You get a hole in one, you buy drinks....

“I was a little worried. I was thinking, ‘I don’t have any money (on me) and I don’t have a credit card,’” Davis said. “But they said, ‘Your credit’s good with us.’ Fortunately the guys didn’t hit me too hard.”

Davis says that when he first started playing golf, he set some goals for himself.

“I wanted to make a birdie, an eagle, a hole in one, a double eagle and win a tournament,” he says. “Then I was going to quit. I’ve met all my goals except the double eagle....

“I don’t hit the ball as far as I used to, so that last one, the double eagle, is going to be tough. But under the right conditions, with the wind behind me and lots of luck, it could happen. There are a couple of holes at Stone Creek where I might still be able to do it. But I’d really have to get lucky.”

Davis says he almost scored a double eagle 10 years ago, the first time he played Stone Creek.

“It was on the 18th hole,” Davis recalls. “I was 71 and I shot a 71.”

Davis, who walks the course rather than riding in a golf cart, says of his current motivation for playing golf: “I enjoy it and it gives me a lot of exercise. And I enjoy the guys you meet and play with.”

Davis isn’t the only “athlete” in his family. His oldest son Bruce was an all-state baseball player for Milwaukie High School in the early 70’s and another son, Bryan, was an all-league and honorable mention all-state athlete in baseball.

Grandson’s Brett and Corey Davis both starred for Clackamas High School during the last decade. A 2006 graduate, Brett played first base and was a two-time Three Rivers League “Player of the Year.”

Corey graduated in 2008 and was catcher that year for the Clackamas ball club that won the school’s first state championship in baseball. He was the hero in the championship final, hitting a two-run home run that lifted the Cavaliers to a 3-1 victory in the final with Tigard.