10,000 tee times

Do something 10,000 times and one is bound to get good at it.

That number - 10,000 - is how many rounds of golf that Guy Dobson figured he has played at Sweetwater Country Club.

Dobson played his first round of golf at 34 years old. From then own, it became a regular part of his life for the next 47 years.

Four days a week, Dobson is on Sweetwater's fairways, carving details and nuances into his game.

"I average that," he said of the number of times weekly he plays. "I'm blessed with the health to do that."

"He's a lot more limber than I am," said Dee Norwood, who is in his 60s. Norwood is the president of the board of directors for the Sweetwater Country Club.

At 81 years old, Dobson is a fixture at Sweetwater. He also works part-time in the pro shop.

Rivers Johnson became Sweetwater's manager in 2001. The first time he played the course, Dobson was in the foursome and kept up a swift pace covering the holes, he said.

"It was like a track meet," Johnson said.

Dobson moved to Barnwell in 1961 from Texas to work at the former Shuron plant, which made safety optics. He retired from the plant in 1991.

Ironically, Dobson had no interest in golf, he said.

"I used to make fun of people that played golf - chasing that ball out in the rain and cold," he said.

One day, 47 years ago, Dobson saw Johnny George practicing chip shots on his lawn, he said.

"He was chipping in the front yard. I didn't know anything about golf and I said to him, ‘Let me try that.' I got the bug," Dobson said.

Two weeks into playing golf, the novice Dobson had a hole-in-one, he said.

"I didn't know what it was at the time. I asked, ‘Is that good?'," Dobson said.

Six months into picking up a club, Dobson broke 80 on a round. His lowest score was a 66 he shot 25 years ago, he said.

In his time, Dobson has had seven holes-in-one, the most recent one last year. Dobson has also scored his age when he was 69.

He has been the club champion in the seniors division five times, he said.

Dobson is the past board president of the country club and served one term on the board of directors for the S.C. Golf Association.

Dobson's wife Laverne is not a "golf widow." Dobson got her interested in the game in 1979, he said.

Now Dobson regularly makes in the high 70s on his score card. Once his handicap was a four, but as he has aged, it is now an eight or nine, he said.

"If you can shoot below your age, that's an accomplishment," Dobson said. "I usually shoot below my age."

Golf advice is as common as divots. Dobson advises seeking the counsel of the professionals in the game.

"My idea of golf is to get the help of the pros and not practice their bad habits," he said.

Earlier, Dobson wrote up some of his reflections on his decades of golfing.

"...I'm thankful to several professional golfers who have worked with me to improve my skills. Even though I did not take lessons from a PGA pro when I began, I would advise and encourage all beginners to do so from a pro or coach in order to groove a proper swing early on," Dobson stated.

Some diehard golfers enjoy playing as many different courses, especially famous ones, as much as they enjoy playing the game. Not Dobson.

Dobson is not that fond of travelling, so he limited himself to playing different courses in the state earlier in his golfing career.

The octogenarian is content playing Sweetwater.

However, Dobson has attended the Masters for 28 years, only missing it once in 1984, he said.

"I talked to Lee Elders when he played," Dobson said.

Elders is the first African-American to play in the Masters in 1975.

The aspect of the Maters that appeals to Dobson is that the spectators are generally well behaved, he said.

Most golfers have their little fantasies - whether its scoring a pair of double eagles on a the back nine or sinking a 60-foot putt or even a hole-in-one. Dobson has his own wish - one he wrote in his reminiscence.

"As I enjoy the golden years of my golfing career, nothing would be more gratifying to me, after being a spectator at the Masters tournament for 27 years, than to have the opportunity to play one round of golf at the Augusta National Golf Course," he wrote.

Do something 10,000 times and one is bound to get good at it.

That number - 10,000 - is how many rounds of golf that Guy Dobson figured he has played at Sweetwater Country Club.

Dobson played his first round of golf at 34 years old. From then own, it became a regular part of his life for the next 47 years.

Four days a week, Dobson is on Sweetwater's fairways, carving details and nuances into his game.

"I average that," he said of the number of times weekly he plays. "I'm blessed with the health to do that."

"He's a lot more limber than I am," said Dee Norwood, who is in his 60s. Norwood is the president of the board of directors for the Sweetwater Country Club.

At 81 years old, Dobson is a fixture at Sweetwater. He also works part-time in the pro shop.

Rivers Johnson became Sweetwater's manager in 2001. The first time he played the course, Dobson was in the foursome and kept up a swift pace covering the holes, he said.

"It was like a track meet," Johnson said.

Dobson moved to Barnwell in 1961 from Texas to work at the former Shuron plant, which made safety optics. He retired from the plant in 1991.

Ironically, Dobson had no interest in golf, he said.

"I used to make fun of people that played golf - chasing that ball out in the rain and cold," he said.

One day, 47 years ago, Dobson saw Johnny George practicing chip shots on his lawn, he said.

"He was chipping in the front yard. I didn't know anything about golf and I said to him, ‘Let me try that.' I got the bug," Dobson said.

Two weeks into playing golf, the novice Dobson had a hole-in-one, he said.

"I didn't know what it was at the time. I asked, ‘Is that good?'," Dobson said.

Six months into picking up a club, Dobson broke 80 on a round. His lowest score was a 66 he shot 25 years ago, he said.

In his time, Dobson has had seven holes-in-one, the most recent one last year. Dobson has also scored his age when he was 69. He has been the club champion in the seniors division five times, he said.

Dobson is the past board president of the country club and served one term on the board of directors for the S.C. Golf Association.

Dobson's wife Laverne is not a "golf widow." Dobson got her interested in the game in 1979, he said.

Now Dobson regularly makes in the high 70s on his score card. Once his handicap was a four, but as he has aged, it is now an eight or nine, he said.

"If you can shoot below your age, that's an accomplishment," Dobson said. "I usually shoot below my age."

Golf advice is as common as divots. Dobson advises seeking the counsel of the professionals in the game.

"My idea of golf is to get the help of the pros and not practice their bad habits," he said.

Earlier, Dobson wrote up some of his reflections on his decades of golfing.

"...I'm thankful to several professional golfers who have worked with me to improve my skills. Even though I did not take lessons from a PGA pro when I began, I would advise and encourage all beginners to do so from a pro or coach in order to groove a proper swing early on," Dobson stated.

Some diehard golfers enjoy playing as many different courses, especially famous ones, as much as they enjoy playing the game. Not Dobson.

Dobson is not that fond of travelling, so he limited himself to playing different courses in the state earlier in his golfing career.

The octogenarian is content playing Sweetwater.

However, Dobson has attended the Masters for 28 years, only missing it once in 1984, he said.

"I talked to Lee Elders when he played," Dobson said.

Elders is the first African-American to play in the Masters in 1975.

The aspect of the Maters that appeals to Dobson is that the spectators are generally well behaved, he said.

Most golfers have their little fantasies - whether its scoring a pair of double eagles on a the back nine or sinking a 60-foot putt or even a hole-in-one. Dobson has his own wish - one he wrote in his reminiscence.

"As I enjoy the golden years of my golfing career, nothing would be more gratifying to me, after being a spectator at the Masters tournament for 27 years, than to have the opportunity to play one round of golf at the Augusta National Golf Course," he wrote.