York man enjoys golden years on the greens

Valley Green Golf Course in Etters is now 50 years old.

That makes it a whipper snapper to Sandy Harper.

“August 1922,” Sandy answers when asked his birthday. “I just had my 92nd last month.”

Whoever said youth is wasted on the young never met Sandy. You’ll find him wandering the fairways and greens at Valley Green a couple times a week.

You’ll never find him riding in a golf cart.

“I walk. I carry my bag. I love walking and I love walking on the golf course,” Harper said.

He also loves playing and he’s pretty good. We followed him for three holes. He had a birdie putt on #1 that just missed and he drained a 12-footer on #2.

“On my 92nd birthday, I shot 83,” Harper said with pride.

“It’s an amazing story,” said Valley Green general manager John Hicks, who’s 50-something. “I’d be thrilled to shoot an 83 myself.”

We were told Sandy has 10 career holes-in-one.

“Eleven actually,” Sandy corrected, “but I was by myself with the one so I don’t count it.”

Sandy spent eight years in the U.S. Navy and saw time in World War Two and Korea as PBY gunner.

“We were a patrol bomber,” he said. “We were Black Cat Squadron. We were painted black and we did night missions with PT boats.”

Sandy married Katherine 68 years ago and began filling his scorecard.

“Two daughters, five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren,” he easily rattles off and says they all live in the York area.

When not playing golf, Sandy tends to Katherine, 88, who’s in a nursing home battling Alzheimer’s. He also jokes about the girl he married four years his junior.

“I like the younger ones,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes.

But the staff at Valley Green prefers them older. Sandy’s their favorite.

“Just to watch him throw his bag over his shoulder at 92 years old and start walking down the fairways, sun coming up, it’s a beautiful sight to see,” Hicks said, “just a reminder of how life can be so good.”

Sandy looks good and said he feels good. So what’s the secret?

Good genes?

“Yeah,” he says. “Good jeans. Levi’s, Lees.”

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