91-year-old sinks first hole-in-one
NAUGATUCK — With one swing, George M’Sadoques gave hope to anyone who has ever lifted a golf club.
The retired machinist, who will turn 92 next month, made a hole-in-one on the 134-yard seventh hole at Hop Brook Golf Course on July 31 for his first ace in nearly 50 years of golfing.
The shot the borough resident struck with his 6-iron sailed straight and true, landed in front of the green and bounded toward the pin, which was smack dab in the center.
“We didn’t actually see it go in,” said M’Sadoques’ playing partner, Joseph Conroy, also of Naugatuck. “We thought it had gone over the back.”
But when their search for the ball behind the green proved fruitless, Conroy peeked in the cup. There it was.
“George said, ‘You’re kidding.’ I said, ‘No, I’m not,’” related Conroy. “We were both surprised.”
Longtime golfers at Hop Brook estimate there are fewer than 10 holes-in-one on the course each year, and the large majority come on the shorter par-three fifth hole. M’Sadoques has rattled the pin a couple of times on No. 5.
He was raised on the Eastern Abenaki Reservation, part of the Algonquian nation, in Quebec. His father was Indian and his mother was French-Irish with ancestors who emigrated during the Potato Famine of the 19th century.
M’Sadoques came to Connecticut in 1943 to join his brothers, who had already enlisted to fight for the U.S. in World War II. As a member of the Army’s Polar Bears 177th Engineer Construction Battalion, he was stationed for a spell on Attu Island in Alaska, the only American soil invaded by the Japanese during the war.
A soft-spoken and unassuming man, he started playing golf after going to work as a machinist at Oxford General Industries in Prospect.
“They had a team and were looking for players, so I joined,” said M’Sadoques, who retired in 1989.
He lives only a short drive from Hop Brook, where he tees it up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Conroy, 75, a medical marvel himself who plays despite being hooked up to two small battery packs that power a pump doctors implanted next to his heart a year ago.
Helped by the “1” on his scorecard, M’Sadoques shot 45 for nine holes on the day of his ace. His usual score is between 45 and 50.
“(Golf) gets me out of bed in the morning and keeps me out of my wife’s way,” he said with a bit of a grin. “I always have fun no matter what. Any day I’m at the golf course is a happy day.”