Oct. 26, 1904 Minneapolis Hennepin County Minnesota, USA
Jun. 8, 2009 Phoenix Maricopa County Arizona, USA
From the Arizona Republic May 20, 2009
Edwin Dibos didn't bother with practice swings. The centenarian was ready to grip and rip, even without his can of WD-40.
At a spry 104 years old, the lifelong golf lover from Phoenix whacked seven shots off the tees at Encanto 9 Golf Course on Tuesday. Six hit the fairway, and one barely trickled into the rough.
"It's been a long time," he said. "I'm so darned old, it's a miracle I even get around."
His friends say Dibos is the miracle.
As recently as last year, he was playing matches with his son, Don, and golf buddies Norman Durette and Duane McQuay of Phoenix, a pair of "kids" in their 80s, on the municipal executive course.
The bet was always one dollar per man, and when asked how he fared, Dibos cracked, "I was about as good as they come."
He was still driving himself to the course at 101 and only recently moved into assisted-care living at Arizona Grand. At 100, he could still break 40 for nine holes, and he didn't start riding in a cart until a hip problem caught up with him at 98.
The Minnesota native made his only hole in one at Encanto two days after his 89th birthday in October 1993.
Dibos couldn't see where his 4-iron shot landed on the third hole, a 150-yard par 3, but playing partner Joe Shook informed him that it went in the hole.
"I didn't buy the drinks," Dibos said when asked about the hole-in-one tradition. "I let them buy me a drink."
Over the past six months, age has taken a toll on Dibos. His weight has dropped as his appetite has diminished.
Caregivers at Inspiris Hospice say he is happiest when he talks about golf, and a few months ago he asked about returning to the site of his ace.
"There is a putting green at Arizona Grand, but he's not interested," hospice volunteer Nicole Phillips said. "He said he wanted to go to a real golf course, and he didn't know if he would ever be able to do this again. I can't describe how much this has meant to him."
When asked about his longevity nearly 16 years ago after making his hole-in-one, Dibos said his secret was a combination of "fast food, Pepto Bismol and WD-40," which he rubbed into his joints before playing.
"It works great, and after a while you don't even notice the smell," he said of the spray lubricant.
"I don't think he needs it today," hospice volunteer Barry Brandy said Tuesday. "I think he's doing great for 104. I haven't seen him smile this much in a long time."
Durette and McQuay fondly remember Dibos as a golfer who likes to tinker with his clubs and is a stickler for the rules.
"By the book," Durette said. "No mulligans, no way. He would say, 'That's not golf; play it as it lies.' If you had a question about the rules, he had the answer, and we always abided by what he said."
After Tuesday's outing, Dibos received an added surprise when Champions Tour pro Don Pooley, who is competing this week in the Senior PGA Championship, called on a cellphone to wish him well and talked to him about his return to his beloved municipal course.
Sports long have been a passion for Dibos, who started playing golf at age 6 and was captain of his high school football and basketball teams.
When he turned 100, he was asked when he might give up the game.
"When I can't stand up anymore," he said at the time.
On Tuesday, he was still standing. And still swinging.