Members of the Spring River Senior Golf Association line up at Nancy Lopez Golf Course in Spring River. (Photo by Blynn Beltran)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Wednesday is a day that signifies the middle of the working week, but it’s time to go for these seniors.

The Spring River Senior Golf Association is a nonprofit club for men and women over the age of 50 to compete in weekly tournaments on Wednesday mornings at Nancy Lopez Golf Course in Spring River. The association currently has 30 members on average and 40 at its peak.

“Anyone is welcome as long as they’re 50 or older. The association fee is $50 a year, including disability,” Louie Gomez said. is something to do, but we really appreciate the community we have here with all of our friends.”

Gomez, president of the Spring River Senior Golf Association, said the league’s goal is friendship and providing senior discounts to their members.

Gomez started with the Spring River Senior Golf Association about 14 years ago when he read league scores in the newspaper. Gomez said, “I didn’t even know there was a senior league in Roswell back then.”

Support local journalism
Subscribe at the Roswell Daily Record today.

Varney Brandt is the tournament organizer. He helps organize the tournaments played by the league.

“These guys do all the work and I just hang around,” Brandt joked.

Brandt said the first and best thing about the league is the camaraderie between members.

“Number two is the enjoyment of competing in a fun atmosphere,” Brandt said. “There’s a chance to win some prizes, but it’s mostly an opportunity to play golf.”

They also have competitions in tournaments. There is a challenge at hole #4 where league members closest to the pin can write their name on the board.

Eric Chavez, a professional golfer at the Nancy Lopez Golf Course in Spring River, helps organize the senior tournaments.

“I love hearing their stories, that’s the most important thing,” Chavez said. “They have a lot of history, not just with golf. I love hearing about their life and organizing their tournaments is a great time.

Another focus of the Spring River Senior Golf Association is exercise.

“A lot of us are quite active in our jobs and when we retired we weren’t as active as before,” said Abel Esquibel. “Golf is a sport that anyone can play in what I call the ‘twilight years.’ It’s not physically demanding for us. There are a lot of players here who are in their 70s and 80s, which I appreciate as they are willing to share their expertise. It helped me improve and enjoy the game more.”

Esquibel, the association’s secretary and treasurer, said they play different tournament formats every week and that has led him to meet new friends.

“When I started the league, I only knew one member, and there were probably 50 members,” Esquibel said. “Many of the tournaments were blind draws that the computer chose so we would be matched against other players in the league. I mentioned that I was coming back from Maine to visit my wife’s family. He said: “No way! I’m from Maine and we go there every year. We got to talk about some of the events we attended while we were there. So that’s the beauty of that. I met a lot great people here, and they have become my friends.

Esquibel said he encourages seniors to join, whether experienced golfers or beginners, because of their variety of tournament formats.

“People can be great players, not-so-good players or even beginners, but when you consider their handicap it’s a level playing field,” Esquibel said. “That’s what I appreciate. I wasn’t great when I started, but I was able to win some tournaments because of my handicap.

Blynn sportswriter Juliano Beltran can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or [email protected]