While some seniors pursue bridge and sedentary pastimes, Pearl Levine takes to the links.
The Palace Coral Gables resident, who at 88 is a petite ball of energy, plays golf once a week every Monday. Though many seniors play the game, few have a list of accomplishments and awards that would rival Levine’s. She recently won the Club Championship at Granada Golf Club in Coral Gables. This was not her first championship at the historic course; it was her 15th. It is one of many wins in her list of golf tournaments.
She won the title for the first time in 1972. Levine also was awarded the golf club’s 2015 President’s Cup. She won this award in 1972 and 2013.
Pearl began playing golf 51 years ago when her husband bought her a set of clubs from Burdines. He had taken up the game and wanted her to play as well.
She never took lessons but started to play and was hooked on the game.
“I’ve only had one lesson,” Levine said. “It was from professional golfer Bob Toski with whom I was playing in a golf tournament along with Chi-Chi Rodriguez at Deering Bay, formerly Kings Bay Country Club. He watched my swing but didn’t make any changes.”
Her secret to winning is classic golf advice, “Keep your head down and follow through.” She said she doesn’t go out to win. She just enjoys getting out in the air.
“I find it very relaxing to be outside and getting some exercise,” Levine explained.
For years she walked the course and pulled her own hand cart for exercise, usually three times a week. She still has the cart but now relies on an electric powered golf cart when she plays.
Levine was one of a group of ladies who formed the Greenway Women’s Golf Association at the club and enjoyed volunteer efforts which included serving as rules chair, tournament chair and was its president in 1991-92.
Many of Miami’s courses have had tournaments won by Levine over the years including Normandy Golf Course, Miami Shores Country Club, Miami Beach and Biltmore in Coral Gables.
When she summered at Beech Mountain, NC, she was equally accomplished playing at the Beach Mountain Club. In one tournament, she had a hole-inone on hole No. 9 over the water.
“My partners were crying and I was too,” she remembered fondly.
Levine illustrates that golf can be played by people of all ages and because of the handicap system, individuals can compete regardless of their age.
“One of my best rounds was when I was on crutches,” she said. “My friends needed me to play. I’d hobble over and hit the ball and hobble back to the cart. I shot my best round of 88.”
At The Palace Coral Gables she is an active member in the community’s welcoming committee and enjoys helping people acclimate when they move.
“I’m always available,” she said. “People can call me any time to talk and ask my advice.”
She plays bingo and canasta and uses the community’s fitness center.
It was the luxury rental community’s happy hour that convinced her she would be happy living at The Palace.
“I was touring with my daughter one early evening and happy hour had started.I jumped up and just started dancing.”
The Palace at Coral Gables is inspired by the world-renowned Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris. The community offers residents extensive services and amenities geared to a luxurious senior lifestyle. For more information and to arrange a tour, call 305-445-7444 or visit www.PalaceCoralGables.com.