NOVATO, Calif. (KTVU) - He’s lived through 18 presidents, fought in WW II, and has been retired for nearly 40 years.
And at 101 years old, Carroll Dwight "CD" Madsen has still got quite the golf game.
“It just feels wonderful because you know older people get in the habit of sitting," he said. "And I hate to sit."
Since joining Novato’s Marin Country Club in 1960, Madsen figures he’s played nearly 10,000 rounds of golf. He’s still good for three to four rounds a week and consistently shoots below his age.
“I did pretty good today, though I had a 91 and I blew three holes,” Madsen said.
The former contractor has seen it all. He grew up in Sausalito and watched the Golden Gate Bridge go up in the '30s. He was a young sailor when the battle of Okinawa broke out in 1945. He married his high school sweetheart, Charlotte, in 1940. His son, Ralph, is now 78 and he’s also grandpa to two grandchildren and two great grandsons. His secret to a long life is pretty simple.
“I had a good wife and we were married for 68 and half years," he said. "I think it had a lot to do with it. She was a great gal, a beautiful gal."
Staying active and connected have kept Madsen young -- especially hanging out with the young bunch in his foursome: Rick Pemintel is 75, Al Cattan is 89, and Ray Cohn is 79. Together, they have combined age of 346. And they all look up to the Madsen, who celebrated his 100th birthday at the Marin Country Club last year.
“He’s an inspiration for everyone," Pimentel said. "He’s 101 going on 70. I mean, he’s amazing."
Cattan added, “His spirit? The best! You couldn’t find anyone that has better spirit. He’s always thinking positive.”
In April of 2017, Madsen did something that most golfers dream about.
He recorded his first hole-in-one at the 16th hole on the 150 yard par 3 at the club. The club was so impressed they erected a plaque in his honor right off the tee.
“It was a miracle," Madsen said. "It had to be a miracle! Ninety nine years without a hole in one then you get one. How could you be so lucky?”
The San Rafael resident got national attention in 2018 when he was asked by the PGA to star and voice over their opening promo celebrating the PGA’s 100th year. Like everything he does, he aced it.
As for the future? He will continue to spread happiness at MCC. He says there are still a lot of rounds left in his 101-year-old frame and he has no plans of slowing down.
“Yeah, I just feel lucky," Madsen said. " I wake up in the a.m. early, and an hour later I’m on the golf course with family and friends. It doesn’t get any better than that!”