Frank Fukuhara — 100 years old, and still swinging.
In August 2011, I wrote a column about Frank Fukuhara, who was 96 years old, and playing golf three times a week.
On Feb. 5, Frank turned 100. He has cut back on his golf to now playing only twice a week. He says on Wednesdays and Fridays he gets up at 3:30 a.m. so he can be at the Los Verdes Golf Course in Palos Verdes by 5 a.m. and reserve a morning time spot one week ahead.
On Wednesdays, he plays with his 93-year-old brother, Jimmy. On Fridays, he plays with Ihoko, his 84-year-old wife.
Frank, a widower at the time, met Ihoko 37 years ago when the two of them went separately to play at the Rancho Park Golf Course and were put on together — a golf love story. Frank says it has been the best 37 years of his life! Ihoko is a retired nurse, and Frank gives her a lot of credit for keeping him in good health.
He has two hobbies other than golf — growing vegetables and writing letters. He says the words flow out of him as easily as water from his kitchen faucet.
At Frank’s stage in life, his golf score may not be of much consequence, but I remember playing with him 3½ years ago and being impressed at how straight he drove the ball and how well he chipped and putted. He told me, at that time, how thankful he was to be in good health and still able to play. How much more must he have these feelings today.
Frank has picked out Feb. 6, 2016 for his next birthday party, and has invited me and Marion. We look forward to going.
From left: Willie, 88, who lives in San Diego; Lily Takayama, 89, from New Jersey; George, 91, who lives in San Jose; Frank, 100; Tomi Matsunaga, 97, who lives in Santa Monica; and Jimmy, 93, living in Marina Del Rey. Brother Henry passed away in 2010 at 96.
Phil Shigekuni writes from San Fernando Valley and can be contacted at [email protected] The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.