Only seven professional golfers in history have carded the low score of 59 in PGA play. On Tuesday, July 1 at Rod Maxwell of Windsor joined an elite group, shooting a rare par 59 at the Fox Prairie Golf Course in the Senior Men's League.
"My wife Shirley and I were watching a show on the golf channel the night before, ironically, featuring the few PGA golfers who had ever shot a 59," Maxwell said. "The next day I shot a 59. I can't explain it. It was one day in history where everything fell into place."
Maxwell is not a professional. He plays at least 50 times a year and his lowest score ever had been a 64, which had accomplished four times. On top of that, Maxwell has been battling a rare form of cancer for sometime and there is no remission for it.
"I go for a clinical trial every two weeks and the cancer and I have learned to co-exist," Maxwell said. "My handicap was +2 before I got sick. The last five or six years my health has kept me from playing well. I haven't played good again until this spring. I lost a playoff for the championship in the Cross County Tournament recently. I was playing decent, but I sure didn't see this coming."
Maxwell took up golf as a hobby 30 years ago, but almost gave it up.
"I didn't play golf until the early 80's," Maxwell said. "I used to rent clubs and play at Timberlake and play with Greg Bennett, Russell Rincker, Ed Taylor, and Lanny Bridges. I didn't get my first set until 1983. I wasn't very good. It took me a long time to even break 100. I should have just stopped playing. But then something clicked."
Maxwell continued to play. His son Kyle used to tag along before he could even hold a club and grew up to bean accomplished junior golfer. Kyle went on to play all four years at Eastern Illinois University and recently took 3rd place at the Houston City Amateur Tournament, just two shots from winning.