TODAY, while the majority of veteran golfers at Kempsey Golf Club settle for a schooner, 95-year-old Milton Riggs joins the outliers.
Milton settles for a tonic water to wash down a meat pie in the beer garden as the other minorities select a diet cola, orange juice, ginger beer or sparkling water.
The meat pie munchers are in the minority as well, with sizzling patties on the barbecue - cooked by Graheme Martin, John Inder and Chris Hudson - this is the choice of food for most. Compliments to the chefs too, it was delicious.
While some pick differently for their choice of recovery from dominating 14 holes at Kempsey Golf Club, the veteran golfers are all a team.
A team of men in their light blue uniforms, coming together for golf, food, drink and an excuse to meet with their comrades.
For Milton, who turned 95 on July 19, it's this light-hearted connection between the group that's the main drawcard.
"Comradeship," he answers when asked what his favourite part of golf is.
"I get to be here with my friends, get away from the four walls of my house and come out and enjoy my golf."
There's also another incentive.
"I come out here to learn new swear words," he adds.
Although the shoe could be on the other foot.
"Or teach them?" one of the day's 37 starters questions.
Milton's golfing career started as a kid, playing at the old Kempsey Golf Course in West Kempsey.
He joined the Air Force during the war before returning to Kempsey in 1959 and getting back in the swing of things, golf-wise, in 1963.
His father, Lawrence, was also a war veteran, having served in World War I.
Milton's sister, Joan Dooley, hit the 100 mark in February this year while their late sister is Patricia Riggs, former Walkley award winning editor of The Macleay Argus.
Milton's key to success and living a long prosperous life is simple.
He gave up drinking in 1961 and smoking in 1970 - to which he assured the truth of this statement to the crowd of golfers.
"Waste of money," he said of drinking.
The Tuesday stableford competition saw Milton finish as one of the ball competition winners and nearest the pin in C grade.
"Very often he wins nearest the pin," Argus columnist Greg Mayhew said.
It must be down to that common phrase Milton's a stickler for.
Congrats on 95 years, Milton, that tonic water and meat pie is well earned.
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