Dr Walter Kearns Golf


 Bio of Dr. Kearns

 Coach Kearns

 Competitive Highlight Timeline

 Fantastic Facts  

 Hole In Ones







Dr. Walter Kearns


Dr. Walter Kearns turned in his final scorecard with a 97 on May 21, 2019, passing peacefully at home in Woodland Hills, CA. He enjoyed a competitive golf career spanning 83 years, and was quite likely the finest golfer over age 90 in the world for several years. Here are some of his remarkable accomplishments:

  • Shooting his age over 1,150 times since 1989, when he shot a 66 at age 67. Check out the 66!
  • Personal record of 16 strokes under his age, (71 at age 87; 75 at age 91)
  • 1989 qualifier at age 67 for US Senior Amateur Championship (age 55+) in Houston, TX
  • Winner of the 2002 Southern California Golf Association Super-Seniors (age 65+) qualifying tournament with a 73 at Horse Thief CC in Tehachapi, CA
  • Shot a 98 left-handed at Lakeside GC in 2000, while nursing an elbow injury
  • Eleven career hole-in-ones, including seven accomplished in a five-year span after turning 80.
  • Winning Lakeside Golf Club Championship 26 years apart (1967 and 1993)
  • Qualifying for the Lakeside Club Championship Final Four in 2005 at age 83.
  • #1 player and Captain of Princeton University Golf Team, 1942-1943.
  • US Amateur Qualifier, 1941.
  • Wisconsin State Junior Championships Runner-Up, 1939.

Use the links at left to navigate the following information.


Walter Kearns was introduced to golf in 1934 at age 12 in the municipal junior golf program in Milwaukee, WI. After he and his brother Jack showed a passion for the game, his father joined Blue Mound Country Club so that they could play and practice at a first-rate facility.

Kearns quickly became a top junior golfer, Runner-Up in the Wisconsin State Junior Championship in 1939. At Princeton, Kearns was the captain and #1 player on the NCAA Division I golf team in 1942 and 1943. College highlights include winning the Eastern Intercollegiate Individual Championships in 1944, while a medical student at Johns Hopkins.

He qualified for the US Amateur in 1941. While the possibility of a professional career beckoned, Kearns chose to focus on his medical studies and enjoyed a 49-year career as a general surgeon, mostly in West Hills, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley.

Through raising a family and building his medical practice, golf remained a constant hobby and competitive outlet.

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Coach Kearns

After closing his medical practice and winding up a five-year stint with the Indian Health Service as a surgeon for the Navajo Nation in Shiprock, NM, Kearns served as the head coach of the Taft High School (Woodland Hills, CA) golf team from 2000 to 2005.

Taft - the alma mater of Kearns' sons Wally, Brad and Jeff - had dropped its golf program for over a decade prior to Kearns resurrecting the program. This despite a rich tradition in the sport including a 1981 California State High School Championship, a team that included Top-30 PGA Tour player Duffy Waldorf.

In his first season as coach, the Taft team finished with a league match record of 10-0. In 2003, the team placed 4th in the Los Angeles City High School Golf championships.

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Competitive Highlights

  • 1939 - Wisconsin State Junior Championships Runner-Up
  • 1941 - US Amateur Qualifier
  • 1943 - Winner, Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Championships. Shot 76-69=145, Washington, D.C.
  • 1943 - 6th low qualifier, NCAA Division I Golf Championships. Lost in Match Play to eventual winner and PGA Tour player Wally Ulrich at Olympia Fields CC in Chicago, IL
  • 1957 - Winner, El Caballero Country Club Championship
  • 1967 - Winner, Lakeside Golf Club Championship
  • 1968 - Winner, Brentwood CC (Los Angeles, CA) Invitational Low Gross with partner Jim Irsfeld
  • 1975 - Winner, American Medical Association National Championships, Olympic Club Lake Course (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1989 - Qualifier, United States Senior Amateur Golf Championship, Houston, TX
  • 1973 - Runner-Up, Lakeside Golf Club Championship
  • 1993 - Winner, Lakeside Golf Club Championship (def. Mark McNamara, age 31. A college teammate of Payne Stewart at Houston)
  • 2002 - Winner, SCGA Super Seniors Qualifying Tournament. Shot 73 at Horse Thief CC in Tehachapi, CA
  • 2005 - Semi-Finalist, Lakeside Golf Club Championship. Lost to eventual champion Greg Bell (0.6 handicap)
  • 2009 - Shot 71 on both the west and east courses of Braemar Country Club over the summer, a new personal record of 16 shots under his age
  • 2011 - Shot 76 in a Braemar intra-club tournament. The round featured a quintuple bogey "9" on the 4th hole, with the other 17 holes played in even par.
  • 2012 - Shot 76 at Braemar Country Club, 14 strokes under his age.
  • 2013 - Shot 76 at Braemar Country Club, 16 strokes under his age


  • 1942 - Clifton Park Golf Course, Baltimore, MD. 2nd hole, 206 yards, 2 iron (how did he remember that?!)
  • 1966 - Lakeside Golf Club. 3rd hole, 164 yards, 5 iron
  • 1968 - Lakeside Golf Club. 3rd hole, 164 yards, 5 iron
  • 1970 - Hillcrest Country Club, Los Angeles, CA. 12th hole, 185 yards, 3 iron
  • 2002 - Lakeside Golf Club. 6th hole, 142 yards, 7 iron
  • 2002 - Oakmont Country Club, Pasadena, CA. 11th hole, 145 yards, 7 iron
  • 2003 - Braemar Country Club West Course, Tarzana, CA. 18th hole, 155 yards, 6 iron
  • 2004 - Lakeside Golf Club. 6th hole, 142 yards, 7 iron
  • 2004 - Braemar Country Club West Course, Tarzana, CA. 7th hole, 116 yards, 8 iron
  • 2005 - Lakeside Golf Club. 3rd hole, 164 yards
  • 2007 - Lakeside Golf Club. 15th hole, 155 yard, 6-iron

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  What Others Say


2007 NEWS

Eleven Aces for Kearns!

On Wednesday, February 28th, 2007, Walter Kearns hit his 11th career hole-in-one at his home course of Lakeside Golf Club. This one came on the 155-yard 15th hole, with a 6-iron. This is his seventh ace since turning 80 in 2002!

Kearns hits 10th Career Hole-In-One!

On Saturday, October 22nd, 2005, Walter Kearns hit his 10th career hole-in-one on his favorite hole - the 164-yard par 3 at Lakeside! Kearns' 4-iron shot was his third ace on that hole (1966, 1968 and 2005) and his sixth ace since turning 80 in 2002.

Recent Article in LA Times: About posting 800+ below-age scores and golf career longevity



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