Tag Archives: Golf

(Left to right) Stephen Walker, Tom Nunn, writer Jeff Nunn
and Kevin Blair, winners of the annual Sigma Phi Epsilon
Alumni Golf Scramble at Eagle Creek Golf Course in 2016.
Or maybe it was 2017. Either way, they won both.

Learning to Enjoy Golf with Age

(Left to right) Stephen Walker, Tom Nunn, writer Jeff Nunn and Kevin Blair, winners of the annual Sigma Phi Epsilon Alumni Golf Scramble at Eagle Creek Golf Course in 2016. Or maybe it was 2017. Either way, they won both.

(Left to right) Stephen Walker, Tom Nunn, writer Jeff Nunn
and Kevin Blair, winners of the annual Sigma Phi Epsilon
Alumni Golf Scramble at Eagle Creek Golf Course in 2016.
Or maybe it was 2017. Either way, they won both.

By Jeff Nunn of CardinalSportsZone.com

When I was in my twenties, I would show up at the

course about 10 minutes prior to my tee time, rush

into the clubhouse, pay my green fees, hop on a cart,

pull up to the first tee, take two practice swings and

then swing out of my shoes as I tried to smash the

ball down the fairway.

Well, as they say, “I ain’t as young as I once was.”

I’m not exactly old enough for the senior tour, but I’m

not getting any younger, and my body will sometimes

remind me of it, especially after a long day on the

golf course under hot conditions. Yes, my body has

changed and so must my game and preparation. But

that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to enjoy the

game that I love. I just have to be smarter and

willing to adapt.

Now, I arrive at the course about an hour prior

to my tee time. I head over to the driving range

where I stretch before hitting a small bucket of

balls to help warm up my muscles. Once I’m

warmed up, I head back to the clubhouse where

I purchase a water or Gatorade to take with me

on the course. I have to stay hydrated. I also grab

a snack to tuck away in my bag for later in the

round. Then, I get out the sun screen and apply

generously. Depending on the conditions, I may

also apply a little bug spray. The last thing I do

before I tee off is pop open my bottle of Aleve

and take two. I know I am going to encounter

some aches and pains somewhere within my round,

so I take this preventative measure.

Getting older and losing physical strength, balance,

eye-hand coordination and flexibility doesn’t have

to hinder your ability to play and enjoy golf. Like me,

you have to change your routine and be willing to

admit that some courses, equipment and situations

are no longer suitable for you.

Picking the right course for you is very important

for your enjoyment. In your younger days, the more

challenging the course, the more fun you could

have. Hitting long shots over water or hitting up to

By Jeff Nunn of CardinalSportsZone.com

elevated greens seemed like a challenge and a lot of

fun. Hitting out of a deep green-side bunker was fun

and interesting. Now, you worry more about getting

yourself out of the bunker rather than the ball – and

that doesn’t seem enjoyable. So, be very aware of the

course you choose. If there are multiple shots where

you must carry the ball about 175 yards over a hazard

or the majority of the greens do not allow a run up

shot, then you might want to think about choosing

a different course.

Another thing to help you choose a good course

that is suitable for your game is to take the total length

of a good drive for you and multiple that by 28. That

will give you the yardage of a course that will be a lot

of fun to play: not too hard, not too easy.

Once you find courses that are more enjoyable

for your game, you may also need to change the tees

you hit from. As you get older, you won’t be able to

hit the ball as far, so moving up a set of tees can only

help your enjoyment. Having people see you hitting

from the pro tees doesn’t impress them, especially

when you only hit the ball 200 yards, leaving yourself

a 3-wood shot into a par 4. Move up to the white tees,

or if you are a senior, don’t be afraid to move up to

the senior tees. They are there for a reason, so use

them if you qualify. An enjoyable round means you

should be hitting a mid-iron into a green on a par 4,

so put yourself into position to do so. After all, this

game is supposed to be fun.

Your equipment may need to change as your

game changes. The advancements in equipment are

incredible. The technology of the new drivers and

balls are crazy and has helped maintain distance

despite your decreasing club-head speed. Irons, on

the other hand, are slowly being replaced with hybrid

clubs. As you lose distance with your longer irons, you

can start replacing them with the new hybrid clubs.

Putting a set of irons in your bag that are more

forgiving can help as your ball striking becomes

less consistent. Putting graphite shafts in your

irons is a good idea because they are lighter and

can help with swing speed. Also, putting bigger

grips on your clubs can help with decreased grip

strength and aching hands or wrists.

Be smart about the conditions you play in.

In my younger days, I would say, “The hotter,

the better.” Now, not so much. I get much more

enjoyment playing in partly-cloudy conditions

in the 75 to 80 degree range. And when a good

rain storm popped up, I used to consider that

a challenge. Now, I call it time to head to the

clubhouse. Everyone has different likes, but

when the conditions reach a point that it’s no longer

enjoyable, why keep playing? Playing when your

heart is not fully committed can lead to injury and

nobody wants to get hurt.

No matter if Father Time is calling or he called

years ago, you can still play golf and enjoy it. You just

have to realize you now have physical limitations, and

you must adjust for them. Everyone is different and

everyone’s body changes and reacts in different ways.

You just have to find tips, tricks and adjustments that

work for you. As Raymond Floyd said: “Golf is a game,

and games are meant to be enjoyed.” I couldn’t agree

more. Good luck and hit’em straight!


Aiming for a Perfect Round of Health

screen-shot-2018-03-07-at-10-00-18-amWith every sport comes the risk for

injury. Jeffrey S. Stephenson, M.D., sports

health physician with Norton Orthopedic

Specialists, treats athletes and has seen

it all. He shared the most common golfrelated

injuries and steps you can take to

play pain-free this season.

Lower Back Injuries

Hopefully this golf season, the only back that

needs fixing has to do with your backswing. The

most common golf-related injuries involve the

lower back. The back is more engaged in the game

than you might think. It comes into play during

the rotation in your golf swing.

“The transition when you take your arms back

to swing through – your power from your upper

body – is linked to your lower body through the

core musculature,” Dr. Stephenson said.

Injury prevention measures: Your core and

lower back work together to help you power

through your swing. That’s why it’s important to

build the foundation for a strong core.

“You can’t have a weak lower back and expect

to be able to play golf on a regular basis,” Dr.

Stephenson said.

He suggests a regimen of isometric exercises

to help strengthen the back, such as low back

extensions and crunches. An active warm-up

ahead of your round of golf also is very important.

Elbow Injuries

“There are a lot of gripping mechanics that have

to happen to be able to get a golf club through

the ball and hit a ball consistently well, which

can cause elbow injuries,” Dr. Stephenson said.

“Golfer’s elbow” is a common overuse injury to

the soft tissue in the tendon or the medial elbow.

This injury can happen with repetitive swinging

of the golf club.

Injury prevention measures: Stretch the affected

tendons through simple wrist stretching exercises.

It’s also important to make sure you are swinging


“If you are concerned that you are having

consistent pain with your swing, it may be

worthwhile to have your swing checked out by a

golf professional,” Dr. Stephenson said. “If there

are certain mechanical issues with your swing, it

makes you more susceptible to injury.”

He says many elbow injuries are caused by

hitting the club into the ground, which can put

strain on the tendons.

Shoulder Injuries

Your golf swing could cause strains, pain and

inflammation in your shoulder. The most common

shoulder injury is rotator cuff impingement,

which is inflammation around the rotator cuff

tendons. The rotator cuff is made up of muscles

and tendons that help stabilize the ball and socket

joint of the shoulder.

“You can get inflammation around those

tendons, which causes an impingement and

can be painful,” Dr. Stephenson said.

Injury prevention measures: The best way to

prevent a golf-related shoulder injury is to establish

a good warm-up routine.

“Take the time to carefully swing through the

club, rather than stepping right onto the course

to begin your round,” Dr. Stephenson said.

Knee Injuries

Golfing and walking along uneven surfaces on

a golf course can pose a hazard to knees.

“Those potential hazards are the twisting and

turning that can lead to meniscus tears in the

knee,” Dr. Stephenson said.

Injury prevention measures: Be mindful of

where you are stepping on the course and make

sure you have good swing mechanics in place. If

you’re not so sure about your swing, enlist the

help of a golf professional to help you perfect

your swing.


Let It Fly

Ready to give disc golf a try?

Disc golf is a fast-growing sport played

outdoors with rules similar to “ball golf.” Its

often played on a course with nine or 18 holes,

though other formats are also used. Instead of

balls and clubs, players use a flying disc, which

is thrown from a tee to the target (aka the “hole).

While most people play for the fun (and,

sometimes, frustration) of the sport, there are

professionals who make a living playing disc

golf full-time.

Enthusiasts warn – with smiles, of course –

that playing can easily become addictive. And,

regardless of your skill or physical ability, disc

golf is a sport anyone can play.

So, you want to play…

Established in 2016, So In Disc Golf Club “is

growing rapidly,” said president Bryan Alexander.

“Since our inception, we have seen multiple

courses developed and most recently (Disc

Crazy Outdoor and More) opened in Clarksville.

With our primary purpose to foster the growth

of the sport of disc golf, we primarily organize

volunteers to host events at our area courses.”

Find out more about the club and where to

play disc golf at www.soindiscgolf.com.

Where to get your gear

Disc Crazy Outdoor and More in Clarksville

offers Innova and Discmania, Dynamic Discs,

Latitude64, Westside Discs, Prodigy, Discraft,

Gateway, MVP and Axiom. They also have

accessories and apparel, disc golf baskets and

outdoor recreational games. The shop is open 10

a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

A Little Lingo

Want to learn the language of disc golf? Get

to know these terms.

Ace: Known as a hole in one in ball golf. An

ace occurs when a player makes their first shot,

or drive, into the basket. One of the unique

practices in disc golf is to have all participants

in the ace group or all spectators sign the “ace

disc.” Aces are more common in disc golf than

ball golf as the top pros boast as many as 100+

aces in their careers.

Anhyzer: A disc’s flight arc that fades to the

right for a right-handed backhand throw.

Birdie: Completing a hole one stroke under par.

Approach: Usually the second shot of a hole,

designed to place the disc within putting distance.

Drive: Any throw off of the tee pad, or a throw

from the fairway designed for maximum distance.

Driver: A disc designed for fast, long-distance

flight. The driver is the most difficult to control.

Hyzer: A disc’s flight arc that fades to the left

for the right-handed backhand throw.

Lie: The spot where the disc comes to rest. This

is often marked by a mini-disc marker.

Mid-range: A mid-range disc is a driver disc

designed for slower and more stable flight.

Mini / Marker: A small disc used to mark a

player’s lie.

Par: Like in ball golf, each disc golf hole has

a posted par. The par is the desired number of

strokes that a player would need to complete

the hole. To the competitive disc golfer, every

hole is a par three, making the total par for 18

holes always 54. This serves to simplify the game.

Pole hole or basket: The target for catching

the disc. Pole Hole is short for Disc Pole Hole.

Putt: The final throw(s) of the hole aimed

at getting your disc to come to rest in the

trapper basket. Any throw within the circle

(10 meter radius).

Putter or putt and approach disc: Putters

or Putt and Approach discs are designed for

short-distance and stable flight. Usually used

within the circle.

Roller: A rolling disc advance (e.g., the disc

rolls along the ground).

Stability – stable: Flying straight; when

released flat, a disc has a tendency to fly straight.

Understable: when released flat, a disc has a

tendency to fly right. Overrstable: when released

flat, a disc has a tendency to fly left. (When thrown

the right arm and back handed.)

Tee Pad: The location or designated area in

which the first throw of the golf hole is suppose

to take place from. Tee Pads are typically be

made of concrete or rubber. A portion of a side

walk or a utility marker flag or spray painted box

may also be used as a tee pad.

The Basket: Born of the original pole hole,

the game of disc golf advanced rapidly with the

invention of “Steady” Ed’s Disc Pole Hole or

“Basket” as it is commonly referred to by disc

golfers. Once a disc comes to rest in the basket,

the hole is considered complete.

The Circle: This is what helps defines a true

disc golf putt. If a player is throwing his/her disc

at the basket with in a 10 Meter or 30 Ft circle of

the basket, they must follow an additional set of

putting rules defined by the PDGA. Basically if

you’re in the circle, your disc has to come to rest

in the basket before any part of your body touches

past the mini marker towards the basket. Failure

to do so can lead to a “falling putt” penalty stroke.

Throw: The act of advancing the disc towards

the basket. This can be accomplished by many

different throwing styles; Backhand, Forehand,

Rollers. Each throw is counted towards the

player’s score.

Tomahawk: An overhand throw at a vertical angle.

Source: DiscGolf.com

Disc Crazy Outdoor and More

652 Eastern Blvd. , Clarksville

260.233.ACE1 (2231), disccrazy.net

@dcomdiscgolf on Facebook


Editor’s Note | October 2017

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-6-41-56-pmPizza Today Art Director Josh Keown shot this month’s cover story, including that delicious cover shot. He’s also featured as our Athlete Next Door – and for good reason. Despite traveling the country photographing, featuring and often tasting pies for a living, after recently turning 40, Josh is in the best shape of his life. How in the world did he do it? Read his story to find out more.


For the second time in his life, Pat McCrite shot a hole-in-one, which we celebrate in these pages. My favorite part of writing up this short snippet was calling friends who golf – I do not – to help me with the lingo when I couldn’t get ahold of my golf guru hubby (thank you, Will Dierking for the ultimate assist) as well as the fact that Pat made the milestone in the presence of his daughter, Ali (McCrite) Glotzbach. Sure, Pat won an award that’s worth a bit of cash, but experiencing what is usually a once-in-a-lifetime happening in the presence of family and friends? Priceless.


In our previous two issues, we asked for your nominations and subsequent votes for the best public place to watch sports on TV. It was thrilling to watch the votes roll in. As soon as we thought there was a clear winner, yet another venue would take the lead. But, finally, the contest is over and the Extol Team is thrilled to announce Bearno’s Southern Indiana has won the award. Now go and enjoy, but don’t forget to try out the other finalists, too.


In this issue, we feature our first-ever High School Spotlight, a feature highlighting local high school teams, coaches and athletes. This time around, writer Daniel Karell casts a light on Providence’s Marissa and Ali Hornung, sisters who are making –and taking – names on the volleyball court. If there’s a high school athlete, team or coach you’d like to see featured, send an email to extol@ extolmag.com.

As always, thanks for picking us up. We appreciate your support.


Angie Fenton

Editor in Chief


Celebrating Success: Pat McCrite Records Another Hole-in-One

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-39-54-pmFor most of us, a single hole-in-one is unachievable. But for a rare few, there are more.

Pat McCrite of McCrite Milling – on what happened to be his company’s sponsored hole – recorded his lifetime second hole-in-one Sept. 15 at Valley View Golf Club during the annual National Association of Women in Construction Scramble.

Pat made the hole-in-one on hole No. 12 (par 3, 154 yards).

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-7-40-02-pmThis one – again, his second – had special meaning because he shared the unforgettable experience with his daughter, Ali (McCrite) Glotzbach, also of McCrite Milling, and longtime friends Craig Nance and Jason Applegate.
The outstanding feat gave Pat his choice of a 40” Sharp HD TV or pocketing $500. We’ll leave it to Pat to determine whether he wants to divulge what he chose, but we wanted to congratulate Pat on yet another ace in his illustrious (and thus far amateur) golf career.


3748 Lawrence Banet Road

Floyds Knobs



Around 100 players took part in the tournament.

Cowgill Valvano Scramble Fore Cancer

All Proceeds Benefitted The V Foundation for Cancer Research

Mark Crabtree, left, and Ted Shultz watch the others tee off in the celebrity challenge.

Mark Crabtree, left, and Ted Shultz watch
the others tee off in the celebrity challenge.

Brendan Sweeney seems ready to get started. Brendan Sweeney seems ready to get started.

Brendan Sweeney seems ready to get started.

Celebrity onlookers react to a close putt. Celebrity onlookers react to a close putt.

Celebrity onlookers react to a close putt.

Aug. 7 

Valhalla Golf Club Photos by David Harrison 

The Louisville Friends of V, in partnership with WLKY, hosted the 2017 Cowgill Valvano Scramble Fore Cancer to raise money for cancer research in the state of Kentucky. The scramble took place Aug. 7 with golfers enjoying a round at the famous Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.

This year’s event marks the 24th year that local sportscaster Fred Cowgill has hosted a charity golf event in the community. The first 17 years saw him raising money to benefit diabetes research. However, after losing his father, Ralph, to pancreatic cancer in 2009, Fred asked his friend Bob Valvano to partner with him to raise funds in an effort to support cancer research, programs, and services. Since then, the Scramble Fore Cancer has helped raise more than $300,000 to help fight cancer in Kentucky, the state with the highest rate of cancer in the United States.

The event also featured an evening buffet dinner, live and silent auctions and a private show by country music recording artist JD Shelburne, another participant in the golf event.

To learn more about the organization, go to www.jimmyvlouisville.org.

Legendary jockey, Robby Albarado keeps smiling after his first.

Legendary jockey, Robby Albarado keeps smiling after his first.

Around 100 players took part in the tournament.

Around 100 players took part in the tournament.

Klaus Wilmsmeyer in the celebrity challenge.

Klaus Wilmsmeyer in the celebrity challenge.

Bob Valvano and Fred Cowgill • Photo by Robert Burge of Robert Burge

Bob Valvano and Fred Cowgill
• Photo by Robert Burge of Robert Burge


Get Your Golf Game Back in the Swing of Things

Are you ready to T it up? 

By Samantha Stallings

Spring is here and Kentuckiana golfers are ready to “get in the swing,” especially now that we’ve already had 70-degree weather sneaking into the forecast. But are you really ready to tee it up?

Bobby Jones once said, “ Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots, but you have to play the ball where it lies.” That’s good advice, but here’s even more to get your golf game back in the swing of things:

Check the rule books because there may be a new rule out since the last time you played golf. The best way to do so is either check with your local golf professional or Google USGA rules to make sure you’re up with the latest in golf and that includes rules.

Always warm up before you play. It is always important to get your body moving in order to enjoy your round more. A warm-up on the range helps stretch and loosen up your body to help prevent injury. Start with random practice shots to get an early feel for your swing.

Work in some practice short game shots, chipping and putting around the practice green. A steady head and hand will improve your chances of good putting, while great feel and imagination will make chipping fun and good for the soul. As world-renowned sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella says, “A golfer has to train his swing on the practice tee, then trust it on the course.”

Keep things simple and natural. So many weekend golfers come out and try to overcomplicate their golf swings. Try to keep yours as natural as possible and make your swing your own.

Golf is supposed to be fun, go out there with a good frame of mind and keep expectations real. It’s a great game. You will get some good breaks and some not-so-fortunate breaks. Take it all in with patience and gratitude.

Don’t be afraid to practice. Hit extra shots your first few times back out to the course in the spring. It’s okay to lower your expectations in the spring until you get enough repetitions to play consistent golf.

Don’t forget your local pro. We are blessed to have many courses in the area and even more golf professionals ready to assist. Remember that the pro at your local golf course is a great source, whether you’re a beginner or have played golf as long as you can remember.

Now, dust off those golf clubs and get on the course. Have a great golfing new year!

Samantha Stallings grew up in a family where golf is a way of life. She’s also the assistant sports information director at University of the Cumberlands. 


What in the World drives Us to Play Golf?

By Jim Biery

Take a warm, sun-drenched, birds-singing morning this April and decide the best way to spend four or five hours being around some of your best friends. Alright, how many of you just thought about playing golf? I’m here to tell you that you’re crazy and should make better choices.

Anyone that follows the sport of golf at all knows the most prestigious and revered tournament is The Masters, which is played every April at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. This year will mark the 81st edition of The Masters, the first of golf’s four major championships.

From April 6 through 9, you will be treated to watching the most incredible collection of emerald green fairways, endless color provided by azalea bushes, dogwood trees, and more than 350 varieties of plants and shrubs. Each hole is even named after one of these flowers and trees. This scene is a breath-taking painting only Mother Nature and her soft, loving stroke could produce.

Now, let’s transition from this oasis to the reality that the weekend warrior golfer sees. Although the landscape can also be admired and breath-taking, the level of play is typically no Picasso in the making. What is typical is men and women colorfully dressed and equipped with the best clubs that can be afforded without sponsors providing the next great driver for free.

Golfers of all shapes and sizes, experience and talent levels, converge on their local courses to try and emulate what they see on TV. This, my friends, is not possible. What we see on TV is the absolute one percent of talented golfers. To understand how difficult it is to hit a golf ball straight and somewhere near 300 yards down a fairway, it would be easier to have sex standing up in a hammock.

So, what drives us to drive a golf ball? (I know, too easy of a pun. Give me a mulligan on that one.) There is a flagstick on every hole, but no one said we have to aim for them. That is what we call a Sucker Pin. Usually they are tucked away in a corner on the green guarded from above by a tree limb. Along with that there are sand bunkers, tree-lined fairways, creeks and water hazards to negotiate.

Every now and then, the game of golf is taken so seriously that grown men willingly try to hit out of one of these water hazards to avoid taking a penalty stroke. The pressure of staying focused for the entire 18-hole adventure can even lead some to “accidentally” lose their grip on a failed 7 iron. (Quick question: Is it a bad thing that the club repair man at Golf Galaxy knows you on a first name basis? Forget I asked.)

We spend countless hours hitting balls on the practice range, getting lessons from the club pro and trying every gimmick training aid you can find on the golf shop shelf or the Internet. We listen to any advice offered that makes sense at the time, famous phrases, such as “keep your head down” and “slow down your swing.” One of the best nuggets of advice I’ve ever heard was this: “Jim, I don’t know why you get so upset. You’re not that good!” That gem came from a frequent playing partner and couldn’t be more true.

So, what is the answer to why we play such a frustrating, patience testing game as golf? The reason is actually pretty uncomplicated. It is the people we meet and play with each time we tee it up. The friendships that form during those 4 to 5 hours typically produce some of the most memorable and meaningful bonds you can have playing a game.

Each weekend, you share stories of how your week went and what’s new with the family. Over time, you get to know people and family members you may never have met but because of the weekly update, you almost feel like you do. You listen as your playing partners talk about kids growing up. Who is getting engaged. The next child graduating from high school or college. Of course, along with all the uplifting experiences there are the painful ones.

Unfortunately, there is often someone in the group who is battling an injury or preparing for some sort of surgery. Or, you’ll find out a marriage is coming to an end or a career change means having to move to another location far away. And then there’s the hardest event to overcome: meeting your golf buddies at the funeral home for the visitation of a lost loved one.

All of this, the good, the bad, the experiences shared both on and off the links – that is why we play. To be able to spend hours with friends out in the beauty of the outdoors laughing and trying our best to hit that once in a lifetime shot that can somehow help you forget having one of the worst rounds of your life. This bonding is why I would encourage anyone to take up the sport of kings. Every shot is different, each hole has its own unique character, and you never know when you’re going to have that career low round you can brag about forever to your buddies.


Living Legend Letty Walter Has Left Her Mark in Myriad Ways

Letitia “Letty” Walter is a legend in Southern Indiana and for good reason.

By Josh Suiter | Photo by David Harrison

From educating chiLdren, to starting sports programs for girls and women in our area and even being a public servant, Letitia “Letty” Walter has left her mark on the Southern Indiana community.

Walter, who launched the BPW Hoosiers, a women’s softball team from New Albany, has made it her goal to empower children and adults.

The BPW Hoosiers, who were sponsored by Business and Professional Women, went to seven world tournaments in slow pitch. They traveled all over the country. “My girls were good. Theyand2 represented Louisville in those tournaments. They won the championship in Louisville like seven years, and people couldn’t understand when they would announce us and they would say ‘Representing the Great Commonwealth of Kentucky, the City of Louisville – the BPW Hoosiers.’ “

Walter started the team in the 1950s and retired as their coach in the 70s. “I had three teams: the Big Hoosiers, Middle Hoosiers and the Baby Hoosiers. It was kind of like a farm system to go through. We groomed them. They were mostly kids that I met with on playgrounds in New Albany.”

Walter said the girls, as she called them, wanted something to do and “it was good for me because I had my pick of the crop.”

Walter got the team started while she worked for the New Albany Floyd County Parks Department. “I was a teacher during the winter time, and in the summer I was blessed to be hired by Mr. Sam Peden and worked with the New Albany Floyd County Parks system.”

Peden let her create the softball team.

“They also let me organize girls activities. We were before Title IX and there was nothing for girls to do. That is why I was lucky when I did get my softball program going. … The girls did very well. We still meet and I still call them girls, even though they are all grandmothers,” she quipped.

Walter even got drafted by the boys’ coach one night to play on their team. “One night they were short a player and they drafted me. That was my first and last time playing baseball because when I got up to bat, they threw a curve ball at me and I thought I would die. It is a lot different from baseball and slow pitch. The only reason I did it was (the coach) made good peach ice cream and after the game we all got homemade peach ice cream,” she added.

Walter worked for a few years in Louisville for the Louisville Parks Department as a play leader in Central Park before coming to New Albany.

Although she eventually became a teacher, it wasn’t what she thought she would do. She had planned to be a dental technician, but one of her teachers, Sister Ellen Patrick, intervened and sent in an application for her to attend Nazareth College and study education. “She knew me better than I did,” said Walter. “(My career) would have been a technical career, but thanks to Sister Ellen Patrick, I did what she said.”

Walter taught second and fourth grades for 36 years before retiring in 1993 from St. Mary of the Knobs.

“When I first got to St. Mary’s of Knobs, I coached the boys’ basketball. It was a bunch of nuns and lay teachers. Then, we got some male teachers and I just coached the girls in volleyball, basketball, kickball, softball and track.”

Walter said Bob Holmes, who was superintendent of New Albany Floyd County Schools then, let her start athletics for girls “because we didn’t have it. I started basketball, volleyball and track for elementary school. I had 15 elementary schools to oversee and, of course, finding a coach for girls wasn’t easy.”

Many women “didn’t play ball and didn’t know how to coach, but they tried.” Walter also assisted with the annual Chicago trip. “Oh my gosh, what a great a trip. We stayed at The Palmer House and went to museums. It was wonderful for the kids.”

During one particular experience, a boy got separated from the group. “We took the kids for a ride on the elevated train. The car trains were fascinating because the car doors open and closed so quickly. We would get to platform and people would get off and on. We had one little boy who just couldn’t believe it, and when the door opened, he stepped out onto the platform and the door closed and the train took off, and there he was all by himself on the platform. Thankfully, all of our kids wore badges that said, ‘New Albany Floyd County Schools Education System,’ and there was a policeman, and the policeman saw what happened and took the child to the police station. Then they took him to Palmer House safe and sound. “Those kind of memories you don’t want to live through. I always said my biggest mistake was not writing a book about some of the things that happened and some of the people (I have met),” she said.

Walter is a graduate of Presentation Academy and the old Nazareth College (now Spalding University), and has an elementary education degree from there, as well as a master’s degree from Indiana University. “I am still very close to Presentation Academy. In fact, I am still on the alumni board and go to meetings and support them in any way I can.”

Walter, a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Albany, said she is a reader in her church, as well as a greeter and on the bereavement committee. She’s also in the Altar Society, which plans the Spring Fling and the church’s annual yard sale.

Clearly, Walter also believes in giving back to her community. She has served on the Horseshoe Foundation Board, served on the Floyd County Council for one term and as a New Albany city councilwoman for three terms.

She also is a Democratic precinct committee person. “We still get together to elect the head of the party and the officers, and if you have to fill a seat, we chose who that will be,” she said.

Walter served on the Floyd County Head Start Board when it first got going and serves on the board for the Senior Games. She has also served on the on the animal shelter Board. “I have met a lot of nice people with all the stuff I am involved in. You don’t get bored,” she said.

After she retired, she took the training to be a dealer at Horseshoe Southern Indiana. “I took the training for four months. I dealt for six weeks before the smoke about killed me, and I had to quit. I loved it,” she recalled.

Walter also worked for about six weeks at UPS right before Christmas. “I was in International Small Sort because I knew geography and that was an experience working with those kids at UPS. You had to have steel-toed shoes. I had the midnight to 4 a.m. shift, so I used to go to Waffle House for breakfast on the way home. I was bored. I discovered I better concentrate on taking care of my house and learning how to cook, which I haven’t done too well.”

When she is not giving of her time, Walter loves to play golf. “Golf is one of those sports for a lifetime. The kids can play and so can grandma. You can go on nice vacations and play. That is what occupies my time now. I am just anxiously waiting for it to get warm enough so I can play.”

Her work in the county has also led to a park in Floyds Knobs to be named after her, Letty Walter Park, which is down the road from St. Mary of the Knobs school. “I couldn’t believe when the park board did that. I was still teaching and one of the kids went home and said, ‘Mommy, mommy! Guess what? They named a park after Mrs. Walter and she ain’t even dead yet.’ ”

While still teaching, Walter would take her students to the park. “They would wade in the creek and look for critters, and I would worry about them falling in and drowning. They would play on swings,” she recalled. Walter still enjoys visiting the park. “I get out there a lot and I sit and look at it. I just can’t believe it is there and a lot of people take their kiddos there to play.

The park, plus the naming of my niece after me, are the two greatest honors I have ever received,” she said. Walter lives her life by two quotes. The first she saw in Presentation when she walked into her classroom: “Love God, and then do what you want.”

After seeing that, “I thought, boy, I am going to like this place. Then as I went through my training at Pres, I caught on to the meaning of the quote. Because if you love God, you will do what God wants.” The second is a quote by Cardinal Ritter: “Work hard, pray hard, don’t worry.”

“That is a good quote to live by,” Walter said.