By Andrea Camarena

An hour after sunrise, every Thursday, cars begin to filter in to the Exeter Golf Course parking lot. One by one they arrive until nearly 60 golfers gather outside the course's clubhouse waiting for the 8:30 a.m. senior scramble tournament to begin.

Every Thursday, 92-year-old Chester Sharp is there, clubs in bag, ready to golf. But all the tournament regulars know him simply as Chet.

Chet began playing the nine-hole tournament a few years back but he picked up his first set of clubs in 1982 when a bowling buddy introduced him to the game.

When Chet started to golf, his doctor told the retired farmer that if he was going to spend all day out on the course, then he'd better walk it. He did and at 92, you still won't see Chet catching a ride on any golf carts.

He walks the nine-hole course every time he tees off.

In '82, Chet learned to golf in Tulare, where he lived. But in 1984, he remarried and relocated to Lindsay with his second wife Katie, who just happened to live across the street from the Lindsay Public Golf Course.

Since then, Chet has sunk 10 hole in ones on the course and in the process found himself a group of golfing buddies dubbed "the four C's."

Carl Lepper, Cliff Franey, Clint Holly and Chet spent years golfing every day but Sunday at the Lindsay golf course.

But just over a year ago, Chet made the Exeter Golf Course his place to play. Carl, 93, and Cliff, 77, the remaining members of the "Four C's" join him for Exeter's senior tournament as well. They too walk the course each week.

Course manager Steve Maaske makes up the scramble teams for the tournament and Chet enjoys the company of different golfers each week.

"I never met a stranger I didn't like," Chet said.

But Chet's been playing so regularly at the course that there aren't too many golfers that don't know Chet well enough to throw a joke about his game while on the course.

"It gets me doing something. It keeps me going and you meet a lot of nice people out here."

Chet's not the only Sharp well known on the course. His grandson JR lives in Lindsay with the senior golfer and joins him at the senior scramble each week.

Both of the Sharps are also members of the course's men's club. In its second year, the club has 65 members and president Bill Caps is still looking for more golfers to sign up. Membership is $20 a month and all members are invited to play in the monthly 8 a.m. tournament every third Saturday.

For more information on the senior tournament or the men's club, contact Steve Maaske at 592-4783

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