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Golfer who beat Arnold Palmer gives free lessons in Goochland

Posted at 10:50 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 23:28:33-04

GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. -- Like a trusty 9 iron that never lets you down, Ed Feeney promises to give you a leg up. The golf instructor from Goochland is a fixture at Bogey’s on Broad. On this day the straw-hatted mentor tutored student Ryan Cameron. Dishing advice on the finer points of chipping.

"With a few small pointers and with a few lessons, if you listen, there is a lot you can take away from Ed," Ryan said.

Ed Feeney offers golf advice in Goochland.

Advising others fits Ed like a glove.

The former consultant steered executives in the airline industry. His expertise still helps clients fly from ground level.

"I played with a lot of guys who could out drive me and out drive me by a lot," Ed said. "But I would win."

Ed remembered picking up a club at about age five. That was in 1932. Golf has been a part of his life ever since.

"It is a big challenge. It is not an easy game. It is a tough game," Ed said.

Ed never turned pro, but at age 90, he certainly could join the senior tour.

Most avid golfers remember a hole-in-one or their lowest score. For Ed, his most memorable moment on the links was going toe-to-toe with one of the best.

In 1970, Ed tangled with legend Arnold Palmer in a two-hole tournament in Westchester, New York.

"I practiced a lot. My game was sharp. I figured I had a good shot," Ed said.

When the dust settled, Feeney made headlines. Beating the giant and pocketing $5.

"He got over that putt and took a few practice putts and looked it over very carefully and missed the putt, so we tied that hole and I won the first hole. He was a little upset."

Ed Feeney and Arnold Palmer

At this stage, Ed is not hanging up his hat just yet. He still has too much to teach.

"I get their attention. Then know immediately that I know something that they don’t know," he said.

And just how much does it cost you for Ed’s guidance?

"I don’t charge anything," Ed said. "I don’t need any money from golfers, so I don’t take it."

That’s right, Ed pitches his advice for free. For Ed, students lowering their scores is payment enough.

"I can save people a hell of a lot of time and if the stuff they work on doesn’t work, might as well drop it and listen to me," Ed said.

Grateful golfers like Ryan Cameron say who wouldn’t want to learn from someone who one day beat the best.

"He has nothing to gain by doing this. He just came out and he likes to help," Ryan said. "Seems like the right guy to be listening to."

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