Dale Nims watches as her dad Phillip Roy hits off the first tee at Lochmere Golf & Country Club on Monday morning. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Dale Nims plays nine holes of golf every week with 92-year-old dad
By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Dale Nims, who last week played in her 50th consecutive New Hampshire Women’s Golf Association amateur championship, hasn’t forgotten how she developed her skills at the game.
In fact she is reminded once a week, when she and her 92-year-old father Phil Roy, play nine holes of golf at Lochmere Country Club, of how he helped foster her love of the sport that she has excelled at.
Nims, 65, started playing golf at the age of 13 at Laconia Country Club and said that every August she and her brothers always looked forward to taking part in Family Day at LCC with putting and chip-in competitions.
She played left-handed when she first started but switched to being a right hander after her father persuaded her that new equipment was too expensive, clubs for lefties were difficult to find and golf courses were mostly designed for righties.
Even when she was given right-handed clubs she persisted in playing from her left side by turning the clubs backwards, and, even after she started to play right-handed continued for several years to putt left-handed.
She joked that after a poor day putting in last weeks’ NHWGA tournament in Grantham, “maybe I should still be putting left-handed.”
Roy started out on golf by caddying at the Alpine and Deer Park golf courses in Lincoln when he was only eight years old and became a good enough golfer to fire a 65 at Hanover Country Club. He’s been a member at LCC since 1945 and enjoyed playing there in tournaments against the likes of Frank DeNauw and Jerry Lakeman, both of whom were club champions.
“I look forward to playing nine holes once a week,” he said, noting that there aren’t many people his age still playing golf and that he still finds it enjoyable. “Last time out was pretty good for me,” said Roy, who beams with pride when taking about his daughter’s accomplishments.
Nims was only 15 when she played in her first NHGA tournament and recalled that her mother, Eileen, who was a teacher in the Laconia elementary schools, had a bad knee and became her caddy, something which continued throughout her golfing career.
Nims attended UNH from 1970-1974, when women were allowed to practice with the male players but not compete in tournaments.
While there she earned a degree in health and physical education and went on to follow in her mother’s footsteps by becoming a teacher.
“Having grown up with four brothers, I was always involved in games and sports as a child. I knew at a very young age I would become a physical education teacher, with the hope of instilling my love for sports and games to children,” said Nims.
She said that another big factor in choosing to become a teacher was that it would allow her to have her summers to play golf.
And compete well she did. Playing against the top women golfers in the state, like Louise Billy, Kathy Slattery and 16-time tournament champion Dana Harrity, of Rye’s Abenaqui CC, she finished second in the state am at the age of 22 and finished fifth last year. She was also the state Senior Champion in 2002 and in 2005 was ranked fifth for last year’s Player of the Year award competition.
Her teaching career has spanned nearly 40 years, one in the Newfound Area School District and the last 38 years in the Shaker Regional School District, where she has coached basketball, softball, track and field, and golf at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She also was the health education teacher at Belmont Elementary School.
She retired in June and said she will really miss the students but that it is time for her to move on.
“One of the great things about teaching is running into former students just about everywhere I go,” she said. “It’s really rewarding to see them grow up and move on with their lives and still remember how I was their teacher.”
Now a part-time employee at Lochmere Country Club’s pro shop, Nims will have more time to prepare for next summer’s tournaments.
“School usually doesn’t end until late June, so you don’t have much time to get in practice rounds. Now I’ll be able to get out on the course in April and have more time to get ready.”
She plays 27 holes most weeks, including a round of nine with her father, and played in this year’s tournament with a knee brace, which she wears due to an ACL replacement after an auto accident 13 years ago.
Nims is looking at an entire knee replacement this winter, which will give her plenty of recuperation time before she hits the links next year.
Dale Nims and her father Phillip Roy warm up on the practice green at Lochmere Golf & Country Club in Tilton. Nims: "Did you get a good one, Dad?" Roy: "Yup, pretty good." (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)