The Pennsylvania Disc Golf Hall of Fame
Bill Charron Sr. - PDGA#50893
2012 Advanced Legends World Champion - Charlotte, NC
The following is a brief autobiography of William R. Charron, aka Bill Charron Sr. or Mr. Bill.
I was born and raised in upstate New York, in the college town of Ithaca. After high school, I attended Penn State where I earned a BS in Civil Engineering. While there I played lacrosse for 4 years, and was a starter for the 1962 championship team. I moved to the Harrisburg area after graduation, married Kathy, my wife of 45 years, and helped raise our 2 sons, Bill and Steve.
Sports have always played a significant part of my life. In my youth I played tennis, golf, baseball and basketball. As the years went on I added skiing, lacrosse, volleyball, soccer , racket ball, and disc golf to my list of enjoyable things to do. Even in retirement I am still am active participant in most of them.
I was introduced to disc golf by my son Steve 6 or 7 years ago. I played some with him for the first few years but I did not actively pursue it. I became more interested when my son Bill came home in 2010 and we played a lot together. I joined Creekside and Boulder Woods Disc Golf clubs and started playing tags. Although I was 30 or 40 years older than most of the members they kind of adopted me and made me feel welcome. However I never could get any strokes from them because of my senior status! I started practicing more because my son Bill was, and he patiently taught me what he was learning himself. I’m am continually amazed at what good players are able to do with their discs.
I started playing in some local tournaments, including ice bowls, with some success, mostly because there were not a lot of “older” golfers in the senior brackets. By the time 2012 rolled around I was encouraged to compete in the World’s Championships tournament to be held that year in Charlotte, NC. Since my son, Bill and quite a few of our club members were going, I decided to go and competed in the Legends Division.
My tournament week started with 4 days of scouting and playing practice rounds on the courses I would be playing. As a result I played steady the 1st three rounds building a small lead each day. The third day I played my best round, hitting most fairways, executing accurate up shots and finishing strong for first time in the tournament. That 13 stroke swing gave me a commanding lead going into the finals. Even though I had a comfortable lead, I still wanted to play well in the finals. My son caddied for me, 1st time ever, and we had a good practice round before the finals. It paid off, especially on the island hole, where I parked my destroyer and made a birdie. My 4 over par round was very good for me, I even beat on of the lady pros. Winning the Advanced Legends Division was thrilling and very satisfying. My son said “not many people can add “World Champ” to their resume at age 70!” I didn’t realize until way after the tournament that “World Champion” means something special to disc golfers. I even get some “respect” today , well after the tournament, although no onestill gives me strokes in tags!
Since then I have continued to play tags and some local tournaments with moderate success. The 2013 World’s was an eye opener for me, trying to drive and putt in very windy conditions. I finished 3rd, which was representative of my playing level. The 1st two finishers were much better.
I have recently learned that I will be one of the inductees into the newly established Pa. Disc Golf Hall of Fame. I feel honored and am very appreciative of this recognition. As my son would say, there are not many people that can add this “Hall of Fame” recognition to their resume at age 71.
Disc golf has given me yet another chance to learn a new sport. I really appreciate the advantages it offers, a challenge to get better, a chance to play with my sons and friends as well as meeting new friends, a chance to play many different courses, and a chance to spend time outdoors in many great settings. I intend to keep practicing and playing, trying to get better, although my expectations are probably beyond my ability.