From 1997 through 2003, John Olive dominated senior golf in Colorado. He entered 11 CGA Senior Stroke and Senior Match Play Championships—and won nine of them. During that period, John was never beaten in the Senior Stroke Play and his record in the Senior Match Play was 30-2. Add all this up and it’s not too surprising that he set a record in 2005 by winning his seventh CGA Senior Player of the Year award.
Olive was born in New York City in 1945. After graduating from Hanover Park High School in New Jersey in 1963 he attended the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and graduated in 1967. John was a standout basketball player in college, where he was a three-year letterman. After graduation from the Academy and serving in the Air Force for four years, he remained in Colorado Springs where he built a successful real estate business and continued to work on his golf game—a game he didn’t take up until college.
By 1977, John was good enough to win the CGA Stroke Play Championship. In the subsequent 25 years, John won more than 35 major tournaments in Colorado, Arizona and California, including the 2001, ‘02 and ’03 Southern California Senior Amateur Championships.
He also won the inaugural Colorado Senior Open Championship in 1999 and remains the only amateur winner of that event. Olive has qualified for five U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships, three times claiming medalist honors in qualifying. He competed in the 2000 U.S. Senior Amateur and the 2000 U.S. Senior Open where he had the “alphabetical” fortune of lockering next to some guy named Nicklaus—and played well enough to make the cut.
John’s exceptional competitive drive—at the age of 70, he won the CGA 2015 Super-Senior Match Play—does not overshadow his sportsmanship. When he accepted his sixth CGA Senior Player of the Year award he said that it is the friendships and camaraderie that has made his competitive golf career worthwhile.