Sports may help oldsters feel young, but in Spokane County, golfers are qualifying earlier than ever before for senior discounts.
Spokane County officials decided this week to reduce the minimum age for senior season passes from 65 to 60, said Francine Boxer, the county’s assistant chief administrative officer. The passes are good at the county’s three courses.
The dates those passes are valid also have changed, perhaps for this year alone, thanks to El Nino.
The $500 passes can be used March through October this year, rather than April through November, to take advantage of a spring that’s expected to arrive early and be warmer and drier than normal.
The action comes two months after county commissioners decided to eliminate season passes for anyone who isn’t a senior.
In the past, the county offered passes for seniors, adults and junior golfers. But those passes are costly for the county because the most avid golfers end up paying just a few dollars per round of golf, rather than the $16 paid by those who pay for each round individually.
An advisory committee suggested elimination of all the passes. Seniors convinced commissioners that they deserve a break. Reducing the age requirement will take the sting out of the new policy for some of the county’s most avid golfers - those who have recently retired and still are robust enough to play often.
Golf aside, government and private companies struggle to define the age at which someone who is middle-aged becomes a senior. The retirement age under Social Security is set to gradually increase from 65 to 67, but the President proposes making Medicare available for those as young as 55. The minimum age for members of the American Association of Retired Persons is 50.
“At McDonald’s, you get (25-cent) coffee at 50,” Boxer said.