The Herald Bulletin

May 25, 2013

Fits to a 'tee'

Mary Penry’s home reflects life with late husband, a golf pro

By Emma Bowen Meyer
For The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Try to walk through Mary Penry’s home and spot a room without a nod to the sport of golf.

Since her late husband, Larry “Butch” Penry was a PGA golf pro at several area courses, the reflection of their 50 years together always includes a little white ball.

“He had me meet him at Grandview for a date and I had never been on a golf course before,” said Penry, who was a dental assistant at the time.

“I saw him on the 18th green and started screaming for him to hit the ball in the hole. He kind of waved and later told me that it’s not a basketball game. People don’t yell. So I’m surprised he was even interested.”

Her initial lack of golf etiquette didn’t calm the flame of romance and, before long, Mary could hold her own on the course — and in the pro shop.

After they were married, she became the office manager at almost every course where he was employed –—Killbuck Golf Club, Meadowbrook Golf Club, Idlewold Golf Club in Pendleton and Gray Eagle Golf Club in Fishers. He was instrumental in building the back nine at Killbuck and the entire course at Meadowbrook.

“In the beginning, there were not many women in the pro shop,” she said. “But I could sell golf clubs as well as any man.”

A corner of the living room features three statues of golfers carefully placed in front of Butch’s PGA plaque.

“Each one of these demonstrates something about a swing that he would try to teach people,” she explained. “This one is Arnold Palmer.”



A swinging place

Stepping out to the sun porch — filled with beautiful light — visitors will quickly spot a picture from 1955 showing the Anderson High School golf team (including a young, beaming Butch) as the state champions. Across the room is a small end table sporting two clubs and pictures of family members enjoying the greens.

An eat-in kitchen includes a mirror framed with stamped metal forming clubs, balls, a ninth-hole pin and even a trophy.

Even in the entryway, visitors are greeted by a sizable statue in mid-swing. Not to be completely overshadowed by masculinity, Mary chose this female golfer because she is decked out in a green skirt, red jacket and red hat. Clearly fashioned to encapsulate a more genteel time, this woman still knows how to handle her club.

Just when guests feel they have seen all the memorabilia, they step into the “Golf Room” which displays even more treasures. From an autographed picture of Sam Snead to a shadowbox with old golf clubs to a large picture of the 18th hole at Pebble Beach to a portrait of Butch with a club slung behind his neck, this room leaves no doubt as to how much the couple loved the sport.

Once their two children were grown, the Penrys moved to a duplex near the tennis courts at Anderson University (where he coached golf in the 1980s) and rented one side to others — until the siren song of condo living wafted through the air.

They moved to nearby condos eight years ago and replaced carpet, updated the appliances, installed hardwood floors in the kitchen and added tile flooring in the bathrooms. In addition Mary has replaced most of the curtains with blinds to allow more light inside.

“I like the area,” she said. “We are close to everything and it’s easy to get to doctor appointments and the hospital — which we needed when he was diagnosed with cancer. I enjoy walking Paulo (her poodle) every day. He is a very famous dog out here — everybody knows him.”

Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an e-mail to emmagoldiemeyer@yahoo.com.