Tired of paying up to 25 cents for a round of golf, Henry Dehen bought a lifetime pass to Portland's municipal golf courses for $100 in 1935.
The next year, two of his golfing buddies, Louis Rose and Jake DeYoung, did the same.And the three haven't paid for a round on the Portland courses since, still using the worn and tattered passes they bought more than 60 years ago.
"It was a great investment," Dehen said.
Dehen and Rose, both 88, and DeYoung, 86, admit they have gotten a lot more out of their passes than they ever imagined.
DeYoung walks three 18-hole rounds during the week and another nine holes on Saturday. He even credits the pass for his longevity.
"Good genes and this lifetime membership," said DeYoung, whose mother lived to 101. "Believe it or not, that's a lot of exercise."
Rose figures he's paid an average of a penny a round. That's not bad, considering it now costs $19 a round to play during the week and $21 on weekends.
"If I had to pay greens fees, it would cost me $100 per month or maybe more," DeYoung said.
And they wouldn't be as active at that price.
"Heck no, we're cheapskates," said Dehen, who made millions as founder of Dehen Knitting Co.
The city offered 100 passes in both 1935 and 1936 for play on its three courses and the three golfers are the only ones known to still be using them.
"The city was going to close all the golf courses because they had no money. This is how they got the money," Dehen said.
The city charged a $10 down payment and $10 for each of the next nine months.
"Nobody had money then," he said. "One-hundred dollars was money then. You go out to eat today and pay $100."
DeYoung, who lived across the street from the ninth hole at the city's Eastmoreland course, found a way to raise the money.
"I hunted golf balls to get that $10 per month," he said. "I'd find them wherever I could and then sell them on the course."
Dehen and DeYoung started playing together in the mid-1920s and were joined by Rose in 1931.
Rose became the most competitive of the three, winning the Portland City Championship and the Oregon Coast Open. Rose can still shoot his age and fired an even-par 72 when he was 80.