What's your hole-in-one story?

Today marks a very important milestone in my life.

 

No, it’s not my birthday. (Hint: It’s in August.)

 

And it isn’t my anniversary. I think that’s in September.

 

On this date – May 16, 1982 – I made my first hole-in-one. It also happened to be my last if you don’t count putt-putt, which I don’t.

 

It’s hard to believe that 30 years and a couple of thousand rounds of golf have passed and I haven’t made another one. Of course, I was lucky in the first place to make one. How many of you are still waiting for that magical moment to happen?

 

I took up golf in the summer of 1980, and by the following spring I was hooked. My family had a membership at Highland Park Country Club in Aiken – it’s now called Aiken Golf Club – and my dad and I would often go out and play on Sunday afternoons.

 

Not to be left out, my little sister Angela would often tag along. She would play holes 7 and 15 for some reason that has escaped my memory. (One time she called over this Dalmation at the 15th hole to pet it, and to her horror it put its paws on her shoulders and towered over her. Dad and I still laugh about that one.)

 

So late on that May afternoon we arrived at the 16th hole, the signature hole at Highland Park: a par-3 of about 180 yards that is downhill and very picturesque.

 

I do remember I was playing an orange ProStaff golf ball, because Jerry Pate had won the first TPC at Sawgrass event that year and he used an orange golf ball to win before pushing Pete Dye and Deane Beman into the alligator-infested lake next to the 18th hole.

 

Which is ironic that I was playing an orange ball because I grew up rooting for, and later attended, the University of South Carolina. As a general rule, Gamecocks don’t do orange.

 

I think I was playing OK that day, and I pulled my trustyPing5-wood for the shot. The ball hit on the left front of the green and took the slope toward the hole. Did it go in? We thought so, but we weren’t sure. The combination of late afternoon sun, an orange golf ball and the crusty Highland Park greens could be playing a trick on our eyes.

 

We hurried down the hill and, sure enough, the orange ball was in the cup. I plucked it out with great pride, and I really don’t remember playing the last two holes. But I did, to make it official, of course.

 

I remember the late, great Jim McNair Sr., the pro forever at Highland Park, was manning the counter in the pro shop. We told him what I had done, and he was very excited. He told about how he had made a hole-in-one when he was 12, I believe, and that he was thought to be the youngest person to make an ace for quite some time.

 

Numerologists will note that I was 16 years old, the ace occurred on the 16th hole, and the day of the month was the 16th.

 

The ace was validated by a small item in the local newspaper – “Boyette makes ace” was the headline – and I was even recognized for the feat at our high school sports banquet.

 

I do remember having a couple of nearly making an ace in the weeks after that, and through the years I’ve had a couple of balls scare the cup or hang on the lip. But none have dropped for a hole-in-one.

 

I’m OK with that. I’m playing in a tournament at Aiken Golf Club this weekend, and perhaps I’ll get lucky again.

 

If I do, it will be with a white ProV1.

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etlinks
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etlinks 05/16/12 - 04:09 pm
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Still waiting and still

Still waiting and still playing 40 years worth of fun.

Jake
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Jake 05/16/12 - 05:10 pm
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I've been playing around

I've been playing around 40yrs and nada, zip. I do have a kind-of sort-of but not quite hole-in-one.
I was playing at Midland Valley in the early 80's and got to the par 3 on the front 9 that is close to the highway. It is downhill and the green is over the pond. I hit a 5-iron real fat and hooked it into the water. Bummer, I was having a decent round going. So as was the habit in those days, we would tee up another ball and be hitting 3. This time I hit a real high draw that hit the fringe, rolled about 5 feet and disappeared in the cup. Of course my friend had his head in the cooler at that time so there were no witnesses, only the ball in the cup for a super cool par.

Retired Army
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Retired Army 05/17/12 - 06:23 am
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That's called a hole in 3

That's called a hole in 3 Jake. Took up the game in 71 while stationed at Ft Ord Ca. Great oceanside 36 hole layout and the family housing units ran right around it. Buck Sgt monthly membership was $5.00 all you could play. I could spike up, walk accross the street to #12 Blackhorse Course and tee it up which I did after calling the clubhouse on many a day.

I have hit flags and dropped to within an inch twice, bounced off flag sticks four or five times, holed out for eagle on par 4's twice and only seen 2 par 5 eagles through all those years around the world. Broken 80 on half a dozen occasions(77 at the original Gordon Lakes 18 about 10 years ago) and keep it in the mid to low 80's. Probably 5,000 rounds over all those years and the elusive Ace is still out there.

I'll get one this Saturday-or not.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 05/17/12 - 08:25 am
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I've had three. 82,92,02.

I've had three. 82,92,02. 2012??? Pressure is on.

Jake
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Jake 05/17/12 - 10:48 am
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justthefacts, Quit hogging

justthefacts, Quit hogging the aces. Can I petition the government to give me one since I am underpriviledged?

Another hole-in-one story happened about 30 yrs ago at the Patch. I was putting on the practice green by the old clubhouse when I noticed an old man playing the par 3 14th by himself. He pulled out an old 3 wood and whacked a low screamer that barely cleared the pond, rolled through the trap, hit the pin and plopped in. I looked back on the tee to see his reaction and all he did was put his club back in his bag on his pull cart and walk calmly to the green. I was excited because I had never seen an ace before but he was oblivious. So, he is looking for his ball in the trap and behind the green. I run over to him and tell him to look in the cup and, lo and behold, there it is. Now he is excited and runs into the clubhouse to tell Red Douglas about it. I saw him later that day and he informed me that it doesn't count as an official hole-in-one because he was playing by himself and my eye-witness account could not be used to verify it.

Sean Moores
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Sean Moores 05/17/12 - 11:00 am
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While I have never shot a

While I have never shot a hole-in-one, I've always gotten a kick out of this story about a local six-toed man who shot six holes-in-one.
http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2001/06/27/wes_315623.shtml

justthefacts
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justthefacts 05/17/12 - 11:14 am
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Good Story Sean. David Westin

Good Story Sean. David Westin does a great job. I wish he contributed more. I gave you a thumbs up. You need the points badly!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 05/17/12 - 11:15 am
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jake, ace envy? Hang in

jake, ace envy? Hang in there. There is a lot of luck involved.

Sean Moores
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Sean Moores 05/17/12 - 01:29 pm
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Thanks JTF. I'm not too

Thanks JTF. I'm not too worried about the points. I don't think staff should accumulate points at all, but what do I know?

John Boyette
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John Boyette 05/17/12 - 02:27 pm
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Thanks for all the comments.

Thanks for all the comments. My stance on a hole-in-one that it is some skill and a lot of luck. I've holed out a couple of shots on par-4s for eagle, and those were luck too!

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