Play golf long enough, and you have to get a hole-in-one, right?
I’ve been meaning to share this story for a while, but since I told it a couple of times on my recent trip to Hawaii, I figured I would muse about it now.
About 20 years ago I was playing golf at Waterwood National Resort in East Texas.
Back then, Waterwood, which is near Huntsville, about 70 miles north of Houston, was still in its glory days. Waterwood is where guys like Paul Azinger, Hal Sutton, Chip Beck and Scott Hoch earned their cards when PGA Tour School finals were held there.
Pete Dye’s late brother, Roy, designed Waterwood, although the course has always promoted it merely as a Pete Dye design.
Unfortunately, after years of financial difficulty, Waterwood closed earlier this year. (I’m currently investigating whether or not Waterwood might get new life.)
Anyway, back to the story. My group was coming off the green of the difficult “Cliffs” par-3 14th, a hole once ranked by Golf Digest as one of the best holes in the country. From the back tee, it plays around 235 yards over a piece of Lake Livingston. The only bailout is to the right of the green. Anything short or left is wet.
As I was making my way toward the 15th tee, I suddenly felt what I thought was a bee sting on my right thigh. Waiting my turn to hit my tee shot, a group made its way down to the 14th green behind us. One player, looking for his ball, asked us if we had seen an “Ultra” anywhere.
We all replied that we hadn’t.
When it came my turn to tee up my ball, I reached into my pocket and pulled out a Wilson Ultra golf ball. I had been playing Titleist, and there were still two of those in my pocket. As it turned out, the golfer behind us had hit his tee shot from the 14th tee into my pocket as I was leaving the green. A bee sting indeed.
I’ve never had a hole-in-one, but I’ve assisted in a pocket-in-one, and I was a moving target. I figure the odds of a pocket-in-one are longer than a hole-in-one. I probably should have purchased a lottery ticket that day.
A buddy of mine who was in our group that day actually went 20 or 25 years without an ace. Then a few years ago, I saw him get three in two months. So I guess there’s still hope.
|« Golf's FedExCup is better, but it still doesn't really feel like a 'playoff'||It's not too late to book some golf this Labor Day weekend »|
I'm also the buddy with the three hole in ones. After years of being teased by "leaners", they finally started coming, one after another. My first, was a 9 iron shot that drew a bead on the pin, but disappeared behind the hill fronting the green, obstructing the view of the bottom of the pin from the tee. The group on the next tee started going crazy, and told us the ball went in the hole on the fly! Then next hole, was also a par three, which I nearly aced as well! The following twelve holes were some of the best golf I've ever played in my life, salvaging the previous holes of the worst golf I've ever played in my life. Just goes to show you golf is a game of skill, luck, and mental attitude. So, even on your worst day, never give up! Your next stroke could be the one that turns your round around!