TimberStone Golf Course in the UP: Our host had an ace up his sleeve
Today the golf location was TimberStone Golf Course at Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain, Mich., on the Upper Peninsula. The setting was the 215-yard downhill par-3 17th. The shot heard ’round the UP came from our host, and my cart partner, Chris Mazzoni.
After the first two guys in our group hooked their tee shots left, Mazzoni struck his purest shot of the day, a 3-iron that sailed toward the green, cutting slightly toward the flagstick. While it was still in the air, two of us yelled, “go in the hole,” and the golf ball listened. It found the most perfect spot on a knob in the middle of the green, checked for an instant and trickled toward the hole. In what must have seemed like 10 seconds, we all watched the ball creep toward the flagstick ? and then disappear.
High fives ensued for about five minutes. It was Mazzoni’s first-ever ace.
I was next, but honestly, I really didn’t even want to hit the shot. It’s an impossible act to follow.
For some, this might not seem like a big deal. Though I’ve never had a hole-in-one myself, I’ve witnessed five of them, and trust me, there are few thrills in life that match it. In fact, best I can tell, those who record the ultimate shot in golf, especially for the first time, really don’t believe it until they actually pick the ball out of the cup.
“My heart is still pounding,” said Mazzoni, the general manager at TimberStone, shortly after he retrieved his ball. “I really didn’t know what to do, going out to the green without a putter.”
Mazzoni, a Chicago Cubs fan who wasn’t exactly having the round of his life before his ace, accomplished the feat on one of the more dramatic par 3s I’ve seen in a while. The elevated tee sits some 50 or 60 feet above the green, which is framed by tall pines. It’s one of several outstanding views and holes on the 6,937-yard par 72 layout designed by Jerry Matthews.
Mazzoni, of course, ponied up for the bar tab in the log-cabin style clubhouse. But I’m guessing he might have done that anyway.
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