The picture at left is hole number 12 on my home golf course. It's a par 3 and normally plays about 160/165 yards from the back tees. You can't tell it very well from the picture but it's slightly uphill.
One year ago today a couple of my work buddies and I decided to play golf after work. At about 7:30pm we reached number 12. I had the honors on the hole and we were laughing about that because all three of us had bogeys on the previous hole. It was a dubious honor. The light was beginning to fade because the hole faces north and the entire left hand side is heavily wooded. Those woods block the sun at that time of the evening.
The green is fairly large on number 12. The pin was positioned in the lower right quadrant of the green which was an unusual pin placement for this hole. The hole was probably fifteen feet from the right side of the green and fifteen feet from the right front of the green. Normally with that pin placement I would have tried to land my shot in the middle of
the green but that green is slightly uphill and hitting it there would
have made for a downhill slicing putt that I didn't think
would be easy. I decided to hit my shot from the extreme right side of the tee box because I had been hitting my iron shots pretty straight. That position made the shot a straight line from tee to hole. I guessed the distance to be about 160 yards from that position. I knew I didn't want to be long and above the hole so I thought a six iron should be about right, especially if I hit it high as I had been doing that evening. My hope was to land the ball near the front of the green and let it roll up but stay below the hole.
I placed a Titleist DT on a wooden white tee but kept it very low, almost on the ground. It was an unusual ball for me to use because it was a Titleist and a 100 compression ball. I normally don't play Titleist balls or 100 compression balls but I had found that ball somewhere previously and had placed it in my bag. I decided to use it that day for some reason. It had some strange red ink markings that the previous owner had put on it to identify it as his.
I had been swinging well that evening so I stayed in my routine, first standing behind the ball, then lining up the flag, the ball and a small divot about two feet in front of the ball. Then I stepped forward with the club in my right hand and placed the clubhead in line with the divot--not behind the ball but with the toe of the club just even with the ball. Once the clubhead was aligned, I placed my right foot in my stance and brought my left foot in place while all the time keeping the clubhead and my body in line with the target. I placed my left hand on the club and tried to position the ball just forward of the center line between my feet. I stood straight at first but then bent over with my butt out and both knees slightly cocked inward. I rocked back and forth on my feet slightly to settle myself in the stance and then moved the clubhead directly behind the ball. I took one look at the flag and at the divot in front of me and at that point I had the line I wanted to hit the ball on.
As I sometimes do, I imagined myself "loading" my whole left side by keeping my left arm and leg slightly firm and relaxed my right side slightly at the same time. That gave me a feeling of power that I wanted. I pushed the clubhead slowly away from the ball with my left arm and my hips rotated until it felt like my left pocket was where my right pocket originally was. At that point, I could feel the weight of the clubhead at the top of my back swing. I wanted my arms to feel somewhat weightless at the top of the swing and only being able to feel the clubhead weight. When I felt that I snapped my right knee inward toward the left knee and that triggered my body returning to the original position. Now my body was turning back toward the hole with my arms and the club lagging behind it. I wanted my body to swing my arms which made the club swing. I made clean contact with ball and it felt and sounded like a very good hit. The clubhead and shaft finished over my left shoulder and that's a good indicator for me that I made a good swing. The ball rose very high as it had been on previous iron shots that evening. It appeared to be very much on line with the flag. I kept checking that alignment first looking at the ball and then at the flag. As the ball descended it still looked good for alignment but I thought it was going to carry beyond the hole. As often happens on an uphill shot the ball landed quite a bit shorter than I expected it too. It was hard seeing the ball land due to the fading light but it appeared to land about three to five feet below the hole and slightly left of it. Then the ball just disappeared. At first I was momentarily puzzled and thought that I couldn't see it because of the fading light. Then I thought it might have gone in the hole. About that same time one of my buddies yelled that he thought that the ball went into the hole. I turned around and told him that I thought it might have too. Then all three of us stared intently at the green and none of us could see the ball. At that point both of them yelled "hole-in-one" and high-fived me.
I can't describe the feeling that I had at that point. Maybe it was a mixture of disbelief and elation. I'm sure my buddies hit their shots but I have no recollection of that at all. I still don't know where they hit their shots. I don't remember driving the golf cart to the green but I do remember walking to the green from my cart and looking at my ball mark on the green. I repaired that with a tee and then took two steps to the hole and looked inside. About halfway down and lodged between the flag stick and the inside of the hole was a golf ball. I reached into the hole with my right hand and placed it between my index finger and middle finger. Once I had it in my grasp, I pulled it out very slowly, taking care not to jostle the flag stick. I carefully looked the ball over. It was a Titleist DT, 100 compression with some strange red ink markings on it. I tucked the ball safely away in my shorts pocket and walked away from the hole. It was July 14, 2004 and I knew I wasn't going to ever forget that day.
July 14, 2005 in Sports
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That's an awesome story. I still get excited when I get a hole-in-one on the minature golf course, so I can't imagine how I would feel if I did it on a real golf course.
Posted by: Monkey McGee at Jul 14, 2005 7:24:05 AM
Awesome!! Just Damn!
Posted by: Dax Montana at Jul 15, 2005 9:19:37 AM
thats the ticket yea yea
my first hole in one called for a beer and a shot so get on down to 19 and get r done
Posted by: Rick at Nov 14, 2006 11:55:33 AM
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