Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I shot a hole in one today. It was the second time in a long and mostly undistinguished career that it has taken me but a single shot to get the ball from tee to hole.

I have played golf for 52 years. I have probably averaged 30 rounds a year over that time. That would be 1560 rounds of golf. There are typically 4 par 3's in each round. That would add up to 6240 opportunities for golfing immortality. 2 out of 6240, or 1 every 3120 attempts. They say even a monkey gets it right some of the time.

I hit a 7 iron on a hole listed at about 160 yards long but playing at about 140. However,in future years this will become an 8 iron from about 185.

Since the ball did not land and roll, but descended directly from the air into the cup, my playing partners and I only heard the clang against the pin. None of us were sure if the ball had disappeared into the hole, or struck the flag and bounded away into the rough, the woods or the water. I knew I was either about to put a 1 or a 5 or 6 on my scorecard.

I had been the first to tee off, so I had to wait for 3 other shots, and then take the walk up to the green to learn the fate of my golf ball. Really, those around me were much more animated about the event and anxious about the outcome than I.

I think that having played for so long, and had so many ups and downs, my reaction was perceived by those with me as at best muted, and at most, bizarre. I quite honestly was more concerned with the bad chips I had hit, and the putts I had missed, earlier in the round, than the shot that was now being applauded by those in attendance.

I hit the ball really well all day, and even with the ace, shot a somewhat disappointing 82. I am sure the thrill of this hole in one will find its way to the pleasure center in the brain soon, but it hasn't gotten there yet.

In keeping with a long honored tradition, I bought a drink for everyone who witnessed the feat. For the record, my celebratory beverage was water, Steve had a diet coke, Dennis had a beer, and Chad took his libation (whatever it was) with him into the corner when he made some business calls. We know how to party.

And so, back to the rest of my life, armed with the knowledge that for one brief moment today, I was as good as it gets. Or at least a reasonable facsimile.


David B said...

What a way to come back to golf after a lost season last year. Congratulations from Joan and myself. I wish I was there to witness your greatness.
Joan and David

Robert said...

Don't worry, I am sure I will retell the story so many times you will have trouble remembering whether or not you were actually there.

Shirley said...

Did it go right in the clown's nose?

Robert said...

The sad truth is that I continued to play with the same ball for the remainder of the round (risking its future in my possession). Once the round was over, I threw it back into my bag with its brothers and sisters.

And no, it did not go right into the clown's nose. That was on the next hole. This one was a pelican's beak.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

You da man!

Robert said...

You thus become da daughter.