My first ever hole-in-one!

Something happened to me that’s never been happened before. I made a hole in one! That is every golfer’s dream—to make a hole in one, especially from a par 3—in our lifetime. Today after work, I decided to go out to the University of Maryland golf course (I wish I was a student there, so I’d become a member and get discounted fees). My friend, Luke, had a meeting at 4:30 pm so he couldn’t meet me there on time. He’d meet me later at the 10th hole, since I had enough time to do 18 holes. So I went ahead and played by myself.

This happened on the 3th hole, par 3, 187 yards marker, but the white tee was moved back about 3 yards behind the marker, so that made it 190 yards long. I was deciding whether to go with an iron 3 or 4, but since it was a little downhill and virtually no wind, I chose iron 4. I did some warm-up swings, trying to get some rhythm and feeling confident with my swing. Then I stood behind the ball, visualizing my shot and which direction I’m gonna aim and shoot at. I usually pick a tree or some easy spots where I could see from the corner of my left eye. (it helps when my left eye is dominant over my right eye, thus I shoot a gun left-eye, not from my right eye and don’t worry, I don’t own a gun myself). I set my shoe spikes into the grass underneath me, grip my Cleveland TA7 iron, wiggle my wrists a bit to keep loose, and I looked up at my target (a tree, rather than straight at the flagstick) for one more time, took my break for the last time, started my backswing and just let it all go. I felt the ball struck solidly, flew high through the air, I could see the ball a little left of the flagstick, about 3 feet, and was going exactly where I was aiming at. Then, the ball went down and hit hard onto the green, rolled till I couldn’t see it anymore because the slope was curvy downhill.

I walked up to the green, expecting to see my ball on the green but it wasn’t there. Could it have rolled off the green and into the rough? So I looked around the rough; nothing there. Ahh, not again! I didn’t wanna lose my damn ball again, which had happened countless times, but I had an idea that I’d look for the divot instead where the ball had landed onto the green and try to figure out where the ball might have gone. I looked at the divot, and formed an imaginary line where it rolls off. It was pointing at the flagstick. Then it suddenly registered to me that the ball could have gone into the cup…. A possible hole-in-one!? it cann’t be… I walked to the hole and looked down. The ball was there; I had made not only my first hole-in-one but my first eagle too!

Man, I can’t even begin to describe the feeling when I started to realize that the ball had indeed gone down into the cup. I’m sure it’s different for others but to me, I feel like it’s an acknowledgment that my golf skill has become good enough that it’s capable of making a hole-in-one. What is a greater satisfaction is that I can proudly say I’ve made a hole in one in my lifetime, although there was no one to witness it. I don’t care as I know for a fact that I made it. It tells me that after all those hundreds, no, make it thousands, of swings, countless hours of practice, that it has paid off and that it wasn’t a waste of time. It is as if God has rewarded me.

It flashed me back to the days when I was about 12 years old and my dad had a really old golf clubs (he bought them in the 70s after seeing Jack Nicklaus won more than 10 majors and 8 more majors after that) but only used them a few times. My dad is not big of an athlete, so I practically blew the dust off the clubs and went to the backyard and tried to swing at the ball like I’d see them do on the TV. Since we weren’t very affluent nor a member of a country club, I never actually played at a real golf course till I was about 16 years old. I’d save up enough money to buy my own golf club set, bought them for only 100 dollars at Target, with a driver (it was really a wood 3 with graphite shaft, wood 5, wood 7 and iron 3 through pitch wedge). To compare how cheap that was, my current putter alone costs $90 dollars.

Since I turned 16 years old and able to drive alone, I drove to a public golf course and started playing golf. I believe it was at Nicholas Park Golf Course in Jacksonvile, IL. They had a pond between two holes and I hit, like, 4 straight balls into the water before finally hitting it long enough to get over the pond. Since then, I’ve played more often but to the limits of my budget and didn’t really play much during college since I was almost always broke and my eyes constantly in front of computers while chowing down junk foods. Now I’m receiving steady paychecks from my employer and able to afford green fees, before was I able to take up golf more seriously. Let there be more hole-in-ones to come!

Pics taken from my Sidekick companion: