A story of two hole-in-ones
Vail CO, Colorado
It’s hard to believe three holes of golf could change your life. There are moments in life that are easy to understand and there others that don’t fit anywhere in your relative experience. To this day I don’t know how or why I managed to drop two aces in three holes but I can tell you the odds are extremely long. I read in an article about that day that I was something like 30,000 times more likely to be struck by lightning twice in my lifetime. There where other numbers equally as staggering.
The memory feels stolen, but at the same time when I think about it I can feel every breath. It was a bluebird summer day and I decided to try and squeeze nine in on my lunch break with a few friends ” good looking girls in shorts. I was not very focused on the golf game. In fact, I was barely thinking about it. Every time I set up a shot now I think about how NOT IN MY HEAD I was that day. Of course that GETS ME IN MY HEAD and from there I know I’m doomed.
Aces certainly help in the confidence department. When I get within 140 yards, I expect the ball to go in the hole. It is within the realm of possibility. I’ve hit the stick from 150 a few times since then but the rest of my game is inconsistent crap. I seem to have a knack for these uncanny moments of brightness. Every golfer knows how important confidence is. When I get this into my head it’s almost guaranteed I’ll chunk it and throw a pelt of grass 30 feet. My confidence is shattered more often than not. So it goes, right?
The Willow Creek par 3 is a great place to tune up your short game. You really only need a few clubs and its likely you’ll find more golf balls than you can carry along the way. This is the place guys bring their girls to introduce them to the game in hopes they will at least find interest enough in the sport to drive the cart or at the least go light on the grief that every golf addict with a significant other faces from time to time.
I know, you’re not here looking for a review of Willow Creek. But the point is this place isn’t exactly a mecca for legends. OK, so here’s how it went down, at least what I remember about it.
Hole 1: Bogey – can’t putt, girls are distracting.
Hole 2: Chunked it off the tee box – I should have drank more water and brought some tees. Bogey.
Hole 3: Yeah girls!
Hole 4: I just wanted to get the ball close to the pin and give myself a chance for a putt. A birdie, even on a short par 3, is still a birdie. The ball landed on the front of the green and took a funky bounce and looked like it would leave me with a chance for a putt. The ball kept rolling. . . then it just dropped in the hole like it was on tracks. From there my disbelief turned into a din of hooting, hollering and high fives.
“I’ll never do that again,” I said, walking to the fifth tee box.
“Yes you will,” replied one of the girls. “You can do anything.”
I dropped the ball into my back pocket for safe keeping and glowed all the way to the next tee box.
Hole 5: Whatever . . . par. The bar had been raised.
Hole 6: When I stepped up to the tee on the 6th hole I could not have felt more relaxed. To this day I remember it as the smoothest, easiest swing I’ve ever taken in my life.
I struck the ball clean and it was tracking perfectly. This hole has an elevated tee box and the pin was on the frontside of the green so I couldn’t see it land. My friend spotted it and yelled, “It’s in the hole!”
I was fearless, careless – floating. I was living in a world without consequence. The constraints of reality had been shattered. I was on another planet.
I dropped the ball into my pocket for safe keeping and finished the nine without a care in the world.
The irony came when we entered the clubhouse and we broke the news. I was dead broke. I spent my last dime on the round. The 19th hole celebration had to be put off for another day. One thing was certain, I had been bitten by the golf bug – hard.