By my best calculation, I’ve hit about 37,000 drives in my golf lifetime. Yet, after all those attempts, I’ve only scored one hole-in-one.
It was in the early 1970s at Blackhawk Country Club in Madison, Wisconsin. It was on the 18th hole, 141 yards. Good golfers (and I considered myself a good golfer at that time) would loft a 9-iron high into the sky and land 5 yard beyond the hole. The natural spin of the shot would roll the ball back to the cup for the cherished hole-in-one.
My friend Gary Morris made me laugh in the midst of my backswing. I topped the ball, and it never got more than 10 feet skyward. It took a couple hard bounces, moving to the left of the green. All of a sudden, my ball hit a sprinkler head and caromed to the right, headed straight to the green. Traveling much too fast, my scuffed Titleist golf ball rammed dead into the flag pole and dropped into the hole.
Four women, who had just completed their round, looked in amazement at my shot and let out a wild cheer. I doffed my golf cap and did an appreciative bow from the tee box.
In our lifetimes, we all deserve a hole-in-one. Just don’t let talent get in your way.