HIBBING — I’ve been golfing for something like 50 years, maybe a little more, and the one thing that’s eluded me, other than my game, is a hole-in-one.
I’ve come close on several occasions, but for some reason or other the golf ball doesn’t want to finish the job.
If you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking, no, I still don’t have an ace, but on Wednesday, I got a text from my son, which said, “I did something on the 11th hole today.”
The 11th hole on the Mesaba Country Club is a 215-yard par three, and it’s not one of the easiest holes on the course.
As a matter of fact, the green is somewhat illegal because it has too much slope. The pin is usually placed on the top half of the green because if you’re lucky, your ball might stay on the green if it lands up there.
Any downhill putt, if it misses the hole, could roll off the green.
Getting back to his text.
That’s a wide-open statement. It could go in several different ways. He could have tipped over the golf cart. He could have fallen and hurt himself. Maybe, he ran into someone he knew, and they talked for a while.
My wife, because it was a joint text, asked him to explain further.
His next text was, “I hit my first hole-in-one.”
My wife sent out two hand claps bookending a bunch of smiling emojis, and when you opened the text, a celebration of confetti broke out.
Evidently, Tony used a four-hybrid, and both he and Shay Rabbers, his playing partner, watched the ball take a dive into the hole.
I wish I could describe that feeling, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to.
No. 1, I’m not that good. I never know where my golf ball is going from one hole to the next, like I’m sure many golfers experience.
I’m just as capable of hitting an 81 and a 98, which I did on consecutive days two weeks ago.
It would be nice to gain some consistency, and at least hit the ball solid everytime I strike it. That would be an improvement. I could live with that.
Like I said earlier, I’ve come close.
On the Hibbing Municipal Golf Course when I was young, there was a short par 4, before they put a new tee box in. It was on the third hole where I was within inches of getting that ace. It was on the lip of the hole.
Again, it wasn’t that long of a hole, but that would have been an accomplishment, acing a par four. At that time, we were still using wood drivers, but I could hit the ball a long way.
My mind is leaving me, so I don’t know how close I’ve come on the par 3’s at that course, holes four and eight, but at the country club, I have some close calls on No. 8 and No. 15, for sure. I think I’ve come close on 11 as well, but not No. 7 because that’s another tough par three.
I’m 61-years-old, so time is running out. I would like to feel the thrill of acing a hole at some point of my life.
Of course, I usually golf alone, so if I ever did make a hole-in-one, I wouldn’t have a witness there to verify it.
That’s something I would never lie about, but I’d have to keep it to myself. I might tell my family, but nobody else would know about it.
As for Tony, he’s a humble kid. He never got excited about it. He and Rabbers didn’t run around slapping high-fives. As a matter of fact, he never went to the clubhouse to report it. Rabbers did that for him.
Congratulations Tony on a feat well deserved.