Some of you keep asking me if I have had any more holes-in-one on the heels of my lucky shot at Pebble Beach. The answer is no, although I have come close on a few occasions. As you might suspect, I do play an occasional round of golf at my home course when I am not traveling across the USA. Early morning rounds with John Quinn (another John Deere retiree) usually find us first on the tee box for a 2-1/4 hour round of golf. We could probably cut some time off the round if we used a golf cart, but walking the course is great exercise. On week-ends the normal group can include anywhere from 6-12 guys. The normal Saturday morning crowd did not show up a week ago, the day of the 3rd round of competition at the John Deere Classic tournament across town. I teed off at 7:00 AM with the only other two guys to show up that morning: Marty Wilkinson and John Dalhoff.
The round of golf started out quite well for me with 1 bogey and 4 pars through the first 5 holes. I thought my game had fallen apart on hole #6 when I carded a triple bogey. The game of golf can produce some wild swings at times. I somehow managed to shake off the poor result on hole #6, hitting two great shots on hole #7 to get within 125-yards of the elevated green. My approach shot looked good, as did Marty’s shot to the green. After walking up the hill, we only saw one ball on the green - which turned out to be Marty’s. My ball had rolled into the hole for a 2-under par eagle. (Note: a hole-in-one is a 2-under par eagle on a par 3 hole). Somehow I lost my touch on hole #8 where I shot a 3-over par 7 on the hole. I finished the front at a 6 over par 41.
519-yard par 5 hole #7
View from the fairway on hole #7 (creek runs the length of the hole on the right-hand side)
View of the approach shot to the green from 125-yards out
View hole #7 green looking back toward the tee box
I continued to play well on the back nine with one double bogey and two bogeys. I finished the round at 10 over, with 8 of the extra strokes occurring on 3 just holes.
It is interesting to note the golf ball I was hitting that morning: it was not just your normal Titleist golf ball. The ball carried a “Maytag” logo on it. As you may recall, my younger brother John used to work for Maytag. He gifted his supply of “freebie” golf balls to me last summer for my retirement. The ball I shot the hole-in-one with at Pebble Beach was also one of his gifts.
The Maytag eagle
The Home Depot hole-in-one
To put this in perspective, I have been playing golf for over 40-years. During that period I have managed 3 eagles and 2 holes-in-one. Two of these great shots happened within the past 7-months - - - with golf balls provided by brother John. As much as I would like to think that Marty Wilkinson and John Dalhoff brought me good luck that Saturday morning, the evidence suggests something magical happens when I play with free golf balls from my brother.
John: my birthday is coming up in a few months. . . and Christmas right behind it. My supply of lucky golf balls is running low, buddy!