We were watching the first round of the Players championship at TPC Sawgrass where the very best in the game battle with one of the most challenging golf courses on the professional tour.
Sergio Garcia from Spain, makes a hole in one on the 17th hole island green. It was the second of his career. In golf, a hole in one is rare. Imagine a ball hit from the tee and in one shot ends up in the cup. It requires some skill – power and a lot of luck.
Have you ever had a hole in one? This conversation started on a tee box with strangers has revealed some amazing stories to us. There is a longing and a challenge by every golfer, to play the shot and achieve the ACE – a hole in one. In 2015, on a beautiful fall day Lyle and I joined with his brother and his wife for a round of golf and as we stood on the tee box and watched Lyle hit that ball aimed right at the red flag, 327 yards par 4 and he Aced. That was amazing and rare and his first hole in one.
In Sedona, just months after that beautiful game, Lyle and I joined a local member at the Oak Creek Country Club. http://www.oakcreekcc.com This course is a contradiction with huge oak trees and rivers tucked beside the red rock mountains and Coconno National Forest, nature’s prize. It was a casual game and we were all having fun. I stepped up to face a par three on hole 16 with a water hazard that made the green look like an island. My six iron was in hand for 140 yards and I made contact. I looked away, expecting the worst. Lyle shouted for me to watch it as my ball landed on the right side of the green and picked up speed it caught a break,and headed sharply left into the cup. Unbelieveable, exciting and memorable.( and yes a little bit lucky!!!) My first hole in one.
Since that fall, we have asked many others their own story of the elusive goal. Some players have a 30 year history with the game and not yet experienced for themselves this thrill. Others have had a multiple of celebrations over the years. It is such a pleasure to play golf with others and share their celebrations.
We met Lidia and her husband Ted in Phoenix at the Wildfire Golf Course at the JW Marriott Hotel. http://www.theclubjwdesertdunes.com It was a beautiful day for exceptional value. The fairways were lush in this desert, surrounded by mountains.Lidia’s par three hole in one will connect us forever. The clubhouse celebration overflowed from the management to the staff and nearby guests.
During the same year, outside San Diego on a small golf course at the Welk Resort Lyle and I joined Steve and his best friend as they skipped work to play a round of golf together. We had just pulled up to the par three number three hole that is pinched into the side of an escarpment, a hilly enclave. When Steve hit his tee shot, it was crisp and deliberate and landed on the green where it ran left into the cup. High fives, smiles and photos. It was time to share the celebration – what do you do when your supposed to be at work but your golfing? Let’s sit on the deck of the clubhouse with tall drinks and remember this special first time event. Cheers!
What we have learned, is when you relax from the “wanting” and stay in the moment for that one shot, you may end up celebrating your very own ace. When Sergio achieved his hole in one at TPC Sawgrass, he was playing with Matt Kuchar another legend of the game and it was a fine example of fun in the moment. They played together last year too when Kuchar holed out from a bunker. There is a peaceful energy that allows this magic to unfold.
We have heard that golf is a game you play against the course itself and a hole in one is an unexpected victory for every player, even the most celebrated professionals of this sport. Our wish for every golfer is to enjoy their hole in one this year and share your story with us.
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