FORE: Did that go in?

Almost Hole In OneThe other day I was talking to BC the Man about an almost hole-in-one I had in high school. I played high school golf at Northview High School in Brazil, Indiana, and played four years varsity for coach Tony Trout. I have a LOT of great memories there… from traveling with the team to playing great golf courses all over the Midwest. Northview had a pretty competitive program, and I remember working out and practicing even when the temperature outside was below 40 degrees. I could tell stories about my time there for days.

Anyway, the story that I wanted to tell was that of my “almost” hole-in-one. I know what you saying… “There is no such thing as an almost hole-in-one.” Well… there is and that is what BC the Man wanted to read more about. So let’s see if my memory serves me correctly here…

Forest Park Golf Course

Every high school and college golf team has a home course. Our home course was Forest Park Golf Course, also located in Brazil, Indiana. There are only two courses in the area, and Forest Park made the most sense. It’s a challenging course that offers a different experience on the front and back. I like the front nine better… I don’t hit the ball that far, and the front allowed me to hit more golf shots rather than bomb drives down the fairway.

I will never forget the golf course. If the course was open, we would practice and/or play five nights a week. The first hole was a par 4, followed by a short par 3, and then a drivable par 4. Hole 4 was tough, and offered some risk/reward. But it was hole 5 that would produce many memories for me. (I got hit by a golf ball on that hole once… but that story is for another day.)

If the match was during the week, and we had school that day, we would only play 9 holes. This match was during the week and we played the front 9. We were playing against Terre Haute North, a rival of the Northview Knights. Terre Haute South was another rival. I was playing in the #2 spot that day (usually 5 or 6 guys would play varsity matches, and the rest would play JV) and remember this like it was yesterday.

Hole 5 is a longer par 3, usually (in those days) a 5 or a 6 iron for me. It’s a flat hole, with a large mound in front of the green giving you no view of the hole from the tee. The pin was in the middle of the green that day, and I grabbed my 5 iron. I teed the ball up, and swung. It looked good coming off the clubface, and was right at the flag. I thought I hit it a little bit too hard, but in the green was deep and I have always played a lot of spin.

The other three guys hit, and we grabbed our golf bag and headed to the green. I got to the top of the mound, and didn’t see any balls on the green. The other three guys were left and right with one ball sitting in the fringe on the right side. I checked just to make sure, but it wasn’t my ball.

I kept looking and then went over the green since I thought I hit the ball a little hard. It wasn’t back there either. No way it was in the hole. While I was looking, the other guys chipped up and on and were ready to putt. That is when one of the guys from North walked to the hole and yanked the pin out. Out came my golf ball.

Does that mean that I got a hole-in-one? To me it did. To the guys on the other team, it meant that I had to putt for birdie. According to the rules, at least as I knew them back then, the player who hit the ball had to be the one to take it out of the cup… not the other team or another person, say a caddie on the PGA.

Before I grabbed my putter, I wanted to speak with our coach. He was out on the golf course somewhere and wasn’t anywhere to be found. The Terre Haute North coach was nearby, so we grabbed him. He said that if I wasn’t the one to pull the ball out of the hole that I needed to play the ball as it lay. I putted, made birdie, and was upset with the ruling.

The rest of the round was fuzzy but when we finished and I signed my scorecard I saw our coach standing by the clubhouse. I told him what happened… and that is all I remember. I have some fuzzy memories of what I shot and how the rest of the round played out, but the hole-in-one didn’t count. I had to write a 2 on the scorecard, and I signed for a 2 as well.

I couldn’t even tell you who won the match that day, but that’s a golf shot I will never forget.

Have you ever had a hole in one?