• Leigh Gerstenberger

Hole-In-One





I’ve been playing golf seriously for over 30 years. Unlike many people who take up the game, I didn’t really become interested in it until my late 30s. While I’m a high handicapper, I got sold out to golf when I realized it was something my son and I could do together that he enjoyed.


For me golf is about people. I’m proud to say that I have a wonderful relationship with my son which was in part, forged on the golf course. After all, when you spend 4 – 5 hours with someone in a golf cart several times a month, you really get to KNOW the other person. Once I came to this realization, I found plenty of opportunities to play golf with prospects, clients, colleagues and people I just wanted to get to KNOW better.


A number of exciting things can happen during a round of golf that “keep you coming back” as it were. Some examples of these happenings are sinking a long putt, shooting a low score, making a birdie or an eagle. But the highlight of a golfer’s career regardless of whether the player is a professional or amateur is making a hole-in-one which is also referred to in golf parlance as an ace.


An ace in golf is driven by three primary factors; percentages (3,000-to-1 for the professional golfer; 12,000-to-1 for the average golfer), skill and luck. Tiger Woods has recorded 20 aces in his lifetime.


I’ve witnessed three hole-in-ones during my 30 years of playing golf.

One of the aces was my own. There’s usually a story that goes with every ace.


In my case I stood on a raised tee box on the 6th hole of the Wanamaker Course at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL on February 25, 2010 and pulled a Callaway 7-wood out of my bag. The club is nicknamed the “Heaven Wood” because its loft allows you to hit the ball high. I hadn’t swung this club much and I remember saying to myself as I began my swing, “Wouldn’t it be neat to make a hole-in-one with a Heaven Wood” before I swung the club. The ball was well struck, bounced twice on the green before rolling towards and dropping into the hole. So, my hole-in-one was with a Heaven Wood!


The other day, I was playing golf with three former colleagues. Due to job changes and relocations it had been a number of years since the four of us had played a round of golf together. While we were enjoying each other’s company, there was a touch of melancholy within our group as our good friend, David who was also a former colleague and golfing buddy had passed away the week before.


Our round was filled with reminiscing about our friend and the times that we had enjoyed with him on and off the golf course over the years. Then on the 8th hole, a 130 yard, downhill, par-3 our friend John hit a line drive, punch shot into a two-club wind straight towards the pin. The ball landed on the front of the green and rolled 20 feet right into the hole.


There were high fives all around and back slapping, but John’s reaction was the best of all. He simply raised both his arms to the heavens and exclaimed, “David this one’s for you!”


Yet another heavenly hole-in-one.

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