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One thing all golfers have in common, regardless of our handicap, we all live in anticipation. Standing up to the ball, we are hoping for that great shot that will result in a "hole in one" or our best round ever. Our hopes are seldom realized but we are often left with some very interesting memories…



PARADISE LOST
by Brian Palmer


My favourite golf hole for a moment in time was the 11th hole on the Nottawasaga Ridge course in Alliston.

To begin, I should explain that one of my greatest pleasures in life is finding golf balls. Some say it's the Scottish blood in me but I know there are many others who share my passion.

The 11th hole is a fairly straight, longish par 4 with a treacherous gully in front of the tee. It takes a good whack to get over and have a decent lie. Being one of the many aspiring Rory's, my good whack turned into a lovely big slice. Not so good when there’s a cornfield on the right where golf balls by the dozens find refuge from people like me. Even I would not invade this sanctuary and simply pass it by with a big tear in my eye.

One fall day while I was golfing with my Scottish friend Leon, when we beheld a miracle.

"Look" I said, "the farmer has cut down his corn". It was only seconds after the words had been spoken before two of us dove into paradise. In no time we had collected at least 50 balls between us.

Sad to say, our time was cut short when the group behind us started to gather on the tee. We only had enough time to rescue a couple more balls before we had to move on.

Next year the corn stalks were gone and houses were beginning to appear – alas it was "Paradise Lost"




REMEMBER THE 4TH
by Bryan Mills

Golf is a game of surprises, many of which become lasting memories – some good, some not so good. As for this story, the answer would depend who you asked.

Norm and I were on the 4th hole, a par 5 dog leg to the right. I was first up. My drive was not long but it was right down the middle. Norm steps up and puts his drive it right into the woods – out of bounds. He followed that with two more that were even further in the woods. He’s now lying 7 and I’m 1. When we get up to the green and he puts his wedge shot on 40 feet from the pin and proceeds sink the putt for an 11.

After 5 chips and 3 putts the scorecard said it all. He had finished with an 11 and I had a 12.

Whenever we meet, it doesn’t take long before one says to the other, with a smile… Remember the 4th…




IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE – BELIEVE ME
by Richard Walther

I was looking for something to do following my retirement from teaching and I think I found Shangri-La when I found work as a pros hop assistant at Maples of Ballantrae Golf Club in Stouffville. I really enjoy what I’m doing, keeps my mind active, discounts on equipment, camaraderie with all kinds of interesting people and most important of all – free golf!  In fact, it’s really more like a paid vacation than a job.

The days are full of unique experiences and this day was no exception. Two of my co-workers, Fred and Jim arrived at the course at the crack of dawn to play a round. It was an absolutely perfect day for golf!

There are four par three holes on our championship course, three of which involve significant water hazards. The first of these is the sixth hole which plays about 150 yards from the blue tees. There is a pond on the left that stretches practically the entire length of the fairway and woods on the right. The green is slightly elevated.

On this particular day, Jim hit a perfect tee shot but lost sight of after it landed. Arriving at the green he discovered to his amazement, that he had gone in the hole - a hole in one.

The round continued uneventfully until they reached the par 3 eighteenth. This hole plays about 180 yards from the blue tees over a large pond. If you’re short, your ball will find the water or the weeds every time so there is really very little room for error.

They hit their tee shots and this time Fred hit the perfect shot. The ball hit the green, rolled up to the cup and dropped in - another hole in one!

Most of us play our whole lives and never score an ace. They scored two in one round! It was unbelievable – Believe me

Maybe my turn will come during the 2015 season. I sure hope so.




A DAY TO REMEMBER
by Jim Nicholson

Back in 1988 I was playing with a foursome at Deer Creek, their premium north track. The course is a good challenge to us club members and maybe a large challenge to those who have not played it enough.

As it was, there was a par four golf hole that had a definite 90 degree dog leg left. A real problem arose if you happened to hit the ball left off the tees as there was a substantial copse of trees and to clear them you would have to hit a perfect three wood. The average golfer would only hit a max five iron without going through into the rough on the tee shot. We all hit our balls decently, played our second or third, etc. and had finished our putting. As we were walking off the green we heard this clunk, turned and saw a ball had cleared the trees, we were somewhat in awe, more so as the ball scurried onto the green and took a slow roll into the hole.    

Well, we waited for the golfer who had made the “hole in one on a par four”, but waited in such a way as if we had just finished putting. This golfer was also a member named Jack who we all knew. When he got to the green, he said he was sorry and asked if we had seen the ball after it had cleared the trees. We said we heard it but weren’t sure where it went. He started looking and we waited for about five minutes. As he was a little frazzled, finally I said, “Maybe you should look in the hole, he did and you would appreciate the look on his face, wish we had a camera. We all congratulated him had a laugh and told him we saw it go in. There were only two holes to play, so he finished the round with us.

 




LIGHTNING STRIKES IN BERMUDA
by Bill Conning

Every golfer has been there ... and I am no different.  I stood at the tee, having precisely perched the ball at just the right height for my next shot.  Facing the fairway, I took into consideration the slight breeze blowing straight in, picked my line, visualized the exact trajectory for my shot, then slowly turned to address the ball.  Like a pilot preparing for flight, I went through the final checklist .. alignment, grip, knees flexed .. 1 .. 2 .. practice swings to confirm the proper backswing, weight shift, swing plane, hip rotation and told myself to focus on the ball right through impact.  Yes, this was going to be PERFECT!!!  -- despite the results of the previous six holes.  I lived in the moment .. the moment of greatest expectation that this time .. this time .. it would all come together.

It was the 7th hole at the Southampton Princess - a Par 3 - 129 yards to a slightly elevated green.  It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day.

Pre-flight checklist completed, it was launch time.  I stepped up to the ball, drew back my club, and with the best coordination I could muster, I struck the ball and sent it hurtling on its way.  Now taking my first good look, I was pleased to see that the ball had been paying attention to the flight plan - for once.  “Good shot!” came the cry from my partner.  I watched the ball climb to its peak and then fall in the general vicinity of the elevated green, landing out of sight from the tee.  It was hard to tell if it went too far and rolled off the back and down the slope.  Oh well, it’s out there, I thought.

My partner made a very respectable shot and landed on the front fringe of the green in plain sight.  “Chip and a put should do it”, I said.  “Maybe just a chip”, she replied with a big smile.

Away we went up the cart path, but as we approached the green, my ball was nowhere in sight.  Taking a wedge and a putter from my bag, I headed off beyond the green and down the slope in search of my wayward shot.  Not out in the open .. no that would be too easy.  I started searching under the hibiscus bushes and around the edge of the gardens .. nothing.  This was quickly becoming frustrating.  My partner was equally becoming bewildered by the disappearance, so I suggested it was time to finish the hole and I would take a drop in the area we were looking.  I had resigned myself to the fact that my ball had been another victim of the treacherous Bermuda grass .. maybe even the Bermuda Triangle!!  Just as I was about to take my drop, I noticed that my partner had stopped half way across the green on the way to her ball and was now motioning for me to come and join her.  “I found it!”, she said, beaming.  And there it was, resting comfortably in the bottom of the cup, cheek to cheek with the pin.  A quick two-finger extraction confirmed that indeed it was my ball and not the work of some cruel trickster.  A hole-in-one!!  My first .. my only!!

Who would have thought that lightning could strike right out of a clear blue Bermuda sky!!  But on April 12, 1998 lightning did indeed strike for me, and made a lasting memory!!   (And .. my partner chipped in for a birdie!!)

 
 
   
 
     
     
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