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Zahm Hall
Notre Dame
ND Alumni
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Kelly Green
Blue Gray Sky

Just Call Me Ace

Posted: 2007-01-03

It'll either be a great year for golf, or all downhill from here.

Working at home today.

About 10 I head out to Blockbuster to return a movie. Weather is "nice enough" - I swing by the local 18 and its empty, so I decide that a quick round of golf is in order before I get back to work.

Ingleside is a short course - par 68, 4834 yards, 62.7 rating, 109 slope. Its mostly drive and chip.

The first hole is almost a joke. Par 4, 238 yards. Downhill. Fairway swings slightly right to left with bunker sticking out into the fairway and "protecting" the green on the left, about 60 yards in front of the green.

I hit a 5 wood. Hit it well but not as I intended. It stays very low, moves nicely right to left and I think it lands just besides the fairway bunker and rolls -- hard to tell because its straight into the sun.

I drive down the fairway and the damn ball is in the trap. I kick it out since there's standing water throughout the trap and chip to just short of the fringe. Make a nice putt to about 3 feet and walk up to remove the pin ..

.. wait a second, there's a ball in the hole .. and it's mine!


The other ball was left in the middle of the wet trap by somebody.

I know, I know, there is probably some sort of penalty for hitting someone else's ball -- screw that -- that's my first ever hole-in-one, and a double-eagle to boot, on the first swing of the year!!! Of course, I didn't see it and I wasn't playing with anyone ..



Since you had no opponent, you were playing medal instead of match play.In medal play, the penalty for hitting the wrong ball is two strokes.Improving your lie with the foot was illegal, but let's overlook that because you were apparently taking a holiday not only from your job but also from the rules of golf. Counting your chip and your lag put, you hit the wrong ball twice, which means 4 penalty strokes.

Nice 5!



Your second hit was on the "wrong ball". Your third hit was on a "now declared wrong ball". You never did hole out the "now declared wrong ball". I assume that you picked it up.

I think that you forfeit that hole. But, between you and me, I'd let you put a 1 on the card (even though I'd take the money for a hole won with my 6).

By the way, how did you know that the ball in the hole was yours?

Top Flight makes many XXX OUTS.




The ball had a red stripe and the word "Range" on it. It belonged to Fox.


Since this has generated such interesting banter, I should probably add some more detail .. thought I had provided plenty, but truth is there is more. And you can all thank me now for providing you so much ammunition to fry me with!

First, when I started the round I just figured this was a practice round. Course was empty. I'd hit two or three balls from each shot location. Try different clubs and approaches. Practice putting a little on each green. I would try to keep an official "first ball" score. That's what Albert told me I should do when I play a practice round. Towards that end I used a new Top Flight off the tee and had two "junk" balls in my pocket.

Usually I play blues on this course (5105 yards vs 4834 for the whites - wow!). But there weren't any blues on the first tee. So I played whites.

I hit the five wood as I said. Normally I hit it "high" but I don't think this ball got more than 10 yards up in the air. But I hit it good. My swing has been great lately, knock on wood.

When I saw the ball in the small puddle in the trap I just kicked it out. Yes, there was sand in the trap that wasn't under water. I could have dropped it there. But all the sand was in bad shape (its a crappy course in January) and it was all damp and I wasn't about to hit a ball out of it and get wet sand all over myself. Foot wedgie. No qualms about that. Sue me.

Hit an OK sand wedge from beside the trap - felt I hit it good but it came up just short of the green. Dropped one of the junk balls. Hit another sand wedge, this time harder, past the pin to the back of the green. Dropped the other junk ball. Hit it OK, it landed about 5 feet on the green and didn't move.

Drove the cart to the next tee. Grabbed my clubs and walked back to the green. The third ball I had hit from beside the trap was in the way of the first ball I had hit. So I putted the third ball towards the hole. It hit the left edge of the hole, was whipped around to the right, and stopped about 2 feet away from the hole. Now I lined up my "real" ball, hit a good putt on-line (I got a good read from that other putt) but it came up about 3 feet short.

This is when I pulled the pin and discovered the ball, my new Top Flight, in the hole. As I said, surreal. I then looked at the ball I had just putted -- a Titlist. I looked at the other 2 balls on the green -- my junk balls. I went through the whole thing in my head. The line drive 5 wood with the nice slight right to left flight path that I hit into the sun had obviously landed near the trap and rolled to the green on the very short grass, hard ground, across the short side of the green (pin was up) and dropped gently into the cup.

Just as I intended it too.

Hole in one. Double eagle. On the first swing of the year. According to my rules at least!


PS Shot an 8 over par 76 with my "first" ball, without any foot wedgies or anything, for a diff score of 13.8, my lowest ever.

Okay, that's almost enough detail, but before we continue with the analysis, I am sure that Gabes will want to know whether the coed who was caddying for you was wearing a thong.


Yes. A shear black one.

Does that affect the rules interpretations?


No, but it helps us to understand why you couldn't keep track of your balls.