Some golfers will go their whole lives without hitting a hole in one. I greedily hit two holes in one during the same round on Friday, September 8 at the Mountain Shadows Short Course, an 18-hole, par-3 course in Paradise Valley, which opened in March and was named “Renovation of the Year” by Golf Inc.
Luckily, I was golfing with someone to witness both holes in one, which occurred during the back 9 within an hour of each other. The first was at the 84- yard, 12th hole with a pitching wedge. Next was the 91-yard, 18th hole with a pitching wedge again.
While I have only played golf for less than two years, I think it may be safe to assume that I’ve reached the peak of my amateur golf career and it’s all downhill from here, but I’m hopeful there’s another ace or two in my future.
According to Golf Digest and the National Hole in One Association, an amateur golfer on a par-3 will hit it in the hole from the tee 1 out of every 12,750 times. The odds of hitting two holes in one in the same round jumps exponentially to about 1 in 156 million, according to Golf.com.
Of course, I naturally bought a lottery ticket and a few scratchers after my round to test my luck, but my fortunate stroke of serendipity was over.
Serendipity is defined as the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way, which is how I describe Friday, September 8.
It started at 6 a.m. when a cat chewed through an electrical line at my office building in Midtown Phoenix, shutting down power to the whole 16-story building for up to 15 hours and effectively canceling work for the day.
That cat’s fearless sacrifice was followed by a friend that left work early in order to capitalize on Mountain Shadows’ discounted $20 tee times after 1 p.m.
If it weren’t for both of their roles, I probably would not have played golf that day or had a witness to see it happen and pinch me afterwards to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.
The shots of a lifetime
Named the “Oasis,” the 12th hole features a water hazard and a green with two different levels. The hole measured 84 yards from the tee and was located at the bottom, front portion of the green, which started at the edge of the water hazard.
The pitching wedge shot cleared the water hazard and landed about 10 yards past the hole on the middle of the green. The ball paused for a second before rolling down the steep tier towards the front of the green at a perfect speed and eventually disappearing in the hole.
This mark my first hole in one ever and what I expected to be my last.
Then, history repeated itself an hour later on the 18th hole named “Bedrock,” a 91-yard hole with another front of the green hole location, which resembled the 12th hole.
So I of course used my new favorite club – my pitching wedge. I swung, again not thinking about hitting a hole in one and just trying to stick the green. This time the ball landed only about five feet past the hole, and paused again before slowing rolling towards me and into the hole.
My friend and I could not contain our excitement and disbelieve, which drew a caddy out of the clubhouse to see what was happening.
I was then informed by the clubhouse that this marked the first time a player scored two holes in one during the same round since the course reopened as the Mountain Shadows short course in March.
The original course at Mountain Shadows was designed and built in 1961, but has since been completed redesigned by course architect Forrest Richardson to combine its history with fun and challenging modern features, making the course truly one of a kind.
With less than 1 in every 13,000 shots being a hole in one, my only piece of advice for other golfers trying to accomplish the same feat is to slightly improve your odds by playing an 18-hole, par 3 course. It worked for me, not just once, but twice.