The Raptor's Newspaper Clip - (Created 6/27/07)

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The Raptor's Hole In One Page Created May 13th, 2007 Modified June 27th, 2007

 

 

Sunday May 13th, 2007  

The 4th Hole at Lakeview Country Club is perhaps one of The Raptor's favorite par three's in Erie County.  Having played it many times brings a flood of memories of the sublime and ridiculous occurrences there.  

 

The Raptor can't forget how challenging the hole was when as a new member of the club in 1983, I began hitting an 8 iron off the tee in order to soften the carnage that would normally come with a long iron attempt.  How humiliating was that?  It seems that The Raptor would hack a three iron into the trees near the green or worse, perhaps way right into the outhouse.

After a couple of months of this silliness, The Raptor finally began to straighten out the ball flight and has produced some exciting shots there.

One to note is a Member-Guest tournament back in the heyday that The Raptor played with Clancey in.   It came to pass that we had started the event at the 5th hole and so this was the final hole of our event.  This day the flagstick was placed in the middle portion of the putting surface slightly towards the right edge, so that the yawning bunker would come into play.

There were two aspects of this anecdote that bear observation.  First, because we were in a tournament, there was a prize awarded if a hole in one was recorded.  On this day, a marshal was seated behind the green, named Chad. Chad had been sitting there for about 5 hours by this time and had periodically downed cups of draft beer to the point that he was totally shitfaced.  As the Raptor hit his approach with a 5 iron to this pin placement which was about 175 yards from the tee, it was obvious that it was tracking towards the hole.

I started to raise a commotion on the tee which woke Chad out of his trance.  As the ball hit the green and rolled towards the hole, Chad rose up out of his seat and as the ball rolled over the cup, Chad fell out of the cart.  That was funny.

The ball settled about 5 or 6 feet behind the hole and since this was my final hole, I tried valiantly to score a bird.  Unfortunately, as I began my attempt, I was distracted by the sound of Nick Hosu smacking his ball into the woods from the side of the putting surface.  I jabbed at the putt and missed.  I chewed Nick out for the breach of etiquette but that's all water under a bridge since Nick has since passed away.

Now lets fast forward to this past Wednesday.  I had not been scheduled to play in the event that was to unfold.  This was Lakeview's May Stag and Skinny Boy had called me on Tuesday to fill in for him.  It was a beautiful day for golf with sunny skies and temps approaching 80 degrees.  My partners were all good friends and we were looking forward to a fantastic day.

As this was a shotgun start, we teed off from hole number 3 and I made a par on that hole.  Stepping to the 4th tee, I brought along a 5 and a 6 iron for my expected shot.  The wind was a minor factor and seemed to be helping a tad.  The turf was firm and fast due to a lengthy dry spell.  I elected to hit the 5 iron and launched a high draw into the sunny blue sky and noted that it had landed somewhere in the forward portion of the green.  Due to the haze, I could nt see where it ended up, but keep in mind that the hole location was in the back left quadrant of the putting surface.

The other players in the group, Tom, Mark and Rick all hit their tee shot into the area near the 5th tee.  After looking for their shots, I walked to the green with my putter and noted that there was no ball in sight.  I had no preconceived notion that the ball was in the cup so I walked to the front of the green and looked into the bunkers and high rough around the green...no ball.  So I started to walk to the back of the green to see if the ball rolled through the green.  I reflexively looked into the hole and much to my surprise, there was a ball in the cup and it happened to be mine.

I called my buddies over to show them the ball and we were in a stunned state.  After some celebrating, Mark called Steve Crane in the proshop and I called my wife.  We still had 16 holes to play and the remainder of the round went agonizingly slow.  

As I stated previously, I had scored a par 4 on the third hole and an ace which is also considered an eagle on the fourth hole.  After two holes, I was two under par.  Always the optimist, I now stood on the 5th tee and actually considered some ways I could parlay this stroke of luck into a low scoring round.  Naturally, I went flat instead and stumbled to three straight bogeys.  Oh well!

Moving to the 8th tee now one over par after five holes played, The Raptor somehow managed to hit four quality golf shots and made back to back birdies which brought me to the halfway house one under par after seven holes played.  Lakeview Country Club has never been considered an easy course.  Over the time I have played there, I have had some memorable rounds and once scored a one under par, 71.  However, this happened over five years ago and my low scores have been higher each year since.  Thinking back to 2005, The Raptor recalls scoring a 74 and last year, with limited play there, I scored a 77.  

Needless to say, the next 11 holes were not good.  I was able to save face, primarily due to some additional luck by scoring pars on the 11th, 13th, 14th, 15 and 18th holes.  Unfortunately, I peppered his run with double bogeys on holes 10 and 16.  Some bogeys on the remaining holes led to a final score of 79.  All things considered it was a grand day.  Several good drives,  some quality approach shots and a couple of well executed greenside wedge shots made the round a memorable one.  

 

Notice the Cheshire Cat like grin by The Raptor as I celebrate my ace!           America is a great place!  It looks like it's time for a haircut!

 

Once finished, I was sure that we had played badly as a team as the scores by the other three on my team were a little off the mark, no able top pass muster.  However, I was wrong by a long shot.  Due to some fluke of nature, our team finished 2nd out of 22 teams and the celebration began.

In order to celebrate the hole in one, Steve Crane gave The Raptor a rousing introduction and the tournament participants all cheered and cried out a loud and boisterous cheer.  I instructed the wait staff to give any one interested in toasting either a glass of champagne or a shot of Jack Daniels. and it was a great time.

I moved to the grill room after a fabulous dinner and shared stories with the other players and had a chance to lay my story on my regular gang, many of them had played after the tournament and had stopped to the grill for a late dinner.

 

 

 

 

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