I shouldn't be surprised it happened this way, not with as much golf as I play by myself. I'm talking about my first-ever hole-in-one. Or my sorta, maybe, kind of a hole-in-one, which happened today.
I've been playing golf for about 45 years, since I was 8 or 9 years old. In all that time, I had never had a hole-in-one. I'd had balls hang on the lip, roll over the edge of of the cup, tipetoe around the hole -- every conceivable thing but drop.
I was playing Deerfield Golf & Tennis Club, in Newark, Del., which I had never played before. Because it was the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday, and because it was a spur of the moment round of golf, I was by myself, which is not unsual. And because I was by myself, I was playing two balls, as I often do. Playing two balls, from tee to green, helps me from catching up to the group in front of me.
Everything was normal, fine and dandy, until the 16th, a par 3. It's a nice-looking hole, a bit up hill, with a big bunker that wraps around the left side. From the blue tees, the marker said 170 yards, but my Bushnell Pinseeker measured the pin at 176 yards, playing into a slight wind. That's pretty much the outer limits of a 6-iron for me.
My first ball, which I tried to bomb, went a little long and left, catching the far left corner of the green. For my second shot, I decided to try to smooth the 6-iron. Did I ever. From the moment the ball left the club, I liked it. It felt good and it was dead-on at the pin. I knew it ought to be close, but from the tee, I couldn't see where it ended up. Was it was a little short or did it roll off the back of the green, or what? I couldn't tell, but something told me it was good.
When I drove up to the green, I immediately spotted the first ball, over on the left edge of the green. Scanning the green for the second ball, I looked short and I looked long. Didn't see it. Usually when this happens, just as I get my hopes up, I find the ball buried in the rough off the back. This time, did I dare look in the cup?
Finally, I did. There it was. And no question it was mine. Who else plays a Bridgestone with the little blue dot I make with a Sharpie?
My first reaction was to do a little dance out there on the green, which I did, along with a Tiger-style fist pump. Then, of course, I wondered: Who is going to believe me?
"Yeah, Logan, sure you made a hole-in-one. Any witnesses?"
Actually, no. But I feel comfortable looking straight into the eyes of the golf gods and saying, yes, I sorta finally made a hole-in-one.