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Aces are wild in golf, as are their stories

June 01, 2008|By TONY MULIERI

Sometimes, what appears in the paper is not the whole story about an event.

Case in point: One of the guys I play golf with on Thursday nights scored a hole-in-one on March 13, the first night our Thursday night group played this season at Black Rock Golf Course.

I missed that first night, so I was not a witness.

The item in the sports section read, "Joe Frazier scored his first hole-in-one at Black Rock Golf Course. Frazier used an 8-iron on the 120-yard second hole to sink the shot, which was witnessed by Don Blackstock, Todd Rosenthal, Tom Piston and Joe Weerley."

Simple story.

Not so fast.

A couple of days after it happened, I received an e-mail from Todd that said something to the effect that Joe's shot ricocheted off a rock, bounded onto the green and rolled into the hole, although none of the players actually saw it go in because they are a bunch of older guys with bad eyesight.

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But when I saw Don a few days later, he said he clearly saw the ball strike the rock and it catapulted the ball onto the green and he said he saw it go into the hole.

About three weeks later, I finally made it to the golf course and there was Joe, sitting on a picnic table.

I congratulated him on the hole-in-one

All Joe could say was that he aimed at the hole, it was a line drive and when he walked onto the green and checked the hole, the ball was in the cup. He could not attest to it hitting a rock. He did remember buying the drinks after the round, a custom in golf when you have an ace.

You know, 20 years from now when Joe is retelling the story about his hole-in-one to his grandchildren, it will sound something like this:

"Well, grandpa was standing on the tee and the guys were trying to determine how far of a shot we had. One guy marked it off and said it was 126 yards. It looked more like 122 to me. So I took out my 8-iron, lined up the shot and when I hit it, I knew I had hit it well.

"The shot had a low trajectory, but I saw it clear the low brush in front of the hole. The ball hit the front of the green and started rolling toward the hole. It looked like it went into the hole, but it was a cloudy night and I wasn't 100 percent sure it went in. ..."

You will notice "rock" and "carom" are not in Joe's fictitious retelling. Things get blurry as time passes.

I've never had a hole-in-one, and I've been playing golf since I was 14. I hit the flagstick one time and the ball "caromed" off the stick and rolled off the green. Aces are hard to come by.

But this is a true story: When we were first married, I took my wife, Linda, to Yingling's to play the par-3 course. On the last hole, which was more than 100 yards, she hit a driver. The shot was a grounder, but the ball kept rolling and rolling and rolling, climbed up the hill to the green and ran into the hole like a scared groundhog.

We haven't played golf together since.

And the story doesn't change in the retelling.

Tony Mulieri is community editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7647, or by e-mail at tonym@herald-mail.com.

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