A hole-in-one is a golfer's dream. An elusive dream.
But sometimes dreams come true.
Jung Park found that out recently at Northampton Valley Country Club, where he stepped up to the tee on the par-3, 172-yard third hole. He swung, hit his shot with a five iron and found his ball in the cup.
It was the first ace of his golfing career.
Aces are wild at Bensalem TOwnship Golf Club. John Lotkowski bested the fourth hole with an 8 iron shot from 146 yards out, while Leonard Knobbs scored an ace on the par-3 11th hole. He used a 9 iron to strike the perfect 144-yard shot. Vinay Shah sced the par-3, 190-yard sixth hole, using a 5 wood, while from the 162-yard tees Timothy Scanlon struck a great shot into the cup with a 3 iron.
Brittany Benvenuto played two strong rounds at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in Wisconsin, but failed to make the 36-hole cut.
Benvenuto carded 1-under-par 71s in both rounds but missed the cut by two strokes.
Cape May Courthouse, NJ---
It’s summer and the Jersey Shore is bustling with business. The sandy beaches are full of sun worshippers and folks needing a break from the sun’s rays with a cooling dip in the ocean. The boardwalks are full of families looking for treats like salt water taffy, carnival games and special eats.
Golfers visit the shore and seek challenges, and one can’t miss venue is the nearly 100-year-old yet transformed Shore Club just off the Garden State Parkway (exit 9). The name might not be familiar, but when ownership changed hands the former Wildwood Golf Club began it’s revitalization.
“The name changed, obviously, but The Shore Club team wanted a whole new beginning for the historic club,” explained head golf professional Fred Reidel, whose 16-year tenure at the club has seen lots of change. "We took a step back and looked at all aspects of the club and made a list of must do projects that would upgrade the club.”
The early reviews are in. The Shore Club is taking numerous steps to upgrade all facilities and at those changes have already born fruit as memberships at the private facility (with reciprocal arrangements with most other private clubs) have increased.
The Wayne Stiles design has held up well over the years. While not overly long by today’s standards (just over 6,700 yards from the tips) The Shore Club has strategic bunkering, several ponds, small greens and the seemingly ever present winds off the bay which can cause havoc to a player.
Several bunkers have been renovated as the club will redo most if not all in the near future, and several trees have been harvested to promote better player movement and turf enhancement. Other enhancements are on tap for the club which promises a fun and friendly atmosphere with a golf of players completing their rounds in less than four hours so they still have time to get beach time.
Still, management didn’t just consider the golf course when it began its improvements. It:
· Instituted family memberships for full and intermediate members to allow their children up to age 24 at no additional charge;
· Began an upgrade of club facilities, including landscaping;
· Improved clubhouse facilities, including a grand ballroom and a renovated patio; and
· Expanded golf programs and social events that include family golf nights and a kids only art party.
We have surely come a long, long way, but in some respects we have only just started our journey," added Amanda Ruhl, Director of Membership, Marketing and Events. "The Shore CLub has a rich history, and we've left no stone unturned in our desire to make this a family friendly, premier facility."
The upgraded banquet facilities have already led to an increase in wedding and banquet business, and golfers are raving about improvements overall.
"We have been getting positive comments from members and prospective members alike," added Reidel.
"It going along great," chimed in Ruhl. "We clearly want our members to feel the prestige of belonging to a premier private club facility but by the same token we are hoping for a relaxed, casual setting. Our new MacKissic's pub is a great place to celebrate that strong round, meet with friends or have stellar cuisine in a low key setting."
The Shore Club is a great place for golf and friendship, and a can't miss venue.
CHIP SHOTS: If the walls could talk, their would be great conversation at The Shore Club. Wayne Stiles would be commenting about his nearly 200 golf course designs, while Arnold Palmer would be waxing of his days in the Coast Guard in Cape May when he'd slip over and play the course. Walter Hagen would talk about his 1923 exhibition play at the course while multiple PGA Tour winner Marty Furgol could talk of his days as teaching pro at the club...Ruhl can be reached at 609-465-7824 for details on membership programs.
Is there any doubt that a hole-in-one is thrilling...and elusive.
Think about it. Most courses have four par-3s. The average golfer plays 22 rounds a year. So that averages out to 88 tries a year at a hole-in-one. Yet most golfers never bag that elusive perfect shot in their career.
Cross Doug Callantine off the never list. The local golfer, playing Northampton Valley Country Clubs' fifth hole, struck a perfect shot in the Monday night league, holing our his 7 wood shot from 171-yards.
Congrats! A listing of more than 1000 local hole-in-one shots over the years can be found in the Area Acers section of this site. Also there is the ace by Bob Loftus at Bensalem's 4th hole, where he used a seven iron to ace the 160-yard test.
Brittany Benvenuto is playing well on the LPGA Tour, but not making much headway.
"My game is close," said Benvenuto, a Neshaminy grad, who is playing on a medical exemption this season.
Benvenuto missed recent cuts at the Mejier (73-74--147) and ShopRite Classics (76-70) and failed to gain entry into this week's Wal-Mart Arkansas Championship. She attempted to Monday qualify for the event, but her 3-under-par 69 was shy of the 65 needed to earn one of two spots in the final field.