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I am 68 and have only been playing golf for two years. I am, however, really into it and have taken a dozen or so lessons and worked hard on improving my game.

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting my daughter in California and played Blue Rocks Springs in Vallejo, Ca. 5 times. The eight hole on the east course is a short par 3 (104 yards) from an highly elevated tee into a small ravine. I figured it was playing 110 yards considering tee box placement. With front pin placement, missing short was sure to be in the creek and rocks fronting the green. I would normally hit a 9 iron for that distance but had inadvertantly left my 9 nine out of my set when I packed my clubs. The frist two times I played the hole I tried to hit a soft 8 iron but hit both shots past the green into sand traps. The third time around I decided to go with my pitching wedge.

When I hit the shot, my immediate sense was I hit it as well as I could possibly have done. It was a high arching shot that hit about 3 feet in back of the pin and promptly scooted back into the hole. I was playing by myself but a twosome in front of me was still on the 9 hole tee box which was only about 35 yards from the eight green and has clear view over to the eight green. I yelled down to them from the eight tee box and asked them if they could see a ball on the green because I thought possibly my ball was hidden behind the pin.

They said no and I asked them to accompany me to the green to see if the ball was, in fact, in the hole. They were two great guys and they seemed more excited than I was that I had hit a hole in one. I think I was in a state of shock. They invited me to finish the round with them and I had the presence of mind to have them sign my card as witnesses.

I had a personal best of 90 for the round which was kind of a bonus for me. My adopted playing partners were both coke drinkers and there were only two people in the snack bar that I could buy beers for.

I mentioned to the guys in the pro shop I had hit a hole in one and they presented me with a form that if filled out with witness signitures a notice would follow in the local paper. I didn't give a lick about the notice and in any event, my witnesses had left the course while I was trying to buy a couple of people drinks in the snack bar. I don't know what the usual policy is on courses but that is something to keep in mind if you get lucky and want the event documented in the pro shop.

I had never given much thought to hitting a hole-in-one but was very glad to have had the witnesses because the first thing my neighbor asked me about the shot was, "was I playing alone"? Apparently for some people, credibility on the golf course can be an issue.

I did not, however, in the excitement of the moment, have the presence of mind to keep the ball as memento and lost it on the back nine. All in all it was a great confidence boost. I was particularly glad that I got the ace with a pure shot and not something that bounced off a cart path into the hole.

I hope every golfer can hit an ace, and if you haven't yet you probably should give some thought to what you will want to do when it happens.

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