There are few things that can truly be perfect, and even fewer that can accurately be measured for perfection. Golf provides that one possible moment of It couldn’t have been better greatness: the hole-in-one. As rare as they are, these readers have managed multiple shots of flawlessness and strokes of victory. We know who you want on your next team!
“This was a very well-struck ball and it looked very beautiful—but you never think that’s going to happen,” says Susan Goldenberg of her May 2013 hole-in-one. The perfect shot was swung at St. Louis Westwood Country Club’s 16th hole, and featured a back pin placement, which made the 154-yard hole closer to 165. “Anytime you get a hole in one, it’s spectacular.” For this linkswoman, 16 seems to be a lucky number, as her other 1-stroke shot happened at Bellerive Country Club’s 16th hole.
“I tell people my first one was the most exciting and my second was the most lucrative,” says Nannette Baker, of her two holes-in-one. Baker’s second hole-in-one occurred in 2011, during the practice round of a national tournament at Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, Calif. “There was a woman there selling chances—if you got on the green, you won a sleeve of balls; if you got near the hole, you won a club; if you got a hole-in-one, you won $2,500.” Using a pitching wedge, Baker earned the best prize—but didn’t know it, as she couldn’t see past the sand trap. “These two guys started yelling from another hole, The ball got in the hole!” Baker partook in the tradition of buying a round of celebratory drinks, and graciously donated a portion of her winnings back to the charity that sold the chances.
R. David Volk
R. David Volk has scored four—count ‘em, four!—holes-in-one during his time playing golf. Those perfect swings happened at the Player’s Club at St. Louis (now Crescent Farms Golf Club) while vacationing in Florida, at the 12th hole at Westborough Country Club and in Palm Dessert, Calif. Despite these great scores, Volk remains modest about his golfing accomplishments. “It’s kind of rare, because you hit a ball for 150 yards, and it has to be exactly the right length and right direction to land in a little 3-and-a-half inch hole,” he says. “That’s a pretty rare shot, even in some of these professional tournaments.”