Conditions at Glade Valley Golf Club in Walkersville were less than ideal when Jim and Nicholas Fox went out for a Sunday round on March 4.
"I wasn't expecting to do very good," said 12-year-old Nicholas. According to his father, Jim, there were 30 mph wind gusts, capable of carrying balls far away from their intended targets.
Despite the challenging wind, and the fact that Jim and another adult they played with hit their balls into a marsh near the 13th hole because of it, third-year golfer Nicholas hit a rare hole-in-one.
Since the wind was blowing from left to right, "I knew I had to aim a lot further to the left," Nicholas said. "When I got up to the tee I was thinking, 'I'll just try my best to get it on the green.'"
He eyed up his shot and hit it, hoping for the best.
Not only did it land on the green, but "it just disappeared," Nicholas said. The three of them celebrated so loudly that a group on an adjacent green heard them and started cheering, too, Jim said.
According to the national hole-in-one registry website, the odds of an average golfer hitting a hole-in-one, or an "ace," are 12,000 to 1. Golfers who can claim the achievement have an average of 24 years of playing experience, and most are between the ages of 50 and 59.
Since 2007, only six other golfers have registered holes-in-one at Glade Valley Golf Club. Only five other golfers in the U.S. registered one on March 4.
"It's definitely rare for a 12-year-old," said Jim, who has been golfing for about 30 years and has never hit a hole-in-one. In fact, Jim said his son is now one of only four golfers he knows who have. And that's saying something, considering Jim runs a tournament and knows hundreds of golfers, he said.
After his son's shot, he just kept repeating, "You don't know what you've done," he said with a laugh.
When the game was complete, they went to the Glade Valley clubhouse and got him registered on nationalholeinoneregistry.com. An official certificate will eventually come in the mail, Jim said. He also ordered a plaque with a glass cover, where his son can display the game's scorecard and the Top-Flite ball he sunk.
Nicholas said he looks forward to playing in some golf tournaments this summer, and hopes he will be able to play professionally someday.
"It's just a fun sport," he said. "And I just really like how I get to be with my dad."
"Getting to be outside" is also a nice aspect, he said.
Nicholas is in seventh grade at Crestwood Middle School. His favorite subject is math, and his other hobbies include juggling and karate.
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