Korby's Corner: Aces aren’t easy, nor are they cheapTwo area golfers hit a hole-in-one last week, and they both paid for it. Luckily for Joel Korby, he had "insurance," which paid for the customary round of drinks for everyone at the club.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
In golf, the odds of a hole-in-one are 12,500 to 1.
That’s why, when my father, Joel, texted me he had aced the Cloquet Country Club’s par-3 18th hole last Thursday, I ran upstairs to tell my mother the news.
It’s news I can write about, but can’t relate to.
You see, I play golf occasionally. OK, two, maybe three times a summer — if that. But even the most casual of golfers can respect the ultra-rare hole-in-one.
My father’s came with his 5-iron, a club he admittedly hit low off the tee last week, but it carried to the bunker, rolled onto the green and into the cup. After a high-five with playing-partner Brett Morrison, and some yells to the nearby ninth green, he walked 158 yards and removed his first-ever ace in 40 years of golf.
“You always take enough club to get it to the hole — for a hole-in-one,” said Joel, 57, a CCC member in his 14th year with a 7-handicap. “You hit a lot of shots that always look like they are going in, but never do. It’s luck, but I guess I can cross that off my bucket list.”
“It was something else,” added the teenage Morrison, who went to the state golf meet this past spring for Cloquet and surprisingly has two holes-in-one himself. “He killed me. And that ace put me away.”
Away from the course comes the clubhouse banter. Every time a member jars one, CCC’s Matt Carlson said news spreads quickly. Yet, unlike the traditional ways of the player buying drinks for all, Carlson said a small insurance fee is paid by members so adult beverages can be enjoyed without major cost.
“A hole-in-one, I think, is every golfer’s dream,” Carlson said. “[Our celebration system] is kind of backwards, but everybody pitches in a few bucks.”
Esko’s Sami Mattson paid up following her ace last week.
The 24-year-old canned Pine Hill Golf Course’s par-3 first hole with her pitching wedge from 121 yards out. Soon after women’s league, she bought the bar a round.
“I guess you have to buy the whole league drinks,” Mattson, a golfer of only a few years, said with a laugh. “But it was all a great moment; I was kind of in shock. I teed up the same ball the next hole and almost lost it.”