May Was Hole-in-One Month, Apparently

I was contacted recently by a lawyer who was looking for someone to serve as an expert witness in a lawsuit involving a hole-in-one prize. After last month, I almost qualify.

Eleven friends and I played Ballybunion, in Ireland, in early May. On the third hole, Addison made a hole-in-one from the back tee: 230 yards, downhill but into a stiff wind. My group was just leaving the fourth tee, and we watched his ball roll into the hole. There’s a plaque on the third tee commemorating a hole-in-one that Payne Stewart made from the same spot in 1998, the year before he died, during a buddies trip with Mark O’Meara and Tiger Woods. Here’s Addison:

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We returned home a week later, and in an effort to outsmart jet lag I pretty much went straight from the airport to my home course (after stopping by my house, briefly, to reintroduce myself to my wife). There were five of us, and on the seventh hole, which is slightly more than half as long as the third hole at Ballybunion, I made a hole-in-one:

P1180521-001Two weeks after that, Chris, during his first round ever with the Sunday Morning Group, made a hole-in-one on our twelfth hole, which is 185 yards long. Nobody in his group could see that far, so they weren’t sure his ball had really gone in until they got to the green. In the photo below, which was taken by Mike B., he’s retrieving his ball from the cup:
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And in the photo below, which was taken by me, Mike B. is taking the photo above:

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You can’t document these things too thoroughly (I learned from the lawyer who contacted me). Here’s my scorecard:

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One thing to note: Chris is beaming in his photograph because if you make a hole-in-one during our regular Sunday morning game you receive $500 from the Slush Fund. And Addison is smiling in his photograph because if you make a hole-in-one during an SMG-sanctioned event (meaning one that everyone on the email list was invited to participate in) you receive $250 from the Slush Fund. And I’m sort of frowning in my photograph because that post-Ireland round of mine was a last-minute thing that nobody bothered to invite everyone else to—so my Slush Fund prize was $0.

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You Need This Flashlight for Your Golf Bag (or Your Police Car)

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My Golf Digest colleague Guy Yocom recently told me about a super-powerful flashlight he’d bought after learning about it about from a policeman he knows in Ohio:

When the cop used one on the job, virtually everyone in his department fell in love with it. Out of curiosity, I bought the outfit, too. He was right—the light is so bright that it illuminates my entire backyard. And when you shine it on a white ceiling inside you can easily read a book, vacuum, or make the bed. What you cannot do is stare at the bulb for longer than one second. It definitely would blind anyone not named Clark Kent.
The flashlight is called the Fenix PD35. It has four beam settings and a maximum output of 960 lumens—which is bright. Yocom continued:
Of course, I thought about whether it could be used for golf. The answer is yes, especially if all four guys in a group carried one. The Fenix  is small and fits in a little hip holster. With two of these things popping at full brightness, you could easily illuminate a guy’s entire shot, from start to finish, and read a green as well at night as in daytime.
I bought one immediately. In tests of my own, I have also proven—and this could be important—that the beam is powerful enough to melt snow.  The outfit Yocom recommends consists of the light, a pair of rechargeable batteries, and a charger. I also bought a detachable red filter, because red light doesn’t kill your eyes’  adaptation to dark. Or so I’ve read.
Yocom, incidentally, is Golf Digest’s master interviewer. He’s done some great ones over the years. Why don’t you cut the power in your house, shine your Fenix on the ceiling, and re-read a few of them—maybe starting with this one, with Payne Stewart in 1999.