But still, it’s not like the 68-year old Atlanta, GA lawyer was worthy of the kind of sportsman’s notoriety of, for instance, Kim Jong-il. After all, the late Kim Jong-il of North Korea was truly the “World’s greatest golfer” since he scored 11 holes-in-one on his first-ever round of golf!
Playing on a regulation 18-hole course, Kim Jong-il carded an incredible 38 under par on the round. The awesome display of golfing prowess and score were witnessed and attested to by Jong-il’s 17 bodyguards. Most remarkably, I think the 17 bodyguards may have had a passing acquaintance with Tommy Flanagan. Oh, yeah, “that’s the ticket.”
As for myself, I’ve never had a hole-in-one. The last place I look for my ball is in the cup. More typically, my ball is lost in the desert although sometimes when I find it, I may have to stand on a snake to get it.
In actuality, the odds for an average player of putting the ball in the cup from the tee in one shot are 12,000 to 1. Those odds are probably higher for the non-average player since it’s as much hacker’s luck as golfing skill.
But it does happen often enough, including earlier this year in Aiken, South Carolina when on the same day and on the same course, there were 3 hole-in-ones. They weren’t by the same player, though. But two of them were on the same hole. And then there was 102-year-old Elsie McLean who thought she might have lost her ball on a par-3, 100-yard hole but who actually broke the age record for a hole-in-one.
Not always a certainty.
And while playing for money or a car falls outside the realm of “Gambling is illegal at Bushwood,” all I can say is that like Judge Smails, the safest place on the course when I play is directly in front — since I not only slice but on occasion can hook, too.
As for that fortunate Atlanta lawyer, the bigger deal is he got the Cadillac — not always a sure thing from some of the lawsuits I’ve read about. In May, a Montana man sued the hole-in-one insurance company for not paying him his $18,000 hole-in-one prize.
Also in May, another golfer sued the golf course and the church who sponsored a golf scramble for breach of contract and negligence when he claimed they failed to pay up on“a Pebble Beach golf vacation for four.”
The common thread in these denial of prize actions usually involves a dispute with the insurer because the insurance company contends the hole was improperly shortened. Last year, for instance, former Commodities Exchange Chair Marty Greenberg sued former NBA-star Alonzo Mourning’s Charities over a $1 million hole-in-one prize when the insurer backing the event refused to pay up. The insurer claimed the insurance policy’s required 150-yard shot had traveled only 139 yards.
A fish story.
But in spite of such legal travails and since I’ve never been a party to such golfing ‘good fortune,’ the game nonetheless remains an enjoyable way to spend several hours.
Interesting things always happen. Just the other day at a public golf course I once played at, a bird dropped a 2-pound leopard shark near the 12th tee at the San Juan Hills Golf Club.
But the best part of the shark-from-the-sky story is that despite the shark’s puncture wounds from the bird’s beak, it survived!
Thanks to a compassionate and quick-thinking course employee, the shark was taken “to the ocean as fast as possible” in a bucket of “homemade sea water.”
Photo Credits: “Kim Jong-il has left the building,” by Mike Licht, NotionsCapitol.com, at Flickr via Creative Commons-license requiring attribution.