Only 14 percent of golfers who make a hole-in-one are women, according to the National Hole in One Registry. Here’s a little story about two of them.
MOST WOMEN would be flattered to hear that they’re one in a million. Danuta Eustice and Chris Thoel can lay claim now to defeating even greater odds, one in 17 million, when each of them made a hole-in-one playing in the same foursome last week at Carmel Valley Ranch (California).
Thoel, a 30-handicapper, met Eustice, a 24, in 2005 when they were asked to play together in a team challenge for the Half Moon Bay Women’s Golf Club. They finished second and won ruby necklaces. “The rest is history,” Thoel said. “We just clicked and have become really good friends… We play with each other whenever we can plus do other things outside of golf.”
Half Moon Bay is about an hour’s drive north of the beautiful Monterey Peninsula, and the two friends scheduled a Sept. 28 tee time in sunny Carmel Valley with Menlo Park friends Betsy Frederick and Susan Lamkin.
The back nine at Carmel Valley Ranch, a Pete and Alice Dye design, climbs high above the valley. No. 13 is a downhill par-3 that was playing at 113 yards to a back pin from the forward tees on Wednesday — a hole-in-one opportunity, Danuta told her friends. (But, how many times have we all said that on short par-3s?)
Chris teed off first. She chose a 5-wood, and the foursome screamed in celebration as it watched her ball track straight at the pin, take one hop and roll into the hole for her second ace.
Betsy teed off next and hit the green, then Danuta hit a shot so poorly that she feared she wouldn’t find it and needed a provisional. Susan then landed her shot next to the green.
After everyone had hit, they hopped into their carts and Susan went to help Danuta look for her ball.
“I kiddingly say to Chris that I was so excited for her that I screwed up my own shot,” Danuta said. “I then go start looking for my ball in the weeds — finding four other balls but not my own.”
Not wanting to hold up the group behind them, Betsy and Chris went to the hole to get a picture of Chris fishing out her magic golf ball and smiling by the flagstick.
That’s when Chris saw that there were two balls in the hole. “We couldn’t believe it,” Chris said. “Danuta’s ball had run down the hill and went in the hole without any of us seeing it.”
So now they had to snap a different picture.
There was even more good fortune to come: The bar was closed when they finished, so the pair was relieved of the silly hole-in-one consequence of having to buy drinks for anyone and everyone.
Carmel Valley Ranch opened the bar, however, for the foursome to celebrate with a proper toast a moment they’ll not soon forget.
“Danuta and I have been good friends for a long time,” Chris said. “But now we are bonded for life.”
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