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Son Honors Father's Memory with Miracle Shot

Steve Sherman, using his late father Alan's golf club and ball, hits second hole-in-one

Dear Titleist,

Steve's father, Alan Sherman
I inherited a love for golf at an early age from my father, Alan Sherman, who had learned the game from his father. Since the time I was about five years old, my dad was my teacher, coach and regular playing partner. Golf was a bond for us on the course as well as off. I remember as a kid spending many Sunday afternoons with my dad watching the best golfers in the world on TV. When my dad passed away last year, I thought back to the many special moments we shared, including the ones spent searching for the "perfect shot" - a hole-in-one.

My first "perfect shot" occurred when I was 13. While the swing may not have been perfect, the result certainly was. My father was a member at the Stanford University Golf Course and I was on the junior golf team. One day during a practice round with the team, we arrived at the par-3 eighth tee. My father just happened to be on the nearby 13th tee so stopped to watch us. The eighth hole is 141 yards from an elevated tee over the San Francisquito Creek. Knowing my dad and teammates were there, I felt a bit more pressure as I teed up my Titleist. Using a 5-iron, I struck a low line drive that hit hard on the front of the green. Fortunately, it didn't stop there - it continued to run up the slope, 50 feet all the way to the pin, and then in, for my first ever hole-in-one. What a special moment, having my dad and teammates there to share this incredible experience! We were all jumping up and down, screaming and shouting.

Fast forward to September 1, 2005. For the past five years or so, I have been playing every Thursday morning at the Rancho Park Golf Course, the former home of the Los Angeles Open. Our group tees off right around dawn and is usually the first group on the course. When we reached the 12th hole, a 211-yard par-3, we waited for the greenskeepers to clear the green and then I was first to play. Again using a Titleist golf ball, I made the sweetest swing and hit the most pure shot of my life. My group, as well as the two greenskeepers, watched the ball bite about four feet from the flag, take two little hops, and fall in the hole.
My father's ball, featuring his distinct ball marks, that I used for my hole-in-one

The fact that the ball was a Titleist Pro V1 was no surprise as it's my ball of choice. However, to my wonder and amazement, the ball that went in was actually one my dad bought when the Pro V1 first came out several years ago, and has the two blue ink dots he used to mark his balls. I remember just before he died, he gave me this ball as well as the 3-iron I used that day to hit it in the hole! I don't often use his old balls, but for reasons beyond my knowing, I was that day, and the result was extraordinary. Similar to my first hole-in-one, I knew my dad was watching.

In addition to this ball being my father's, somehow it seems significant to me that this Pro V1 was one of the first that came out over 4 years ago, the older generation ball. My Dad was loyal to the Pro V1 as soon as they were available, and swore they gave him considerably more distance off the tee.

This experience has profoundly demonstrated for me how life and golf are continued and shared from generation to generation - from my father's hands (and equipment) to mine, in the quest and execution of the perfect shot. My Dad loved golf. He got better and better throughout his life, getting his first hole-in-one when he was 73, just a couple of years before he passed away. The last time we played, even though the cancer had made him very weak, he managed to par his last couple of holes. He often talked and wrote about being "in the zone", what it is and how to get there, and about the confidence and courage to make putts.

I would like to dedicate this "perfect shot" to my father, and all fathers who have given their children the wonderful gift of golf. Thank you Titleist for making this ball and many like it for fathers and sons like us. 

All the best,

Steven Sherman

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