Greg Witges Records Final Hole-in-One at Lakewood Golf ClubPlaying one final round before his home course closed down, Witges goes out witha bang.
I've played Lakewood Golf Club (Fenton, MO) with the same group of friends pretty much every Sunday for the last 15 years, so you can imagine the disappointment when we heard the course would be closing down after the 2005 season.
Having just returned from Key West, our group decided to play Lakewood Oct. 22 for what would probably be the last time (it was also the day before my 54th birthday). I brought along my new digital camera because I knew this would be one of the last times to get photo's of the course and the guys. Little did I know how handy the camera would be on this particular day!
In the 15 years we've been playing Lakewood, we've only had one other hole-in-one. It happened about 5 years ago but carries somewhat of an asterisk beside it. Not only was it on the shorter of the two par-3's at the course (the 130 yard second hole), but it wasn't even by a member of our regular foursome. The guy who hit it, Rich, was a substitute buddy for our regular group which consists of Ken, his brother Kevin, Ken's son-in-law Scott, and myself. So none of the regular guys had ever recorded a hole-in-one.
Wall plaque commemorating my hole-in-one, including the NXT Tour I used
The day we played our final round at Lakewood was particularly warm for October, and we knew it could be one of the last days to play golf with decent weather here in St Louis. Lakewood is only a nine hole course but, considering the circumstances, we decided after playing nine to go around one last time. As we came around the second time to the 190-yard par-3 fifth hole (the last par-3 on the course), Ken commented that this would probably be our last shot at a hole-in-one on this course. The other three guys hit and were all around the green, but no one was on it. Up to that point, I was not having a very good second nine and was the last to tee it up. The hole is slightly downhill so the yardage is usually shorter than its marked, however the wind was in our face. I had bogeyed the hole the first time around, but was confident I could make the necessary adjustments to hit one close.
I teed up my Titleist NXT Tour and opted for a four iron. I took a nice swing and as the ball was flying towards the green, we all noted that it appeared to be a fairly good shot and heading towards the center of the green. The ball landed about three yards onto the green, took a couple of bounces and disappeared.
It took all of us a couple of seconds of looking around at each other with or mouths open and surprised looks on our faces before we realized the ball had jumped into the hole. We all started yelling and high-fiving and made so much noise the people on the holes around us started celebrating along with us. The rest of the round turned out great as I finished with three pars and one bogey. I couldn't have scripted a better ending to our last round at Lakewood. As of this date, I believe I am the last person to record a hole-in-one at the Lakewood Golf Club!
I have so many great memories with my friends there and this will certainly be one we talk about for years to come. Thank you, Titleist, for being part of this and so many other memories!
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