For Taberite Stefan Adams it only took a month — to sink two. Adams bookmarked the month of July by celebrating Canada Day at the Taber Golf Club by taking out his 7-iron on the 122-yard No. 6 and his 4-iron on the 179-yard No. 2 on July 31 in which it only took the one swing each time to finish the respective hole.
“Usually the industry standard is for every 30 years you play golf, you get a hole-in-one. That’s sort of the world-wide average,” said Ben Finlayson, head golf professional at the Taber Golf Club, perhaps implying Adams may want to look into buying a lottery ticket.
Finlayson got himself a hole-in-one, way back in 2000, but has been a golfer since he was four years old.
“I was due considering I was golfing for 33 years,” chuckled Finlayson. “The funny thing is, my three assistants don’t have a hole-in-one between any of them and they’ve probably played at least 15, 16 years apiece.”
Adams had previously worked on the Taber Golf Club grounds for maintenance, having periodically goofed around playing golf. But, he has only semi seriously taken up the game this past year, having a thrown-together set of clubs before finally upgrading. Finlayson sold Adams his first set of clubs for $30 which were a mish-mash of lost-and-found clubs he put together.
“That was a God-awful set of clubs. I finally moved up,” confirmed Adams in which he was able to sink his two aces with his new-and-improved set.
A self-described ‘weekend hacker,’ golfing buddy Wade Joblonkay was able to confirm Adam’s first hole-in-one with friend and Edmonton Oilers’ prospect Brandon Davidson able to confirm the rare feat last Wednesday.
“The feeling is tough to explain. I still carried my putter up there both times because I didn’t want to jinx it. Sure (enough) they both went in,” said Adams, adding that despite two hole-in-ones in the same calendar month, he is still under no illusion that Nike is knocking on his door for endorsement deals or that he will try his hand at the PGA tour.
“I went to tee off on No. 3 (right after his hole-in-one) and this shows you how good of a golfer I am. In my back swing I blew a button in my shorts and I didn’t hit the ball even past the chicks’ tee. You should have see my scores, double bogey, triple bogey, quadruple bogey, hole-in-one, triple bogey, double bogey — I’m awful.”
Finlayson concurs, you don’t have to be a pretty golfer, with a pretty swing to get the elusive hole-in-one.
“You have to make contact with the ball, you have to have a decent shot, but a lot of the time it’s luck. You have to get the right bounce,” said Finlayson. “The hole-in-ones you see on TV, they usually aren’t very pretty. A guy will blade it where it just rolls and hits the pin hard and in.”
As quick as Adams’ first two hole-in-ones have been, he still has a ways to go among local golfers on the course where Paul Giroux has six according to Finlayson.
“It goes in waves. This year we already have six,” said Finlayson, adding a handful of years since the late 1990s, the Taber Golf Club has featured only one.
As amazing as a hole-in-one is for a golfer, Finlayson perhaps even harder is the rare sighting of a double eagle/albatross.
“Hole-in-ones are a great achievement, but I think an albatross is even more of a rarity, simply because a hole-in-one you hit one great shot and get lucky. An albatross is two great shots where both have to be lucky and the second shot is from an even greater distance away,” said Finlayson. “It kind of just shows you what the game of golf is like. People can miss a three-foot putt, but then they’ll put it in the hole from 200 yards away. It’s an unpredictable sport which is why people love it. Situations can change so fast on you on the golf course.”
Ever the stickler for golf etiquette, Adams tried his hardest to follow protocol of buying everyone a round of drinks in the clubhouse after sinking his hole-in-one.
“I got out of there pretty fast, there was a lot of them in there (in the clubhouse),” said Adams with a laugh of his latest ace in which ladies league was going on.
“I told everyone to be quiet about it and ran to start the back nine quick.”