Coming off a rare birdie 3 on the long par-4 16th hole at his home Vernon Golf and Country Club, Rob Bauml approached the par-3 17th feeling good. He was 5-over-par for his round.
The 17th, though, historically, has not been kind to the seven-year club member, a financial planner by day.
“It’s probably my worst hole,” laughed Bauml, 54.
But on this particular Saturday afternoon, June 20, the golf gods smiled upon Bauml, who took out his seven-iron and proceeded to record the first hole-in-one of his golf career, acing the 193-yard hole.
“When I hit it, I wasn’t thinking it was going in,” said Bauml. “It was right of the green and I hit a draw that goes left, so I knew it was going to land on the green. It bounced once on the hump and rolled across the green to the back left pin placement.
“They’ve put foam in the cup so you don’t have to touch the flag. We could see the ball stop at the cup but we weren’t sure if it was in.”
Playing with Gary Woitzik, Bob Bennett and brother-in-law John Burns, Bauml and company confirmed the ace upon arrival at the green. The quartet played the hole in a combined 4-under-par.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Bauml, a member of the Vernon Golf and Country Club board of directors who has been close on other occasions to the rare shot, and has witnessed a hole-in-one before. He has recorded an albatross, or double eagle (3-under score on one hole).
“Every golfer wants to get a hole-in-one.”
Bauml parred 18 to finish with a 3-over 75 for the round. In the clubhouse, he received some discounts from his clubhouse tab, and his name will be added to the plaque of recorded holes-in-one on the course.
Bauml said fellow board member Bill Woodley scored an ace the week before and believes his is the third hole-in-one this season.