Freshman Scores First Hole-in-One

One of the beautiful things about golf is that it is a wildly unpredictable game. There’s no team on which you can lean for support in completing a play, there’s no referee to take your side when something feels terribly unfair, and there’s no telling what will happen when you step on the greens. Sometimes though, in the spirit of unpredictability, and with a pinch of goodwill, fate deals us a different hand, a better hand than usual...just ask Paul Malone, a freshman at PGCC Hilton Head. Malone is all too familiar with the often comical and always interesting pursuit of a great moment in a round golf, and he will never forget his.

Malone shares a similar back-story with many of our students; he was an athlete growing up and while he found golf early on, his love for it grew from a slow simmer to the blaze it is today. Malone says, “I started playing golf when I was younger but never seriously. I always played just for fun,” he continues, “Football was my true love. I played Middle Linebacker and loved every minute of it. There isn't a greater feeling in the world then when you strap on a helmet and line up on that field for 60 minutes. But as we all know, you can't play that sport forever. So, when I was done with football, I could feel a void in my life. I started to play golf more and more, and that's when the bug bit me. Golf was all I wanted to do when I didn't have to work.”

Lucky for Malone, the oldest of five kids from Oak Forest, Illinois, a suburb just outside of Chicago, he found a home at PGCC where playing golf is every bit a part of your homework as what’s assigned in class. Building up his skills every day paid off recently during a round at Eagle’s Pointe Golf Club, and here’s how it went, in his words...

“I was playing at Eagles Pointe Golf Club with Dan Byron. We were on the 11th, a Par 3. The pin position was placed in the back of the green and this day the hole was playing at about 150 yards from the blue tees. I was hitting a 9 iron and tee’d up first. I hit the ball with a high slight fade back to the hole. The sun was in our eyes and when the ball hit, I saw it hit the green and then I didn’t see it because of the glare. I turned to Dan and asked him, “Did that ball just go past the hole, or did it just go in?” Dan said that he’d seen it hit and it looked like it rolled past the hole on the green, but he knew it was a good shot.

As we drove up to the hole and got out to walk up to the green, we had to walk a good distance. I wasn’t seeing my ball anywhere. Dan was in front of me and he started heading to the back of the green where there were bushes and a pond. As I’m walking, I’m thinking to myself ‘There is no way it rolled off the back of the green because of how high I hit the ball in the air.’ So as I’m approaching the hole and still cannot find my ball I think to myself, ‘I have to check the hole to make sure.’ I get up to the hole and look in and there is my ball sitting right in the cup.

I froze. It was the most stunned I have ever been in my life. I finally turned and started running the other way screaming and jumping up in the air when Dan turned around to see me jumping and pointing at the cup. He ran up and looked and we both began to jump and high-five each other. It was one of the best feelings I have ever had in my life and I was pretty much shaking from joy the rest of the round, so much so that I found it hard to hit the ball after that.

I went on to shoot an 85 for the day, in what will go down as one of the greatest days of my life!”