Instructor Wins 10K for Hole-In-OneAny day spent on the course is a good day, but once in a great while that good day can become great…when somebody sinks a hole-in-one. Not too long ago Ed Smilow, graduate of the Professional Golfers Career College, and Business Law instructor for PGCC Temecula, experienced that oh-so-rare breed of day.
Smilow recalls, “I was invited to play in a charity tournament at Tustin Ranch Golf Club, to benefit the American Cancer Society Research Program.” Target Specialty Products, manufacturer and distributor of turf grass products, sponsored the event which, in addition to being a fundraiser for a good cause, furnished a unique opportunity for players to win a prize for a hole-in-one.
The prize? A cool $10,000 cash.
The California Golf Course Owners Association was encouraged to participate, and four members of the CGCOA were asked to play in the event. The foursome was comprised of Smilow, CGOA President, George Kelley, Executive Director, Ted Horton, and Secretary, Jay Miller.
As Smilow recalls “Our foursome was having a wonderful time, and we were birdying every hole in the scramble format. When we came upon the 11th tee there was a sign that read “Hole-In-One Wins! $10,000 CASH”. The par 3 hole measured 137 yards over water to a front pin location. Seeing this Jay Miller, jokingly said “Okay boys, what do you say that if anyone makes a hole-in-one we split the prize?” jokingly, we all agreed. “When the foursome ahead cleared the green, I took a look at the shot and, as my usual routine, I said to myself, “Let’s put this in the hole”.
As a part of his mental game, Smilow visualized the shot from start to finish, recalling that “After teeing it up on the right side of the tee, I stood behind the ball holding my 8 iron in hand. With the wind slightly from my right, I saw the ball flying in the air and landing, curving to the left and landing just short of the pin.” Snapping back to reality Smilow took a practice swing to get the feel, stood up to the ball and let it go. Only seconds later three of the foursome were startled to hear Miller yell out “Oh my God, it went in the hole!” After a spotter verified the shot, and two months of waiting, the check finally arrived and, as promised, contributions were made to the Get-A-Grip Foundation, an organization that assists at risk youth through after school programs.
When asked about any other remarkable shots like this one Smilow responds, “I had three prior holes-in-one, and have come to realize that anything is possible if you believe in it.”