Deborah Rowbotham

Oh, the joy! Oh, the happiness. Oh, the thrill.
Oh my! Will I ever have A BIG BAR BILL!

What thoughts go through your mind when you finally make the ultimate golf shot, a hole-in-one?

Multiple Aces

Having a hole-in-one is pretty special. But having multiple holes-in-one? How special is that? Mega!

Brian Harman had a Hole-in-One two times in one day

Brian Harman had double aces at the 2015 Barclays. His golf ball and the shirt he was wearing ar now on display at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, FL.

During the final day of the 2015 Barclays, on August 30th, 2015, PGA playing pro, Brian Harman did something amazing, twice. He made two holes-in-one, twelve holes apart from each other. Both were made on par 3’s at the Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey.

Harman’s first hole-in-one came on the 196-yard third hole. And his second hole-in-one was on the 228-yard 14th. By making those aces, he became the third PGA player to ever score double aces in the same round. Now, that’s pretty special.

The World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, FL has both Harman’s golf ball and the shirt he was wearing on display.

Deborah Rowbotham

Deborah Rowbotham showing off her medals from the Huntsman Games, which we both played in 2014.

My niece, Deborah Rowbotham, knows what having multiple aces is all about. She has had three – yes, count them, THREE holes-in-one! And to top it all off, she made all three of them the very same summer, and two of them were on consecutive Sundays.

Unreal. Shocking. Exhilarating

This is what Deborah said about her string of aces, which happened in 2001:

It was unreal, shocking, exhilarating and, thank goodness, I had hole-in-one insurance!

All of Deborah’s aces happened at the Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club in Dundas, Ontario. It’s Deborah’s home course, and I have played it several times both with Deborah and with my sister (her mother) Georgie, who was a long time member there. Georgie was 96 when she passed away last fall, but she was an active golfer until her 86th year.

It wasn’t until Georgie was 75, in 1993, when “Gorgeous George” as we used to call her, had her only hole-in-one, again at the Dundas Valley course. And Deborah, who’s been golfing since she was 11, was there to see her mom’s ace!

Molson Award

Georgie Rowbotham’s Molson Award from the Dundas Golf & Curling Club

Another one of Georgie’s proudest golfing moments came in 1968 when she won the Molson Award for the Ladies Golf and was given a beautiful silver platter as a memento.

Since I’ve played the course, I even know the holes that Deborah’s amazing feats were accomplished.

Dundas Valley is another one of famed Canadian golf course architect Stanley Thompson’s designs. Look closely at the name and you’ll see the word “valley” in it those valleys really come into play with the course. You will have an abundance of sidehill, uphill and downhill lies on nearly every hole on the course, and it must have been quite a challenge for Thompson back in the 1920’s to come up with his design.

Even so, many of those holes are familiar to me as they are similar to another Thompson designed course – Tor Hill in Regina, Saskatchewan. Although I moved from Regina to Calgary, Alberta years ago, I’ll always consider Tor Hill my “home” course.

As for me, a hole-in-one has always been elusive. But each time I step on the tee-box of a par three and look towards the pin, I imagine in my mind’s eye the flight of the ball, landing lightly on the green, and skipping a few yards and then rolling into the hole. Alas! I have been close, SO CLOSE, more times than I would want to tell you about, inches to the left, inches to the right, but never close enough to fall in and find the bottom of the cup.

Hole-in-One

If you’ve made an ace, there are different places that you can register your accomplishment online, but many of them exclude international players. One that I found that includes acers from around the globe is the Golf Digest Hole-In-One Club where you can enter in all your details, including date, which course you were playing, which club you used and has a searchable database to find friends or folks you know who have registered their aces. If you’re worried about hole-in-one insurance, one international vendor is Hole In One International who, according to their Twitter page, has paid out over $45,000,000 in cash and prizes to contest and promotion winners worldwide since 1991!

No matter if you think a hole-in-one is a sign of golfing skill or just a lucky shot, they’re amazing to watch and they’ve got to be amazing to make. This year, on the 2014-15 PGA Tour, 41 holes-in-one were recorded, numbers 40 and 41 belonging to Brian Harman. Billy Hurley III was the first one to record a hole-in-one last season, and both he and Andres Romero joined Harman with two aces in the season, although Harman was the only player to record two holes-in-one either at the same tournament, or on the same day.

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Ontario countryside
Ruth and Mo's selfie at the airport

Ruth and Mo at the Toronto airport

Maureen (my mom) got on the plane from Calgary to Toronto at 5:30 a.m. on Monday morning — the start of the trip to Ontario. A few hours later, she’d landed at the Lester B. Pearson Airport, and Ruth was there, in her Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight. That’s the car they’ll be using for the upcoming road trip. Off they went to Ruth’s cottage, just over two hours away.

Staging the Cottage

The cottage is for sale, and Ruth and Mo will be busy getting it into sales shape, making it into, as my friend Nancy used to say, “the prettiest cottage in the area!” The staging will begin in earnest today, uncluttering furniture, moving some onto the porch and perhaps garage selling the excess, but that’s still not decided. The cottage is being sold turn-key, I believe, so everything included, still, the staging needs to be right to get the buyers interested!

I got a Magic Jack call from Maureen yesterday afternoon. I know many people who use Magic Jacks to make VoIP (Voice Over Internet) calls — but you do need to have an Internet connection to make them, so she called me from the local libray. Later, we switched to Facetime — she has an iPad and I have a MacBook Air, and Facetime is an easy way for people using Apple products to communicate with each other. She sent me some pictures she’s taken to upload them to the blog.

Ontario countryside

The Ontario countryside – Photo by Maureen O’Shea

Maureen said she and Ruth had had a wonderful lunch at the home of friends of Ruth’s and her dearly departed husband — but I’ll let her tell the story. However, the scenery is beautiful, as Ontario is, and I’ll share one of Maureen’s pictures with you so you can see it too.

Notre Dame Hounds and Wilcox, Saskatchewan

It was a quick chat for a couple of reasons. I’d published a story on Monday on The Hockey Writers about the Four Hounds in the Stanley Cup Finals – these are four boys who all went to school and played hockey at Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, a school where my dad, Doc, my sister Bridget and I all attended — and my mom had volunteered for several years on their Alumni Board, so we have a lot of interest in the school. Since the Chicago Blackhawks won, and Hound Brad Richards had played such a great role in that last game, I’d spent part of the morning on the phone with 74-year-old Terry O’Malley — 3 time Canadian ice-hockey Olympian (one time bronze medal winner) and former Notre Dame Hounds‘ coach, about his memories of Richards as a Bantam AAA and Junior A player. And then, because he had a fishing story for me — about lobster fishing with Richards’ parents, Glen and Delight, and he mentioned a dear friend of my mom and dad’s, John Weisshaar, I had to give the Weisshaars a call. They live in Ontario now, and Johnny, a farmer, school bus driver, coach and team manager from Wilcox, can tell the stories and has a great memory for a guy in his 8th decade. I spoke to his wife Roseline for quite a while too..I’d visited them two summers ago, and I miss them, especially since they’re some of the handful of people left who were good friends with my dad. Roseline, who has had Multiple Sclerosis since 1958, has never let her disease stand in her way of being Roseline. That’s probably why they were chosen the Godparents for my younger sister, Lisa: great character and a great character!

I find it hard to believe that people like John and Roseline are getting older. In my mind’s eye, they’re still super active and in their 50’s. But not any more, now that’s me. Roseline tells me, “Colleen, it’s hard to get old.”

My mom was only at the library for half an hour and soon, Ruth was back from running errands and off they went again. Maureen has some stories in the pipeline which I know you’re going to love to read and hopefully we’ll get them published this week!

Happy Birthday to Deborah

Today is my cousin, Deborah Rowbotham’s, birthday. Deborah will certainly enter into this blog from time to time, she’s one of my mom’s favourite road trip and golf partners. Happy Birthday, Debba Dear. Have a great day on the golf course (I know that’s what she’s got planned!) The picture of Deborah on the left (doesn’t she look great?) was taken after she and Maureen participated in the Huntsman World Senior Games in the golf category last year — but, as usual, that’s a story better left for Maureen to tell than me. It’s Deborah’s “Bus Pass” day, as my dad used to say, the day that seniors everywhere used to wait for to get reduced travel rates on public transportation. If, as my mom says, 78 is the new 65, then Deborah, you’re probably turning 50 today! Hooray!!!

And One More Thing…

You can follow my mom on Twitter — she’s @sevenpars (the day she shot 7 pars was a proud moment). She’s getting more and more followers, but her biggest follow so far this week is UK publication, Lady Golfer Magazine! Check them out. She only has 20 Twitter followers so far, so I’m impressed. Well done, Maureen, and Lady Golfer Magazine, my mom is certainly your target audience! Kudos to you too!

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