Teen nails hole-in-1 that wasn't an ace at golf course

Staff writer

The “grace of Gilligan’s Island” was with Marion teen Hap Waddel when he aced a penalty shot Thursday at Marion Country Club while golfing with his friend Grant Leffler.

Waddel, 16, prefaced his pseudo hole-in-one with a spoiler alert of sorts.

“I am not the best golfer,” Waddel said.

He nabbed the shot hitting his trusty but temperamental 1-wood that he said was “probably older than the sport itself” from the tee box closest to hole No. 9.

Waddel described the moments leading up to his first shot.

“I lined up my ball, squared my feet, took a deep breath, then hit the ball,” he said. “It went straight in the creek.”

Teeing up a second ball, he tried again.

“By pure luck and the grace of Gilligan’s Island it bounced onto the green and rolled into the hole,” Waddel said.

Leffler, 16, witnessed Waddel’s hole-in-one plus one.

“I’ve never seen Hap hit a shot as straight as that before,” Leffler said. “It was amazing and uplifting for a newer golfer like Hap to hit a shot of such greatness.”

Leffler said they usually golf together once or twice each week, but neither of them has had such an amazing shot before.

“I felt extremely excited,” Leffler said. “I could feel the luck, and since it only took two shots to get it in, it was truly a hit to remember.”

Waddel said he couldn’t entirely believe that it had happened until he crossed the bridge over the creek, walked to the hole, and peered inside.

“There it was, a ‘hole-in-one’,” he said. “Do I think it will ever happen to me again? Probably not. Never in a billion years. It was a one-in-a-million chance that panned out in my favor. It was great.”

Last modified Sept. 22, 2016

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