I had no idea that it was the beginning of a decade’s long quest. It began in the summer of 1951, when Don, Hal, Jerry and I played the par three Jacob Riis Park golf course on Long Island, New York. Faded photos show us posing on the 18th green. Through the 50s and 60s I played many rounds at Bethpage, Dyker Beach and Mohansic courses in the New York City area.
It wasn’t until I moved to New Jersey in 1967 that my game began to improve. Playing the Rutgers University course with Harry, Paul and Stan in Piscataway in 1982, I reached the par five, five hundred nineteen yard seventh hole in two strokes and sank the putt for my first eagle there. A feat that was not to be repeated as I found out later in life.
Moving to California in 1984 allowed me to play many new courses. It was in 1985, playing the Santa Anita course with Pete, Joel and Rob in Arcadia that my three wood second shot on the par four, three hundred ninety three yard first hole found the cup for my second career eagle! Once again a feat that was not to be repeated.
Business travel in the 90s made it difficult to play as often as I would have liked. Joining the Senior Men’s Golf Club at the Vista Valencia course seemed like a logical decision. I had been playing this Robert Trent Jones designed course sporadically since 1985. On October 18, 2007, I was entered in the Club Championships. It was a gorgeous day. I was playing with Art, Rudy and Eun and drove up to the tricky, seventy five yard par three tee. My wedge shot seemed headed to the left of the pin. Driving up the path we noticed that there were no balls near the cup. Grabbing my putter, I hurried on to the green to find my Titleist NXT Tour golf ball at the bottom of the hole!
My third eagle and my first ‘Hole-In-One’! And it took only fifty-six years and close to 450 rounds to accomplish a quest that spanned the continent and underscored the challenging as well as the rewarding nature of the game.