Kirk McKey sinks hole-in-one on 11th hole at Yampa Valley Golf Course
As Kirk McKey came out of his backswing Thursday at Yampa Valley Golf Course, he knew his shot was going to be good. Just not a hole-in-one type of good.
On hole 11, a par three, McKey put a charge in to the ball with his 6 iron and, with one good hop had the course’s first hole-in-one of the season.
“When I hit it, I knew it was good,” McKey said. “I was with Jim Herschberg, and after I hit it he said, ‘Good shot.'”
With a light breeze blowing into the tee box, McKey said he could see the flag waving about 165 yards away. With a long drive and a good bounce, the celebration began.
“I was talking to it the whole time,” he said. “I was saying, ‘Go in, go in, go in.’ And after that bounce, I knew it had a good chance of going in.”
Thursday’s event marked McKey’s second hole-in-one. His first occurred when he was 23 – about 30 years ago at a public course in Vicksburg, Miss.
The first hole-in-one wasn’t the prettiest shot, McKey said, but it found its way. “Beginner’s luck,” he said. “It was an ugly shot, and the ball just ended up in the hole.
“This,” he said, holding up the ball, “was a tour shot. It was an absolutely beautiful golf shot.”
Ann Marie Roberts, LPGA professional at the course, said making an ace is rare.
“There’s usually about one a year, if that,” she said.
The 11th hole isn’t an easy one to ace, either, Roberts said.
“It’s kind of a hard hole,” Roberts said. “There’s a pond in front of the hole, and the wind is blowing right in your face.
“It can be intimidating with the pond in front.”
Roberts said she heard about the shot about two minutes after it rolled around the pin.
“After it happens, everyone’s buying drinks,” she said.
As part of the Yampa Valley Golf Course Men’s Club, McKey was awarded $1,550 for sinking the hole-in-one.
The group donates $10 each at the beginning of the season for such an occasion.
McKey, who admitted par would have been fine, said he wasn’t having his best day of golf before the shot went in. He said he usually gets to golf two or three times a week.
“Life’s not fair and golf’s not fair,” he said. “But today, I’m a lot more in love with golf than I’ve been for a long time.”
Now, the little white Nike ball holds the top spot in McKey’s glass case at McKey Chiropractic Clinic. He said the case is filled with balls commemorating the different courses he has played, but his newest addition is the most special.
However, it won’t remain there forever.
“I’m going to get a plaque made for it,” he said.
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