Many are the golfers who have dreamed of a perfect stroke, sending the ball from tee to hole with one fluid motion. Shane Smith – a former Elmira Sugar King who describes himself as “just your average Sunday golfer, or a little better” – unwittingly bested them all when he sunk two holes-in-one on consecutive weekends, July 14 and 21.
The odds of landing a hole-in-one are estimated at 12,500 to 1 – not too shabby for someone who has “only played a handful of times” this year.
Hinting that luck may have been a factor in his unexpected success at the Doon Valley Golf Club, Smith posited that “maybe the wind” had something to do with it.
“My dad always told me to aim for the middle of the green, and that’s what I did. I kind of played a little draw, and good things happened.”
Added grandfather Noel Smith, “He didn’t even mention it to the golf course. He said, ‘I might have to buy them a beer, and I need all my money.’ I said, ‘No, you don’t buy them a beer, they buy you a beer!’”
Smith, age 22, is home for the summer after studying at Algonquin College in Ottawa. In 2011, he was part of the Sugar Kings roster that won the Sutherland Cup, and finds that, polo T-shirts aside, golf and hockey are not totally dissimilar.
“You have to be in the zone,” said Smith. “It’s all about mental preparation. I guess the average golfer wouldn’t use his brain as much as a pro, but it’s still the same parts of the body, the same physical element, minus the contact.
So, how did he fare for the rest of his games? “Well, both of them were actually my best rounds of the year, which are only an 85 and an 84,” said Smith.
“But the next hole, I put it into the hazard both times on the tee shot, so…”