June 4, 2010

FROM THE ARCHIVES: THE WIZARD OF FIVEWOOD:

When John Wooden worked magic on a golf course: The legendary UCLA basketball coach's feats include shooting a double eagle and a hole in one in the same round. (Bill Dwyre, January 26, 2010, LA Times)

Holes in one are commonplace by comparison. Pettersson has had nine, one on the tour, on No. 14 at Riviera at the 2004 Nissan Open, now the Northern Trust Open. Golf Digest rates the possibility of getting two holes in one in the same round as 67 million to 1, or about the same as O.J.'s DNA odds.

Golf Digest also lists something even more incredible: a golfer having a hole in one and a double eagle in the same round. It doesn't give odds, but just think in terms of double O.J., or maybe triple. Golf Digest says that feat has been reported as happening four times in history.

One of the four was by John Wooden.

It was 1947, and Wooden, 36, was soon to move to UCLA and change the course of the school's athletic history.

Although Golf Digest reports it as taking place at the Erskine Park Golf Course in South Bend, Ind., Wooden said Monday that it was at the Chain of Lakes course, now the South Bend Country Club.

"I used a four-iron for the hole in one," Wooden said from his home in Encino. "It was about 185 yards. Then I made the two on the par five on the back. Used a brassie."

A brassie was the rough equivalent of a two-wood.

Wooden said he kept the card and has it stored somewhere. He said he remembers the local paper running a little story the next day. He also retains his typical self-effacing humor about this feat.

"I shot a 77 that day," he said. "You go five under on two holes and a 77 doesn't look all that good."

[originally posted: 1/27/10]

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 4, 2010 12:03 AM
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