Nick Hahnan had been playing golf for 11 years with a reasonable level of skill, but had never holed out a long shot, never had an ace.
On April 24, he and his buddies were playing their regular game at Spring Lake Golf Club and reached the short par-4 fifth hole on the Sandpiper Course, their 14th hole of the day on the 27-hole facility.
The hole is only 265-odd yards and the previous week Hahnan had come close to driving the green without any wind in his face. On this day there was a bit of a hurting breeze when he launched his drive, one he hit flush, and saw the ball hit near a green-side bunker and take a hop.
There was a group on the green putting out, and Hahnan noticed them gesturing and heard them whooping. So guess what?
Hahnan’s ball found the bottom of the cup for a double eagle, or albatross in old golf parlance. His first ace.
"The wind was in my face and it’s a 265-yard hole and I didn’t think I could make it there," said Hahnan, a 10-handicapper from Commack. "I played the week before and I was close but there was no wind. When it bounced up I lost track of it and me and my two best friends were playing and we looked at each other and say ‘that’s got to so close.’ "
Indeed it was.
"There were people on the green and I felt bad," he said. "They reacted like they hit a putt or a chip [that went in] and they were going crazy. We looked at each other and I said I don’t know if that’s for us. We start down the fairway and the group [on the green] is walking to the next hole and they keep staring at us. A guy looks at me and says ‘It went in, dude.’ "
So excited was Hahnan that his game suffered the rest of the round and he posted an 87, a few shots above his average score.
"I couldn’t even play the rest of the round," he said. "I was terrible. I could barely hold a club."
But that quick spell of poor play was all worth it.
"It was the highlight of my career," Hahnan said. "My friends say it’s probably three lifetimes of great shots there."
LIers help Tampa team
Ethan Myers of Bayport and Will Sukow of Sayville helped their University of Tampa team to a second-place finish last week in the National Collegiate Club Golf Association championship at the Seaview Resort in Atlantic City. The NCCGA is comprised of collegiate club teams not affiliated with NCAA programs.
"It’s for athletes that go to school and don’t partake of the D1 program," said Bill Sukow, Will’s father. "It’s a sanctioned organization through the school."
Myers, a junior and the team captain, shot 74-72. Sukow, a sophomore, shot 90-79.
"The neat thing about it is that Ethan and my son competed when they were in high school, now they are teammates," Bill Sukow said.
The Guttstrong Charity Golf Outing will be Aug. 9 at Cold Spring Country Club with proceeds benefitting the Jeff Guttentag Memorial Caddie Scholarship fund. Contact Jim Weiss at 914 843-0311 or email@example.com.