Friends beat 17 million-to-one odds, ace same par-3 hole

The 8th hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club
Pasatiempo Golf Club
The 8th hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club
By
Jim Seimas
The Santa Cruz Sentinel

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 | 2:45 p.m.

Santa Cruz's Geoff Eisenberg and Rusty Kingon, playing in the same threesome, earned aces on back-to-back shots on the 165-yard eighth hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club on Sunday.

It was a special moment for the friends of 25-plus years, both of whom are club members.

"This one was special," said Kingon, a 54-year-old supervisor of UC Santa Cruz's boating center. "We'll always be connected by this."

The odds of two players from the same foursome acing the same hole are 17 million to one, according to National Hole-In-One Registry, which also reports that approximately 450 million rounds of golf played each year in the United States.

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Pasatiempo head pro Ken Woods said the Santa Cruz course gets 37,000 rounds a year and that No. 8 usually has half of the reported aces each year. That said, acing the hole is no easy feat, he stressed.

Kingon used a 6-iron for his sixth career ace while Eisenberg, 65 and retired, used a 7-iron for his third career ace. Their shots were witnessed by Bob Babcock, 85, of Saratoga.

The pin was in the middle right side of the green.

"I came in from the left and he came in on the right side," Eisenberg said.

Said Kingon: "Mine was a smooth, easy six as opposed to Geoff's hard seven."

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The slope on the eighth green is so severe, there are only three to four fair locations to put the hole, Woods said, noting that the slopes can lend to balls funneling and collecting toward the hole.

Kingon wasn't too optimistic after he teed off on the hole.

"I saw where it landed and it started to roll downhill slow," he said. "It took forever to get to the hole. Like a whole 10 seconds to get down hill. But I've seen the story too many times and it never goes in."

The script was re-written for Kingon, who has played Pasatiempo roughly 100 times.

"After the first one, it was hugs and high-fives," Eisenberg said. "And after the second one, it was dancing around. It was very unlike golf."

Added Eisenberg: "I've seen thousands of rounds of golf and it was definitely the most exciting ace I've ever seen."

MORE: Take a closer look at the PGA Tour's 30 aces in the 2016-17 season

Kingon finished with a score of 76, four off his career best on the course, and Eisenberg shot 80, nine off his career best.

"It was hard to stay focused," Kingon said. "We didn't play well the next few holes."

The golfers ran up a $700 bar tab -- every member pays into a hole-in-one fund for such occasions -- and they'll cherish the experience forever.

The feat, though incredibly rare, has happened before at Pasatiempo. Sandy Woodruff, Pasatiempo's 20-time ladies club champion, aced No. 8 on October of 2011 and her playing partner, Marianne Towersey of Monterey Peninsula C.C., knocked it in on top of hers.

This article is written by Jim Seimas from The Santa Cruz Sentinel and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.