BG golfer repeats rare feat
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor
Saturday, 19 October 2013 08:24
Being able to write down a one on a scoreboard is a rare feat for a golfer.
|Steve Donnelly (Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
It takes a combination of luck and skill to record a hole-in-one.
Some golfers have recorded numerous holes-in-one, and many others are scrambling for their first one.
Steve Donnelly has been able to write down a one, twice on his scoreboard, although it was more than four decades between the two shots.
As a 17-year-old golfer, Donnelly recorded his first hole-in-one.
This summer, 42 years later he got his second hole-in-one.
''I didn't think I would ever get another one,'' Donnelly said. ''They are tough to come by. Some are lucky, and some are part luck and you hit a good shot.''
Playing in a youth tournament in 1969 at Lakeland Golf Course in Fostoria, Donnelly hit a wedge on No. 8, a 110-yard hole, and the ball hit behind the hole and spun back into the cup.
This summer at Stone Ridge Golf Club, Donnelly struck the miracle shot again, using a 6-iron on the 165-yard fifth hole, which goes over water and is a very difficult hole. The ball hit about 10 feet in front of the cup, and then rolled in for the hole-in-one.
For both holes-in-one, Donnelly said it was a ''good day.''
At Lakeland, he finished with a 69, but didn't win the tournament.
At Stone Ridge, he said he broke 80 with the help of the hole-in-one.
A Bowling Green resident since 1982, Donnelly grew up in Findlay and attended Van Buren High School. At the time, Van Buren did not have a golf team, but Donnelly was introduced to the game by his parents.
He spent a lot of time at both Fostoria Country Club and Hillcrest Golf Course in Findlay learning how to play golf. He was a caddy at Hillcrest from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then he was allowed to play for free on the course.
''My mother and father played a lot of golf,'' Donnelly said.
The same summer he recorded his first hole-in-one, Donnelly was able to caddy for LPGA legend Patty Berg.
''She was an ex-Marine and when I told her I was going into the Marines, she said: 'You had better get your hair cut before you get there,''' Donnelly said.
He said that despite the 80-degree temperatures, Berg played in a long-sleeved cardigan sweater.
In his four years in the Marines, including time in Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean, he was able to play golf on Okinawa as well as in California, North Carolina, and Florida.
Donnelly returned to Northwest Ohio to attend Bowling Green State University in the summer in 1974.
''I got out of the Marine Corps on a Wednesday, and had an 8 o'clock Monday morning,'' Donnelly said. ''I thought I was in heaven.''
While in college, Donnelly was a photographer for the BG News and one of his memorable assignments was the Poe Ditch music festival in 1975, where he was right on stage.
Since graduation in 1977, Donnelly has worked a variety of jobs, including a long stint at the Student Book Exchange, yet golf is still a part of his life.
While attending a wedding in Spain, he got away for a few hours to play Valderrama Golf Club, one of the top courses in the world which hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup.
Many play golf for the social aspect of the game, for Donnelly, it's all about the competition.
Donnelly said he still enjoys the game, but ''I don't get to play as much as I like.''
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 October 2013 10:13