Westerville News & Public Opinion

Golf

Healys come up aces in same week

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Mary Jo Healy waited almost 40 years to record her first hole-in-one, and she didn't even get to fully enjoy it.

"I hit my shot, bent down to get my tee and heard everybody gasp," Healy said of her shot on the 144-yard, par-3 No. 4 hole May 25 at The Lakes Golf and Country Club in Westerville. "I was hitting well with my driver, and once the ball hit the green it went really slow and I thought it'd stop short of the hole."

That wasn't the only feat for the Healy family on the course at The Lakes that week.

On May 29, Mary Jo's husband, Mike, carded his second career hole-in-one. Playing in a weekly men's group, Mike aced the 155-yard, par-3 No. 11 with a Ping 4-wood.

"I stole her thunder," Mike said with a laugh. "Mary Jo was in a group ahead of us and somebody got to her (with the news) before I could. It was one of those special days you could never predict.

"You'd sooner win the lottery than have a husband and wife make holes-in-one (four days) apart."

Mary Jo used a Ping driver and a Nike Mojo ball on her shot. "Mojo" happens to be Mary Jo's nickname.

Like his wife, Mike didn't expect a hole-in-one despite a solid shot. He was able to avoid his longtime nemesis, a pond to the left of the fairway.

"It felt perfect. I hardly felt myself hitting the ball," said Mike, whose previous ace came in Florida in 2009. "Nine times out of 10, I either go right or in the water on the left. The ball bounced on a mound to the left of the green, rolled back and dropped in. I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe it."

Mike, a native of Montclair, N.J., met Mary Jo, an Indianapolis native, when they were students at the University of Dayton. The couple originally lived in the Dayton area before moving to Indianapolis, where Mike ran a car dealership.

The Healys now split each year between Naples, Fla., and a condo in Westerville so they can be close to their eight grandchildren who live in the Columbus area.

Both Mike and Mary Jo say they average 90 to 95 strokes per 18 holes. He has a 25 handicap, and hers is 23.

According to the National Hole-in-One Association, the odds of making a hole-in-one are 12,500-to-1 for amateur golfers and 2,500-to-1 for professionals.

According to Eddie Kline, head pro at The Lakes, his course averages between four and eight aces per year out of an estimated 23,000 to 24,000 rounds.

Word did not get out, Kline said, until the club put out a beer keg June 1 commemorating the Healys' achievements. Golf tradition states anyone who cards a hole-in-one buys a round of drinks for other golfers.

"You can't really say one person ever has a better chance at making a hole-in-one than anybody else," Kline said. "It doesn't matter whether you're a pro or you're a scratch golfer or a golfer with a 36 handicap. It just takes the one perfect shot or a perfect bounce."

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