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Published: Sunday, July 31, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Looking for an ace? These courses are your best bet

Battle Creek, Everett Legion and Walter Hall yielded the most holes-in-one among area courses last year

  • There were seven holes-in-one on the 17th hole of Walter Hall Golf Course in 2010.

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    There were seven holes-in-one on the 17th hole of Walter Hall Golf Course in 2010.

  • There were seven holes-in-one on Legion Memorial's 16th hole in 2010.

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    There were seven holes-in-one on Legion Memorial's 16th hole in 2010.

Elmer Dahl of Everett has been playing golf regularly since 1954. He estimates he's closing in on 6,000 rounds in his lifetime.
And he's never had a hole-in-one.
Over the years he's watched two or three of his playing partners collect aces, he's had at least one tee shot rim the cup and he's holed out for eagle from 100-plus yards "several times."
But never a hole-in-one.
That makes Dahl, 75, a statistical oddity.
According to numbers published by Golf Digest in 2005, an average golfer can expect to collect a hole-in-one once in every 3,000 rounds. Based on those numbers, Dahl is about 28 years overdue.
"I just think a lot of it is luck," said Dahl, whose handicap has been as low as 9.3 and now stands at 16, "and I don't have any."
While Lady Luck didn't shine on Dahl in 2010, she did visit 113 other golfers in Snohomish and Island counties. An examination of the holes-in-one reported to The Herald in 2010 showed that those 113 golfers recorded 114 aces at area courses in 2010.
Battle Creek Golf Course in Marysville topped the list, yielding 15 holes-in-one, which surprised head pro Scott Basse. "Maybe we send them into the paper more often than other courses," he quipped.
That may be true, but a more likely factor is Battle Creek's nine-hole, par-3 course, which sits adjacent to the 18-hole layout. It accounted for two of the course's 15 holes-in-one.
"(Being ranked No. 1) kind of surprised me, to be honest with you," Basse said. "But we do 10-15,000 rounds a year on the par-3 course, so that makes sense."
Legion Memorial Golf Course in north Everett was next with 14 holes-in-one, half of which were recorded on the par-3, No. 16 hole (tied with No. 17 at Walter Hall Golf Course in south Everett for the most in the area).
"It's a pretty easy hole in terms of par threes," Everett Legion head pro Shayne Day said of the 16th. "Most par threes that are difficult are about 180 yards. This one, from the white tees, is only 140, so that definitely plays into it. It's (also) a very level green and most the time people are rolling the ball into the hole."
Walter Hall produced the third-highest number of holes-in-one in 2010 with 11. No. 17 accounted for seven of them.
"That par-3 probably is at a range (161 yards from the white tees) that is average for most guys," Walter Hall assistant golf professional Derrold Theon said. "And the pin placements are such that (the ball) often feeds right to the hole."
The fact Everett's two municipal courses ranked 2-3 in aces among area courses is no shock, Day said.
"We do 62,000 rounds a year here (at Legion)," he said. "versus a private course, which probably does 30-40,000 rounds. The extra 20-30,000 rounds per year, you're getting a lot more shots into that hole. As a municipality, we have cheaper rates, which means affordable golf for everybody, which is essentially why we get a lot more activity out here on a daily basis."
Also not a surprise was the fact nearly half the holes-in-one in 2010 occurred in the summer months. July led with 19, followed by June (18) and August (17).
While the sheer number of people playing golf in the summer is the obvious reason, Day noted another factor: better weather produces better golf shots. Higher temperatures allow players to use shorter, more accurate irons.
"The air is warmer, the ball is going to fly farther, whereas in the winter you are using a longer club," Day said. "In the summertime you can club down because the ball is going to fly farther and compress a little bit more."
Through the first six months of this year, 41 holes-in-one were reported to The Herald, compared to 57 at the same time last year. The 28-percent dropoff can be attributed, at least in part, to miserable weather in the spring and early summer that kept many a golfer indoors.
With skies finally clearing and temperatures rising, conditions are favorable for Dahl and others like him to resume pursuit of that elusive first ace.
Dahl came agonizingly close several years ago. His tee shot on a short, par-4 dogleg left made it all the way to the green. When Dahl and his party approached, they saw his ball sitting just three or four feet from the hole. The group waiting on next tee described how close Dahl came not only to his first hole-in-one but to a rare double eagle.
"They said it rolled right through them and lipped the cup," Dahl said.
Dahl, who retired from Burlington Northern Railroad 13 years ago, is a member of the men's club at Walter Hall and still plays 3-5 times a week, weather permitting. With each round, he moves closer -- at least statistically -- to his first hole-in-one.
"Maybe if I live long enough, I'll get one," he said with a chuckle.

2010 holes-in-one


 NameCourseDateHoleYards Club
Paul EricksonBallinger9/1321725-iron
Bob WallinBattle Creek1/193105PW
Lee HudsonBattle Creek3/431059-iron
Dylan MinoqueBattle Creek4/82102SW
Laura NixBattle Creek5/13489wedge
Tom ThetfordBattle Creek6/1931399-iron
Cal McCrearyBattle Creek6/2381069-iron
Len DupreeBattle Creek6/2591396-iron
Randy RomoBattle Creek7/1091349-iron
Joseph KoznikBattle Creek7/31 9 (par 3)1425-iron
Mike GastonBattle Creek8/3171556-iron
Kris MurrayBattle Creek8/1431376-iron
Phil PorrBattle Creek8/1731349-iron
Bob WallinBattle Creek8/19171448-iron
Ron RobBattle Creek8/2381067-iron
James P. CottonBattle Creek10/99 (par 3)1424-iron
Mike Knuckey Blue Boy2/213127SW
Charles LeConteBlue Boy3/691289-iron
Michael SmithBlue Boy4/1631279-iron
Evan TurnerBlue Boy6/13140PW
Brandon SmithBlue Boy6/2891349-iron
Troy OttiniBlue Boy6/296300driver
Seung LeeBlue Boy7/39128PW
Pete WickenBlue Boy7/1291287-iron
Mark CrawleyBlue Boy9/123147PW
Ed PoleBlue Boy10/39128PW
Cliff ChellsonCamaloch2/2641545-iron
Chris BoserCamaloch3/6111409-iron
John DennisCamaloch5/4111404-iron
Prospero EnriqueCamaloch5/1111409-wood
Trish KinneyCamaloch6/591235-hybrid
Bob DittmanCamaloch6/1841565-wood
Mary Ann OlsonCamaloch7/9111077-wood
Patrick J. TuttleCamaloch7/23131773-iron
Geoffrey A. MatthewsCamaloch9/2491594-iron
Keith VestCedarcrest4/1471594-hybrid
Dick MillarCedarcrest5/471824-wood
Ilse SwartCedarcrest5/1671117-iron
Jim BartholomewCedarcrest7/2121555-wood
Lida TongCedarcrest7/2321313-wood
Art WiperCedarcrest8/16121324-iron
Tina BlanchardCedarcrest11/6161116-iron
Ken LauermanEverett G&CC4/2381109-iron
Barry MillerEverett G&CC5/228122PW
Brian AyresEverett G&CC5/2271903-wood
Will CoxEverett G&CC7/1716264Driver
Jerry BoederEverett G&CC12/17151583-wood
Don BechenFlowing Lake2/2191337-iron
Tom PinonFlowing Lake5/2471445-iron
Jim HoveyFlowing Lake7/1061376-iron
Darrell KoshelnickGleneagle5/1641328-iron
Dale OstranderGleneagle6/991356-iron
Chip DonaldsonGleneagle8/8131689-iron
Chris ThorleifsonGleneagle8/11161368-iron
Bobby BrownGleneagle8/12161688-iron
Greg SpeckGleneagle9/141287-iron
Loren WiegeltGleneagleJuly (date NA)16137NA
Carolyn KeithGleneagleJuly (date NA)4120NA
Chris BabcockHarbour Pointe2/13121487-iron
Tom KaneHarbour Pointe3/5121539-iron
Bob KelleyHarbour Pointe6/5121567-iron
Jan WalshHarbour Pointe6/1271126-iron
Ray McCannaHarbour Pointe7/1231457-iron
Kaye MorganHarbour Pointe8/93907-iron
Bryan KrannitzHarbour Pointe8/16121448-iron
Greg ThompsonHarbour Pointe9/1171427-iron
Richard MoloneyHarbour Pointe10/3161548-iron
Bruce BairdKayak Point3/14161458-iron
Larry BurkhartKayak Point6/1831409-iron
Dawn GregoryKayak Point8/831058-iron
Gregory RicciKayak Point10/2951546-iron
Jim CookKenwanda3/2861218-iron
Dean KobernickKenwanda4/1481919-iron
Jim ProvelencherKenwanda12/3131725-wood
Terry GrinakerKenwandaJuly (date NA)81913-wood
Myles O'BryneLegion2/1741179-iron
Bev SchrockLegion3/913200Driver
Nikolay E. SorensonLegion3/10161417-iron
Stephen A. JonesLegion3/11161419-iron
Don HealyLegion3/238112PW
Mark KorugaLegion5/1316130PW
Ted WellsLegion6/391358-iron
Tami HansenLegion7/1016114PW
Roxanne MilneLegion7/24161107-iron
Herman BlegenLegion8/491377-iron
Bruce McConnellLegion8/841655-iron
Gary BreidensteinLegion9/8161407-iron
Mark LudwigLegion10/1591429-iron
Brad HougLegion10/31161479-iron
Malcolm McCallumLynnwood3/238196Driver
Matt SchwenkeLynnwood6/621895-iron
Jeremy StrockLynnwood6/81199PW
George TolesLynnwood6/28121158-iron
John JuddLynnwood7/192157Driver
Seiko AbshureLynnwood12/174976-iron
Conner DenessenMill Creek G&CC9/891498-iron
Dwayne BroomeSnohomish5/13111488-iron
Bror GrondalSnohomish5/1481567-iron
Bob BeaumontSnohomish6/17131267-iron
Dallas McCormickSnohomish7/2781626-iron
Jim PadenSnohomish8/581586-iron
Jim ThomasSnohomish9/1813128PW
Anthony VasquezSnohomish10/281564-hybrid
Dennis McMahonWalter Hall2/14171486-iron
Tony HatziliadisWalter Hall4/2161596-iron
Howard NelsonWalter Hall5/121716131-hybrid
Gerry SolbergWalter Hall5/12141705-iron
Rockwell J. BybeeWalter Hall5/23171714-rescue
Dan DahlWalter Hall6/25171605-iron
Robert LightfritzWalter Hall7/7171617-wood
Skip LuckenWalter Hall8/1381688-iron
John MorrisonWalter Hall8/26171704-iron
Brian RebeschiniWalter Hall9/1171616-iron
Lee SalazarWalter Hall10/481468-iron

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