A chip-in birdie is unexpected. A hole-out eagle two is euphoric. A hole-in-one is a lifetime memory.
So what happens when all three occur in succession?
That is exactly what transpired last Tuesday when 75-year-old Steve Menchinella, the PGA director of golf at Sunnyside C.C. in Fresno, Calif., was playing with three fellow PGA Pros at the local Airways Golf Club.
It started on the 130-yard, par-3 5th hole where Menchinella missed the green just short and promptly chipped in for a two. After his tee shot on the par-4 6th left him 121 yards away, the PGA Lifetime Member selected a 9-iron and hit a perfect shot that took two bounces before finding a home at the bottom of the cup for an eagle two.
“I didn’t see it go in, but I heard someone say that it was in,” Menchinella said. “So we are just celebrating and laughing and having another beer going to the next tee.”
His putter wouldn’t be needed on the next hole either.
The par-3 7th is 120 yards and Menchinella went right back to his trusty 9-iron. This time everyone on the tee box knew the ball’s final destination as it landed just short and rolled perfectly into the hole. Aces are nothing new for the man known as the “Godfather of Golf” in Northern California; Menchinella has 11 in his life, including two since turning 75 last May.
Aided with his 2-2-1 stretch, Menchinella shot 31 on the front nine despite already being given five shots by his playing companions. The final tally was a memorable 2-under 67.
“We had never seen anything like that before,” said PGA Professional Tom James, a witness to the amazing run.
Golf, being the often ironic game that it is, had a joke in store for Menchinella the next time he took out his infamous 9-iron several days later at the practice range.
“I was thinking that maybe I should put the club in a bronze mold or something,” Menchinella said laughing. “But my first swing on the range a few days later was a shank dead right.”
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— Global Golf Post (@GlobalGolfPost) February 23, 2016