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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Golf Immortality For Black Mesa's Eddie Peck, Ballyneal surrenders first ace

HOLYOKE, CO - Life sure looked good through Eddie Peck's rose-colored glasses today. After setting down his trademark Connecticut wrapper cigar and taking that Iron Byron swing of his, Steady Eddie, owner of Black Mesa Golf Club outside Sante Fe recorded the first hole-in-one of his life. He aced the 5th hole, a 171 yard par-3 with an 8-iron.

What a moment. Adam Clayman, our group's madcap commentator called it early that this shot was dead on. I had my camera ready and snapped Eddie's finish. Then everyone says the old "Go in! Go in!"

And then it disappeared...and the roar ensued.


Eddie smiled just like he does every single golf hole...broadly. Eddie has a holy golf soul. He took it in stride. The rest of us however...

Hell, I made Phil Mickelson's Masters leap look downright athletic. I haven't jumped that badly since grammer school. It was a mutated Jumping Jack.

But wait! There's more!

It was at BALLYNEAL. Ballyneal is the latest design by Tom Doak, the architect who designed Pacific Dunes, Cape Kidnappers, Beechtree, The Rawls Course and Sebonack (the course that opened last month between Shinnecock Hills and National Golf Links of America.)

But wait! there's more!

It was the first ace ever recorded at Ballyneal.

Eddie will forever be known as the guy who got the first ace at, arguably, one of the 25 best courses in the entire world; a rugged, hurly-burly, shaggy bear which roller-coasters chop dunes among the sand hills.

The first hole-in-one at the golf course. What a trophy. The witnesses to this historic event were myself, Tony Korologos, Hon. Tom Callahan and Adam Clayman.

But wait! There's more!

The official opening happens September 9. So ratchet up the epic factor yet another notch because he got the ace playing a course still yetto hold it's public grand opening.

I acquited myself quite admirably, thank you very much by the way. I made a sandie out of the soon to be famous "E" bunker, where the green is shaped like an E and the negative space is a deep nasty bunker. "Damn, there's some fireworks going on today" said Hooked on Golf's Tony K. Tony had a great day too, putting lights out and carding a blistering 76 (5-Over the par of 71).

Finally, my 96 foot putt across the infamous 12th green won me a round of drinks from the members.

Fireworks? Ballyneal is thermonuclear. Run, don't walk. With scissors if you have to.

Photo: The E green at 7 at Ballyneal. Pretty interesting shape. Supposedly, Doak had wanted to build this one for a long time and finally got someone to give him the OK. See what great things happen when you let the architect push the envelope?


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