Jon Strathmeyer is an avid golfer who has been playing the game for 39 years.
He’s an accomplished player, carrying a 4-handicap and a low round of 4-under-par 68, accomplished on his birthday at Honey Run.
That was the highlight of Strathmeyer’s golfing career — until last week.
Before last week, the York County man had never had a hole-in-one.
That all changed on Wednesday evening, Oct. 2.
Strathmeyer not only got a hole-in-one, but he did it in a very big way.
The vast majority of golf aces come on par-3 holes. They’re generally well under 200 yards.
Strathmeyer, however, achieved his feat on the fourth hole at Bridgewater Golf Club in York Township, which just happens to be a 290-yard par 4. It's not much more than a stone's throw from Strathmeyer's home.
The ace: It was a stunning turn of events, to say the least. His accomplishment was witnessed by his wife of 27 years, Karen, and friends Erick Hartman and Rob Wingard.
“The pin was cut in (on the) left side of green, so I knew I had to hit a draw to the left part of green,” Jon said. “I pulled it slightly left in the corner. We looked for the ball for 10 minutes, never expecting it to be in the cup, yet I knew I don’t typically lose balls, so I was perplexed that we couldn’t locate it. I didn’t really expect a chance, especially with a par 4 and not being able to see the flag. I just knew where I had to hit towards.
"Erick was the first to see it in the cup, and I verified it was my ball since I just opened the pack and still had the sleeve. TaylorMade TP5X No. 1.
"’Jonny hit a hole-in-one’ is what Erick kept yelling and continued saying it the rest of the night.”
The 5-foot, 9-inch, 175-pound Strathmeyer says he generally averages 260-280 yards on his drives. He purchased a TaylorMade M6 driver in June, which he says has added yardage and consistency to his game. That’s the club he used to record his hole-in-one.
Area golfers may remember No. 4 at Bridgewater as the former 17th hole at Springwood Golf Club. Springwood was recently renamed Bridgewater and converted into a nine-hole layout. Jon says Bridgewater is where he plays most of his golf. He says it’s a convenient course to get in nine holes in the evening. The York Country Day and York College grad says he typically plays two or three times per week.
Jon, a 52-year-old salesman, said it was his first time golfing with Wingard.
“Karen suggested I cart with him,” Jon said. “He was not only a great golfer, but good karma.”
A prescient wife: Karen is a relatively new golfer after taking lessons last year, but she’s already witnessed one of the rarest shots in golf.
“She has been saying that she hopes that if I got a hole-in-one, that she would be with me,” Jon said. “I would say to her even the best golfers don’t usually see a hole-in-one, yet we were both hoping.
“On the Sunday prior, we just had this discussion during our round at Oakmont Green in Hampstead, Maryland, and then on the night it happened she told the three of us on hole No. 3, a par 3, that she was feeling one of the guys would be getting one. We all kind of dismissed what she said, thinking, ‘Yeah, right.’ Everyone hopes.”
As it turns out, Jon’s hopes were fulfilled, and Karen was more than a little prescient.
'Shock, awe, disbelief': The reaction among the foursome, according to Jon, was “shock, awe, disbelief.”
“My mates were super excited for me and also to be a part of it,” Jon said. “… Drinks were on me at the clubhouse, but only a few golfers were in there to truly understand this remarkable feat. The other guests were really cool, though.”
A 3-under-par score on a hole is referred to as an albatross. A double eagle on a par-5 hole is also an albatross.
“My wife looked up the statistics, that it is one in six million,” Jon said. “My wife asked if I would have rather had a hole-in-one on one of the par-3 contests to win $10,000. Surprisingly, I said no, the rarity of what I had is much more exciting. Money would be spent, but this feeling doesn’t go away.”
— Reach Steve Heiser at email@example.com.