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Dwight D. Eisenhower

Edmund Muskie

Richard M. Nixon


That Elusive Ace: the Hole-in-One and who's been there, done that

“Though politicians are most frequently seen conking spectators in the head with right-angle duck hooks, several have had holes in one.” - Jack McCallum, “Ace Venture,” from Sports Illustrated.

In his golf story titled, “Ace Venture,” published in Sports Illustrated and reprinted in The Best American Sports Writing of 1997 (edited by George Plimpton and Glenn Stout, Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997) writer Jack McCallum catalogs a couple of politicos who aced holes.

The short list includes: Richard Nixon who at the age of 44, using a Spalding five iron landed the second hole at the Bel Air Country Club on September 4, 1961. He called it “the greatest thrill in my life — even better than being elected.”

Senator Edmund Muskie playing the Webhannet Golf Club in Kennebunk Beach aced the eleventh hole, a distance of 153 yards.

Evidence of General Eisenhower's hole-in-one appears as a note in President Lyndon B. Johnson's daily diary dated February 18, 1968. The diary, kept by President Johnson's staff, states:

1:00 p (Pacific time) President had lunch w/ General Eisenhower, Mrs. Eisenhower, Joe Carlson. They had steak, salad, ice tea and rum chocolate.

1:30 p Mrs. Eisenhower directed the President to a room to change for golf session.

1:35 p President Gen. Eisenhower proceeded to Seven Lakes Country Club where they played 18 holes of golf...

1:45 p Teed off!

On Hole 9 - they had fresh orange juice

Hole 11 - they met up with Mr. Dan Kimball, former Sec. of Navy

Hole 13 - the Gen. told the President that the last time he played this hole - he shot a hole-in-one

Hole 18 - The President shot a 122 yd. drive down the green and parred the shot. Gen. Eisenhower also parred the hole.

Fourteen years earlier, in a letter from (then President) Dwight D. Eisenhower to Clifford Roberts, dated June 18, 1954, Ike describes his first eagle. He muses, “This eagle might not be important to anyone else, but it is my first -- and it came on a hole where one day I had an eagle in my grasp and just kicked it out of the window by means of a completely inexcusable putt.” He continues, “I was hitting the ball fairly long and straight the other day and on Burning Tree's #10 banged my second one about six feet from the pin (on the former occasion I was twenty inches away). This time I decided to take no chances so I shut my eyes, gave it a prayerful stab-- and sure enough, there it was.” (Source: Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, 200 SE 4th St., Abilene, KS 67410).

According to sources within the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, “Eisenhower's game was respectably in the 80's, and on at least three occasions he broke 80, once with a 78. On one round he accomplished the feat of a birdie on No. 9 followed by an eagle on No. 10, the only golf eagle of his life. Like every golfer from the beginning, he was sure that at last he had discovered the secret of the game.” (See more details at Eisenhower's Favorite Hobbies).

Other Just as Deserving, if Not So Famous Acers

Thomas W. Manclark for the seventh hole of the Allender Course of Hilton Park Golf Club. It was a 156 yard play made on January 20, 1935 with an A.E. Penfold - Bromford 2 ball. What club he used is now lost in the mists of time.

Thanks Dan W. for writing and letting us know that acers have the privilege of getting their names officially archived in the USGA's The United States Golf Register!

Links to Other Pasture Golf Features

WPA New Deal Golf CoursesPhoto Archive and Collection of Historical Photographs of Famous Golfers Alan Shepard - A Golfer Out of this WorldCleeks and Clubs

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Copyright © 1999-2012 Bruce Manclark & Cory Eberhart