Recreation

Cedar Rapids golfer relishes 2 holes-in-one in 5 days

Ogden column: David Olberding golfer went 49 years before he got his first ace

David Olberding of Cedar Rapids reaches into the hole at Tara Hills Country Club in Van Horne after his first hole in one on June 4. (Family photo)
David Olberding of Cedar Rapids reaches into the hole at Tara Hills Country Club in Van Horne after his first hole in one on June 4. (Family photo)
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According to Golf Digest, there are 150,000 holes-in-one per year from an estimated 490 million rounds of golf.

The odds are 2,500-to-1 for a pro golfer to score an ace, 5,000-to-1 for someone with a low handicap and 12,500-to-1 for an amateur golfer.

What are the odds of making two holes-in-one in five days? I couldn’t find an answer to that one, but one website noted the odds of making two aces in a single round were around 67 million-to-one.

David Olberding of Cedar Rapids has been playing golf since he was 6 years old and falls into that “low handicap” category. It took him 49 years to get his first hole in one.

“I’ve known people who have golfed forever and never got one,” he said. “I thought I’d be one of those guys.”

Then, you guessed it, it took him five days to get his second.

“Just surreal,” he said last week while driving to Chicago with his wife, Nancy, for a 30th anniversary trip to Ireland that included three rounds of golf.

“We play a lot of golf,” he said. David said he plays four times a week, Nancy five.

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If Nancy’s name sounds familiar, there’s a reason. She is one of the top women’s golfers in Cedar Rapids and finished third last year in the Senior Women’s City Am.

The Olberdings have five children — all are golfers.

“They just don’t golf as much as we do,” he said, noting daughter, Lisa, was the first in the family to record an ace.

David, 55, grew up around the game in Dyersville and credits his parents with igniting his love for the sport.

“We grew up a bike ride from the Dyersville Country Club,” he said. “That was my mom’s babysitter in the summer.”

He met Nancy, from Sioux City, at Iowa State. She wasn’t a golfer, but David said she was a good athlete.

“I told her if she wants to spend any time with me, she had to play golf,” he said.

The question, of course, had to be asked. Who is the better golfer?

Nancy, for the record, still is looking for her first hole-in-one.

“I’m going to get myself in trouble,” he said, again with Nancy by his side in the car. “We are probably equal.

“I like to tell her I taught her everything she knows.”

The two play in couples leagues, best shots and the state husband-wife tournament. Their best finish in sixth.

David’s first hole in one came at Tara Hills County Club in Van Horne while playing with friends on June 4. He used a 9-iron on the par-3, 129-yard No. 3 hole.

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“The iron shot was solid,” he said, noting “aesthetically it was great.”

Five days later, playing in the Eastern Iowa Golf Association tournament at Lake MacBride Golf Course in Solon, he aced the 172-yard No. 6 hole with a 5-iron.

The second one “hit on the front of the green and rolled quite a way ... had a little suspense,” he said.

David’s reaction after the first one was “it’s about time.”

Nancy, thrilled her husband snapped the long drought with that first one, wasn’t as thrilled with the second. She didn’t believe him when he first texted her.

“... she said I suck,” he said with a laugh, then added “she’s very jealous.”

She’s probably not alone.

l Comments: (319) 368-8696; jr.ogden@thegazette.com

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