Was it luck or just the law of averages that caught up with Thomas Schmeltz last
month at Hidden Hills Golf Club in Woodville?
The 18-year-old from Pemberville, who played on the golf and baseball teams at Eastwood High School before graduating last spring, has been playing lots of golf this summer.
"Probably five times a week," Schmeltz said. "Mostly at Hidden Hills, but we've gone to Tanglewood and we've gone down to Hillcrest in Findlay and at Detwiler in Toledo."
On July 21, Schmeltz grabbed his 7-iron and stepped up to the 18th tee at Hidden Hills. His target was 150 yards away.
"I knew the tees were pushed back a little farther than usual," Schmeltz said. "The wind was a little bit in our face. I went up to a 7-iron and just hit it. I knew I hit it good, but I knew it was going to be short. It landed about five yards in front of the green, bounced up and I watched it go in."
Viola! Schmeltz had his first hole-in-one.
Schmeltz said he's never really come close to shooting an ace. On this day, however, he and playing partners Ashton Brown and Clayton Ruch - baseball buddies from Eastwood - watched the ball fall into the cup on one shot.
"I've had a couple come within probably five feet," Schmeltz said.
On this particular shot, Schmeltz said, "the ball looked like it stopped completely and I turned around for a second and I looked back and we watched it go in."
Schmeltz said he "didn't go crazy or anything," but it was a different story for his playing partners.
"Ashton was actually yelling, trying to let everybody know," Schmeltz said. "I didn't say much. He was jumping up and down and gave me a hug. Clayton was more in shock. I don't think he could believe it. I don't get real worked up. It was a lot easier than having to putt it in."
Schmeltz, who earned two varsity golf letters at Eastwood, said he's never had a chance to golf this much. He usually spent his summers playing first base for Eastwood's ACME baseball team.
Schmeltz is enjoying this summer relaxing on the golf course before he heads to Cleveland State University this fall, where he will major in journalism and promotional communications.
Hidden Hills officials presented Schmeltz, who finished with a 5-over 76 the day he shot his hole-in-one, with a small trophy to celebrate his accomplishment. Nearly a week later, Schmeltz said shooting an ace has finally started to sink in.
"I've been more excited about it now, lately, than when it happened," he said. "I've played since then and realized how hard it was to happen. I never expected it to happen. There are a lot of guys who have played for a lot of years who don't have one. It's pretty special."