Daryl Eckel called it “kind of a feeling you can't describe.”
“You just never expect that,” Eckel, from Perrysburg, said of his first hole-in-one. “The couple nice things about the shot was it was on a long par-3 and the other nice thing was it was a perfect 5-iron shot.
It’s not that I hit a perfect shot every time, but it’s not like it bounced off a tree or a fire hydrant. It landed 5-6 yards inside the green from the front edge and rolled right in. Everything happened just right. I found the divot. It was straight in front of the hole, 12-14 feet away."
Eckel aced the 173-yard No. 5 hole during the Monday Late Nite Golf League at Tangle Wood. Eckel, 52, has golfed in the league since 2003. He finished with a 4-over 39 on the day he shot his first career ace.
“I started golfing when I was about 35,” he said. “I started late. I wasn't really into it until my son, Bryan, got into it. He just golfed with a buddy of mine and I kind of went along for the ride and started hitting clubs, and I kind of got the itch."
The only other hole-in-one in the 15 years of Monday Late Nite Golf League play at Tangle Wood was by Frank Kohler of Bowling Green.
Eckel’s playing partner this season is Stony Ridge resident Rich Jones, who has never shot a hole-in-one. Eckel and Jones were playing against Steve Bockbrader and Jim Bockbrader, both of Pemberville, when Eckel shot his ace.
After he hit the 5-iron, Eckel said he never saw the ball go in the cup.
“I saw a ball on the front of the green and it wasn't my ball,” he said. “When I think I hit a good shot, I’m usually a little short. My partner said maybe it kind of hit in a hard part and rolled off the back, so he started walking toward the back.
“One of our opponents had already chipped in from 20 yards off the green. He had a chip and he says, “I'll go get my ball,” and he said, “Maybe yours is in the hole.’ I said, ‘yeah, right.’ He said, ‘You're not going to believe this, but your ball is in the hole.’ ”
Eckel said his first reaction was that Jim Bockbrader was joking with him.
“He said, ‘Does your ball have a little blue logo on it?’” Eckel said. “He said, ‘Yep, that's in there.’ I couldn’t believe it.”
Eckel said he has been using the same Top Flight ball all season, but it has since been retired.
“I teed off with it on the next hole and you had to go over a moat,” he said. “I changed balls, thinking it would be just my luck to lose it. I put it in my bag and I haven't used it since."