A foursome went out for a casual round of golf on a recent Sunday and returned to the clubhouse with an interesting story to tell.

Every golfer in a group that included Jim Butler of New London, Jim Williams of East Lyme, retired Waterford police officer Hugh Bell and Robert Mills of Waterford recorded a birdie on the par 3, 14th hole at the Great Neck Country Club in Waterford. The distance was about 145 meters.

“Chances are rare, especially for them,” said Great Neck pro Kevin Shea. “Their average handicap is 20. For four scratch golfers, that’s hard to do.”

“They were all excited about it.”

Butler and Williams, an MIT graduate, found that the odds of four golfers each birdie on the same hole is one in 1.68 million. Group handicaps range from 14 to 25.

“Just having four guys on the green at our level is like one hell of a crow,” Butler said.

Every Sunday, anywhere from two dozen to 30 guys play in what’s called the Byles Band, named after Donny Byles. On that day, golfers were randomly assigned to a team.

Here’s a look at what happened after the four golfers put their tee shots on the green:

“Hughie has a downhill putt, probably a 20-footer, and it’s not an easy putt,” Butler said. “Well, he empties it.

“I’m next, and I’ve got an 18-footer and I’m going up the hill. I was much more on the left and have a bender on the right. I emptied it like it was easy. I do not know what happened. I made a putt for a change.

By then, the foursome had already picked up four shots towards their team score. Williams and Mills decided to finish the hole.

“Robert has an 8-10 footer,” Butler said. “Boom! He hits it. Now I feel bad for my homie Jimmy Williams. I’m like, you look like a jerk if you miss. He drains a six-footer.

Then the party started.

“We were screaming and screaming,” Butler said.

It’s a day the quartet will always remember. Additionally, they won the tag team competition.

“It was pretty special,” Butler said. “No one we know has ever done it.”

A former track and cross-country coach at Connecticut College, Butler replaced his running shoes with golf shoes. A day on the golf course is more enjoyable and far less painful than running.

He plays six days a week at Great Neck.

“I knew I was leaving practice and needed something to compete,” Butler said of the switch. “When I retired, my athletes and alumni gave me a wonderful gift certificate to Chris Cote Golf. I still play with the fitted clubs I received from him.

“I joined the Great Neck Country Club 10 years ago. Life is good. I live six minutes from the course. It’s great.

Butler and his pals weren’t the first and won’t be the last golfers to celebrate a remarkable achievement on the 14th, the course’s shortest hole.

There are more aces there – five since the end of May – than any other hole in Great Neck.

Don’t rely on the number of birdies. At least four, thanks to Butler’s quartet.

Short putts

• Rounds of golf are up and rainfall is down this summer, creating challenges for area courses.

Great Neck survives very well. The course remains in great shape despite a lack of rain. The staff does a lot of watering by hand, especially the greens.

“We have a pond at No. 10, it’s our main source (of water),” Shea said recently. “It’s definitely going down but we have enough water there. We could certainly use natural rain to cover all areas of the golf course. Irrigation heads don’t do much.

• Kit Bryan won her 13th Elmridge Women’s Club Championship on Tuesday. She won her first title in 1994.

• Earlier this month, Stonington Country Club held its championship day. Michael Hawley won his seventh men’s club championship, beating 1-place Diederick van der Velde on August 7. Defending champion Zorah Williams of Mystic defeated four-time champion Anne-Marie van der Velde, 3-1, in the women’s title match. .

• In the most recently updated rankings, Andy MacMahon leads the men’s club at Elmridge Golf Course in points with 1,031 points. Karl Saila is second with 930 and Bob Gebler third with 908.

• Shennecossett’s Corey Jones and Jessica Hewitt placed 23rd in the 85th Connecticut State Golf Association Mixed Tag Team Championship last week at Watertown Golf Club. They won the title last summer. The winning duo of Brett Franklin and Annie Desanto shot 1-under 70.

• Steven Ferraro of Quinnatisset Country Club in Thompson and Bill Hermanson of Black Hall Club in Old Lyme were the only two local golfers to qualify and play in all three rounds of the 35th Connecticut Mid-Amateur, which ended Wednesday at the Country New Canaan club.

Ferraro placed third with a 2-under total of 208 (68-69-71). Hermanson finished tied for 22nd with a 227 (71-74-82).

Golf Performance Center’s Richard Dowling defended his mid-amateur title, posting a 9-under 201 (65-68-68) to win by five strokes.

• Dustin Witala, a 12 year old from Charlestown, RI, recently joined the hole-in-one club. He used a new iron to land the 14th hole at Wood River Golf Course in Hopkinton. The yardage is listed at 285 yards for the par four hole, which features an upside-down V layout that gives golfers a shot on the green by chipping away tall pines on the left side.

Events to come

• The final round of the Black Hall Men’s Club Championship is scheduled for Sunday.

• Competition for the Club Championships in Great Neck is underway. The finals in each category will take place on Monday, September 5.

• The Connecticut Assistant PGA Championship takes place Monday at Hop Meadow Country Club in Simsbury.

• Also on Monday, the 86th CSPA Father Son Championship kicks off at Torrington Country Club.

• Baltic’s Mohegan Sun Golf Club will host the PGA Pro-Veteran tournament on 7 September.

• Shennecossett will be hosting a one-day CSPA event on September 12th. The deadline for registration is August 30.

Please send golf scores, hole-in-one information, etc., to [email protected]