ELKS RAPIDS – Shooting a hole-in-one takes skill and a certain amount of luck, almost like winning the lottery. But having two of golf’s rare feats on the same hole seems as likely as lightning striking a winning lottery ticket – twice.
PGA of America has ventured to say that the odds of such an event are 17 million to one.
June 20 was just an ordinary day for Elks Rapid Golf Club members Kay Romska, Kathleen Keise and Brenda Corner. But that soon became exceptional when Romska and Keise, on the par-3 eighth tee measured from 93 yards, cashed in those 17 million-to-one odds and each shot a hole-in-one.
“This is crazy! How can this happen,” Romska said happily during back-to-back holes in one. “I mean we were stunned. … I think we were all speechless for a second. And then we started going, ‘Oh my God! Two in a band! Same day!’
Elks Rapids Golf Club has been around since 1924 and not once have two holes in a row been held.
Romska started first. She fired a 5 wood, sending the ball straight to the green. Then it slowly rolled into the hole. The group erupted in total shock followed by a celebration.
“Oh my God. I can’t believe it,” Romska said as her shot went in. “There were three of us in our group and we were stunned for a while. Everyone started screaming and screaming.
Romska, a native of Elks Rapids, has played golf at the historic Donald Ross Course since 1996, but has been golfing since she was 16 years old. It was his very first hole-in-one. For Romska to score a hole-in-one, the odds were 12,500 to 1.
The group behind and in front of them joined in the celebration after seeing what happened. After the celebration slowed between the groups, it was time for Keise to begin.
She hit the shot perfectly to the green.
At the time, Keise thought the ball was bouncing on the green, but it didn’t.
“I just went over there and just hit my ball, and all of a sudden they started screaming as she came in,” Keise said, laughing excitedly. “I said, ‘No, it’s not. I just thought maybe he just bounced and walked away, but that wasn’t until someone went to make sure both balls were in the hole.
Keise called it a “miracle”.
“I didn’t believe it until we looked down the hole,” Keise said. “It was so exciting to experience this with all of our good friends, and they were as excited as we were!”
Keise, 72, has hit a hole-in-one twice this year. His first was at Sandridge Golf Club in Vero Beach, Florida on April 4.
The Williamsburg native has been a longtime member of Elks Rapids. When she taught special education at Forest Area, she didn’t play much. But now, after 22 years, Keise finds himself more on the course.
For members and course workers, it’s all the excitement of the clubhouse. Romska and Keise are now local celebrities on the golf course. ERGC General Manager and Course Superintendent Gene Davis even announced a “hole in a day” on June 20.
At the time, Davis was outside fixing golf equipment when the commotion and celebrations broke out.
“Another one of our pro shop employees tipped me off. He was golfing in front of them and told me that,” Davis said. “I honestly didn’t believe him when he told me. I thought it was a joke”
You might think it’s a made up story, but Romska, Keise and anyone who watched will remember this moment for the rest of their lives.
“It’s a miracle for anyone, I don’t care who you are,” Keise said.