PARKERSBURG — It had been 30 years since Steve Norman hit a hole-in-one.
The 72-year-old Parkersburg native recorded two aces six months apart in 1992 at Parkersburg Country Club. Then Norman spent the next three decades without another. Until last month.
Normally an avid golfer, Norman didn’t play for six months after undergoing shoulder surgery over the winter. In mid-June, he and golf buddies Mike Jones, Dr. Stuart Deem and Mike Murphy hit Parkersburg Country Club for nine holes.
A week later, on Thursday, June 23, the foursome were back, this time for the 18th. the putting green.
“I knew it was a good shot” recalled Norman, founder of Smoker Friendly. “There was a high draw, but I couldn’t really see it when it landed on the green. Stu saw and watched. He called him. He said it came in, and I said, “No, this is not the case. When we got to the green there was a ball about 10 feet to the left of the hole. I thought it was mine and Stu had just lost sight of it, but then Mike Jones said, “No, you’re in the hole”. This (other) is mine.
After 30 years, Norman had finally recorded his third hole-in-one. Although it was worth the wait, he had no idea what was going to happen next.
The same group returned to the CCP on Tuesday, June 27, five days later. They arrived at hole 11, a 158-yard par-3. Norman grabbed his 5 hybrid and took off while his three buddies watched by the cart. It was another dandy move.
“They were yelling at him to go to the hole”, said Norman. “Then, all at the same time, they shouted: ‘He has entered!’ I said, ‘You’re kidding me.’ Well, that’s not all I said, but it’s probably the only thing you can print. Sure enough, we went to the hole and there it was.
Two holes in one in five days. What are the chances?
“We researched it to try to find the odds on it,” said Norman.
“I probably did an hour of googling. What we found was 1 in 5.7 million. The normal odds of hitting a hole-in-one is 1 in 13,000, but to do it in consecutive rounds is 1 in 5.7 million.
Not bad for someone who didn’t take golf seriously until their late twenties. Norman graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1968, then went to the University of Maryland to play basketball before transferring to Wisconsin-Parkside. He left after a year.
“I went back to Parkersburg and went to work” he said. Today Norman is retired but still involved with Smoker Friendly.
“My children (daughter Regan Bartley and son Ryan Norman) run the business. I’m still hanging around a bit. »
He and his wife, Peggy, spend the winter in Florida, where Norman golfs three times a week, and the spring and fall in South Carolina, where he golfs about once a week. They return to Parkersburg during the summer.
Norman now has a hole-in-one on four of the PCC’s five par-3s. The only one left is No. 15, which he hopes to win one day.
“It’s funny because I play with golf balls that have our company logo on them, and I handwrite our dogs’ names on them. I wrote ‘Samson’ on the first one (Thursday), then Tuesday I had Titan’s name on it. Came home and had to apologize to Cooper because I haven’t had (a hole-in-one) yet with his name on it. Now I have to play with his name on every ball,” Norman laughs.
Norman saved both balls from the hole in one. He, Jones, Deem and Murphy celebrated after the second.
“We had late lunch, early dinner, had a few drinks and had a great time,” said Norman, whose best trick of all time was shooting a 69 at PCC back when it was a par 72.
So what is Norman’s explanation for being able to accomplish something with such tiny odds?
“Once in a while you get lucky” he’s laughing.
Jordan Holland can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.