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News Story
Updated: 06/20/2012 10:48:01AM

Apparently ‘laid back’ golfer scores hole-in-one

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Don Hodgman

By BILL QUINLAN

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Don Hodgman, 70, scored a hole-in-one at the 150-yard par-3 12th hole at Providence Golf Club in Davenport on April 12.

One of his playing partners, all from Haines City, remarked tongue-in-cheek at the time that Don had finally resolved the putting woes he was suffering that day by deciding he could avoid putting altogether by simply knocking the ball into the hole from the tee box.

Hodgman was remarkably laid back about his impressive shot, which was a forced carry over water.

“It’s in the hole,” Hodgman casually remarked after walking onto the green and looking into the hole. “I thought it might be in the hole. I heard it hit the pin. (When I walked onto the green) ”I didn’t see my ball and found a divot in front of the hole.

“ I was gloating inside but didn’t want to hoot and holler in front of the guys,” he said. “I’m not overly serious. You’ve gotta have fun.”

Hodgman later said the only one he “bragged” to was his 13-year-old grandson, who decided not to golf with him that day.

“I told him ‘See what you missed’!” Hodgman said.

Hodgman was laid back on the outside but he may have been churning on the inside because he scored a “9” on the next hole. To make matters worse, he scored 56 on the back nine, compared to 43 on the front nine. He four-putted both the 17th and the 18th holes.

But Hodgman took it all with a smile and a grain of salt. He treated his partners, Jerry Barwick, Don Ference, Peter Gaudet and Bill Quinlan to the drink of their choice after their round.

“I’m not a great golfer, but about once a round I hit a shot as good as anybody can.”

Hodgman said it was his fourth hole-in-one. He couldn’t remember exactly when he got the other three. “I get one about every ten years.”

Hodgman is a snowbird. He’s been coming to Florida from his Michigan home for several years. He said he just started coming to central Florida because his grandchildren, ages 17, 13, 6 and 3, are now all old enough to enjoy Disney.

The golf pro at Providence promised to send Hodgman a plaque commemorating his feat. He seemed pleased about that when he told his partners. He had won a few bucks from them but he didn’t gloat about that.


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