Eleven-year-old Frank Coleman aced hole no. 5 at Abercrombie Golf and Country Club yesterday, making him the youngest member on record to get a hole-in-one. Pictured behind him are Andrew Linton, left, his sister Lorraine, Jesse Todd and Joel MacNeil. ADA
ABERCROMBIE – The forecast called for rain, but 11-year-old Frank Coleman didn’t care. He just had to go golfing.
Today he and his family are moving to St. John’s, N.L., and he wanted one last chance to get out with his golfing buddies at Abercrombie Golf and Country Club.
Odds are it’s a day none of them will ever forget.
With a bit of drizzle dropping in the air, Frank sunk a hole-in-one on the 125-yard, par 3 hole no. 5 with a 6-iron.
“It’s the youngest member who’s got a hole-in-one on record,” says Lee Fanning, head golf professional at the club.
The club’s records were destroyed in the 1990s by a fire, but no one there can remember anyone so young accomplishing the feat, he says.
This past year there’s only been eight holes-in-one at the club and all by adults.
A pro golfer who has been on the greens much of his life, 32-year-old Fanning said he hasn’t even managed to ace a hole yet, nor has another pro working at the club.
“I’ve been close many times but it hasn’t dropped me,” he said. “It doesn’t happen too often.”
Here’s how it happened for the Stellarton boy.
Frank was out with his friends Jesse Todd, Andrew Linton and his sister Lorraine.
Like kids do they were joking around and speculating about how well each was going to do on the next shot.
“Just watch, Jesse’s going to get a hole-in-one on this hole,” one said.
But Jesse wasn’t the lucky one this time.
Frank swung the same way he always does. But the ball didn’t follow a typical path.
“It took the weirdest bounce and then rolled in the hole,” he says.
His friends went crazy.
“No way!” shouted Andrew.
Jesse immediately began to scream in excitement.
But not Frank.
“He couldn’t even talk,” Lorraine said. “He just kind of stood there.”
“I was just kind of stunned,” Frank said.
Coming up behind a hole, was another friend, Joel MacNeil.
“I was on my second shot on the fourth and all I heard was ‘Ohhhh yeeeeaah!’” he said. “And I heard Jesse just starting to go off.”
Andrew called the golf office and some workers came up to take a picture.
The kids finished playing their set of nine-holes and headed back to the clubhouse. His final score was 45.
They were welcomed as celebrities with adults offering to buy them drinks and food.
Given his choice, Frank picked chicken strips and Gatorade to celebrate.
Perhaps it wasn’t all luck that led to the perfect shot.
Frank has been a member at Abercrombie for two years and recently won the club’s championship for his age group. In the past he’s had birdies on the course.
“I’m OK,” he said, quickly adding that he does do badly sometimes.
He’s happy though his last day at the course with his friends had a perfect end.