By Tom Eastman
CONWAY — Avid golfer Jim Machowski can relate to what it's like to be struck by lightning, twice.
The 47-year-old Chocorua resident and Discount Beverages employee scored an unbelievable two back-to-back, holes-in-one on Veterans Day Nov. 11, playing a round at the Ridegwood Country Club in Moultonborough with Ben Gutowski and Joe Fitzpatrick.
“We couldn't believe it — it happened once, and then it happened again!” said Gutowski, who is the owner/manager of Sears of North Conway.
They had just played 18 holes on the par 72 course, and were enjoying the day's sunshine so much, that they extended their round to another two holes on holes No. 1 and 2.
Playing from the gold tees, and using his driver on both holes, Machowski scored the first ace on the par 4, 242-yard hole No. 1. They moved on to the par 4, 249-yard, hole No. 2, and much to the trio's amazement, the ball went in the hole, again!
It was the third ace of his golfing career for the 5- or 6-handicapper, as he once got a hole-in-one in 2007 or 2008, playing at the North Conway Country Club with retired club pro John McDonald and lifelong club member Ralph Bianchi. He scored that one with a 7-iron on 167-yard hole 13.
“The game is such a matter of skill — and luck. Getting these back to back is such a fluke,” said Machowski in a followup interview with The Conway Daily Sun.
Ridgewood Country Club pro Mike Uhlman was not at the club the day of the double aces. When he came to work Tuesday, his on-site manager did not mention Machowski's feat until halfway through the day.
“She's not a golfer, so she didn't bring it up until halfway through the day. I said 'Jeezum Crow!' She told me we gave him a hole-in-one mug. I think we owe him another!” laughed Uhlman.
Uhlman says he play will continue at the Ridgewood for as long as weather allows. Call 476-5930 for tee times and condition updates. The North Conway Country Club was closed during the week, but was expected to reopen Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 16 and 17. Call 356-9391 for updates.
As for Machowski, who works at Discount Beverages, which recently sold a winning Megabucks ticket, he says he has not started buying Megabucks and Powerball tickets just yet after his double aces.
“I don't want to push my luck too much all at once!,” he laughed.
According to the on-line encyclopedia Wikiepedia, the odds of getting back-to-back holes-in-one are a trillion to one.