It's not the rarest of sports achievements, but it can be the most satisfying. It has eluded some of the world's greatest golfers despite being accomplished by novices.
Generally, hole-in-one stories are only interesting insofar as the individuals they concern. But for Terry Cinkle, of Marshall, his hole-in-one on July 27 provided an interesting narrative for one of golf's most talked about occurrences.
Using a 3-wood hybrid, Cinkle carded a hole-in-one on the 16th hole, which gave him an ace on each of MGC's five par 3s, something that Cinkle can't remember anyone else doing at Marshall Golf Club.
"I don't know of anybody else that's done it," Cinkle said. "It's kind of unique to hit one on all of them."
Though he was not sure of the exact date of his first hole-in-one, Cinkle's best guess placed it somewhere in the mid-1980s.
"I had one in 2009 and one in 2006," Cinkle said. "Offhand, I couldn't find a record of just when the other two were."
Even with aces on holes 4, 6, 9 and 10, Cinkle was unable to crack the 16th. For the man who began golfing just before turning 40 in 1976, doubts of whether that final hole-in-one would ever come began to creep in.
"It's something that I guess I thought of," Cinkle said. "I've got it on four of 'em. But you wonder if you'll ever get one on the last one. I guess it's just a surprise, you know. Holes-in-one always come unexpected."
Fitting that a sport Cinkle took up at the suggestion of a friend would grant him its most rewarding moment in the company of friends. With Gary Koosmann, Tom Schweiger, Murray Peterson and Dan Bowman watching, Cinkle finally got his ace on the 16th. When asked what went differently last Friday, Cinkle could only respond with the vaguest of details.
"Well, I hit one at the stick," he said jokingly. "No, it landed on the green, rolled up and rolled in."
While joking about his luck on the golf course, Cinkle said he is conscious of his good fortune on the links.
"I guess I don't know how to describe it," Cinkle said. "A guy I play with all the time, he's a much better golfer than I am and he's never had (a hole-in-one).
"I've had five holes-in-one total and there's five par 3s on Marshall's golf course."
Just those five holes-in-one. No extras. No such luck outside of Marshall Golf Club.
A week after Cinkle got his fifth hole-in-one, he was a witness to another. Dan Bowman, who was a witness for Cinkle's ace on 16, used a fairway wood to card a hole-in-one on the par-3 9th at Marshall Golf Club on Friday. Cinkle, Koosman, Schweer, and Ron Moore were witnesses.