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Duluth golfer hits rare Enger ace

Rob Hollenhorst had gone 25 years without a hole-in-one before acing the 132-yard, par-3 sixth at Enger Park Golf Course on June 6.

So far, it’s his second-best shot of the summer — and it’s not even close.

Back at Enger a week ago for his men’s league, Hollenhorst unleashed a beautiful drive on the back nine’s 16th hole, a 396-yard par 4 with an abrupt dogleg left and a lengthy hill fronting the green. For starters, the 31-year-old Duluthian aggressively negated the dogleg by hitting his drive 300 yards and over an outcropping of trees. Perfectly executed, the shot landed halfway down the hill, and the ensuing big bounce sent it careening toward the green.

And into the cup.

Hollenhorst’s second ace in less than a month, and a double eagle, to boot.

Even more improbable: The 16th on the back at Enger is exactly three times as long as No. 6, site of Hollenhorst’s first hole-in-one — 396 yards to 132.

By going straight at the green and taking the dogleg out of play, Hollenhorst estimates he sliced about 40 yards off the hole. A big hitter, Hollenhorst admits he’s not always sure where his drives will end up. Then again, who is?

“I’m kind of wild at times, but I hit that one straight,” he said by phone Monday afternoon. “Once I hit it, I knew it was on line.”

Hollenhorst’s foursome consisted of his playing partner, Rob Hurd, plus Larry Tessier and Doug Dunsmoor. The group ahead of them had yet to finish No. 16 when Hollenhorst’s drive came screaming over the trees. Two of them still were chipping, so they hadn’t removed the flag.

Hollenhorst knew his drive could be a good one, but he never saw it ricochet off the flag stick and fall directly into the cup.

“I thought ‘oh, sweet, it hit the green,’ but then they told me it was in the hole,” he said. “I thought they were messing with me.”

According to Enger Park’s records, which go back to about 1930, Hollenhorst is only the second golfer to ace that hole. The first came back in the 1930s, in the era of wooden golf clubs.

It was due to give up another hole-in-one. And Hollenhorst obliged, much to the disbelief of many.

“He walked in and said, ‘Look at this scorecard,’ ” Taylor Shaw, who works in the Enger pro shop, recounted. “I said, ‘you’re joking, right?’ ”

Hollenhorst wasn’t, and now he is left to debate which ace is his favorite — not a bad problem to have.

The distance Wednesday was mind-boggling, but he never saw the shot go in. That wasn’t the case on June 6.

“I got to see that one, so it actually seemed real,” he said.