Hico resident Jason Coalson, 24, is the last person anyone thought would hit a hole-in-one on a golf course, especially with $25,000 on the line.
But that’s exactly what happened in the Glen Rose Somervell County Chamber of Commerce scramble at Squaw Valley Golf Club Saturday.
Coalson, an employee of the Hico branch of First Community Bank Central Texas, aced the 168-yard, par-3 10th on the Apache Links course at Squaw Valley in front of witnesses Mike Whitley, Boyd Holley and Bret Polk, his teammates in the event. Whitley works at the Glen Rose branch of First Community Bank, Holley is Coalson’s father-in-law and a Hamilton resident and Polk resides in Hico.
“The wind was blowing left-to-right, and we had to go over water and a sand trap,” Coalson said of the obstacles standing between him and his first hole-in-one. “I guess I just hit the perfect shot.”
Coalson and his playing partners had no idea how perfect the shot was until they approached the green.
“I didn’t know if I was in the bunker or just in the low area of the green that we couldn’t see,” he said. “Then we walked to the green and one of the monitors pulled a ball out of the hole and asked whose it was. I just went nuts!”
Hole monitors Lesia Whipps and Christina Thorp are also on record as witnesses to the shot.
Squaw Valley official Steve Heppler says holes-in-one are not uncommon at the club, but this one was different.
“It’s the first time in my 15 years of working here that anyone has hit a hole-in-one during a tournament with a big prize on the line,” Heppler said.
Making Coalson’s shot especially unique is his lack of experience on the links.
“I just picked up golf four or five months ago,” Coalson explains. “I was a team roper, but with the cost of travel going up I needed a different hobby, so I started playing golf.”
Coalson has even been watching the pros knock in aces on the Golf Channel.
“October is “Hole-in-One Month” on the Golf Channel,” he said. “I was watching all these pros hit these perfect shots, and they said the odds against a beginner doing it are about 20,000 to one.”
Coalson and his wife, Jessica, have a one-year-old son, Judson.
“I’m going to pay a few bills and put a lot of it away for the little one,” he said of his plans for the extra cash. “You never know, I might even take those guys who were playing with me out for a round of golf.”