Jul. 16—Brett Hogen hit the rarest of hole-in-ones on Wednesday.
Hogen, who has 10 career hole-in-ones, recorded an ace on the par-4, No. 2 hole at Wild Oak Golf Course. Hogen's previous hole-in-ones were on par-3s, but Wednesday's shot on the par 4 was perhaps his most memorable ace.
"It was just an awesome experience," Hogen, 38, of Mitchell, said. "When it happened, I was still kind of in disbelief. I was kind of shaking and my heart was racing on the next tee shot."
The hole was playing 340 yards and includes a water hazard, some heavy rough and mounds to the left. The dogleg hole bends to the left and the green is obscured from the tee box.
Hogen hit over the top of the water hazard and went straight for the green, which is how he normally plays it. In the past, he's hit onto the green multiple times and came within 3 feet of the cup at last year's Corn Palace Invitational.
On Wednesday, he had a calm day with no wind and again went for the green with his Ping G410 driver. Hogen estimates the shot measured between 280-to-290 yards when going over the water and rough.
"I honestly never expected to get a hole-in-one on it," Hogen said. "I always just kind of go for the green and hope I get on the green and maybe make an eagle or two putt for my birdie. That's kind of my goal every time, but I honestly never expected in my lifetime to get a hole-in-one on a par 4. It's just so obscure and it just doesn't happen very often."
According to pga.com, the odds of hitting the shot are an estimated 1 in 6 million. There's been only one hole-in-one on a par 4 in PGA Tour history. It happened at the 2001 Phoenix Open, when Andrew Magee's tee shot on the 332-yard 17th at TPC Scottsdale ricocheted off Onida native Tom Byrum's putter and into the hole for an ace.
Dave Backlund Jr., who is the course's general manager, said it's the first hole-in-one recorded on Wild Oak's No. 2 hole.
"I can't say it's not ever going to happen again," Backlund Jr., said. "But it could be another 20 years before it ever does."
The rare shot is also considered a double eagle or an albatross, which is achieved when a player either aces a par 4 or scores a two on a par 5.
"In golf terms, a double eagle is harder than a hole in one on a par 3," Backlund Jr., said. "So they are more rare than a normal par 3. It's kind of a two-sided thing there. He got a hole-in-one on a par 4 and a double eagle at the same time. It's pretty cool."
Hogen's shot was witnessed by 15-year-old Brady Reiners during league play. When Hogen hit the shot, he told Reiners it would be around the green or on it.
But the pair couldn't find the ball when surveying the green.
"We couldn't find it and Brady says check the cup, which you hear all the time if you can't find your ball around the green," Hogen said. "I laughed at him actually. So I walked up and my ball was sitting in the bottom of the cup. I was very much shell shocked and I looked down, I said 'Holy crap, it's in here.' "
The two celebrated the moment and Reiners snapped a picture to commemorate the feat.
"It was a really cool experience for him because it was his first hole-in-one he's ever gotten to see," Hogen said. "It's the first one he ever witnessed and it also happened to be on a par 4, which is pretty cool and pretty special for both of us."
Hogen, who hails from Vermillion, has been golfing "before I can remember" and played college golf at Ferris State University in Michigan. Hogen's father, Kirk, was the former head professional at Vermillion's Bluffs Golf Course.
Brett Hogen, who currently works at Menards in the receiving department, was a former golf professional in Georgia and Florida. In addition to his latest hole-in-one, he's recorded six aces in Georgia, two in Florida and one in Michigan.