Well, it seems like summer is finally here! The grass is growing. The trees are green. And the weather is finally warm.
And in the golf world, summer is ushered in by the arrival of Jack Nicklaus’ tournament at Muirfield Village, in Dublin — the Memorial.
Every year since the tournament started in 1976, Jack Nicklaus and his “Captain’s Club,” a group of individuals who act independently of the tournament itself, select one or more individuals to honor for their contribution to the game of golf.
This year the committee selected none other than Annika Sorenstam. And while I regret not being there in person, I wouldn’t be doing my weekly duties if I didn’t at least comment on the fact that our very own Jerry McGee gave his daughter-in-law’s introduction speech. To no one’s surprise, the feedback for Jerry’s speech has been nothing but absolutely positive.
As a Mahoning Valley golfer, please let me say: Congratulations Annika on your tremendous honor and congratulations to Jerry on the amazing speech.
With all that said, I’d like to also take a moment to share a thought on a newer trend that I now support: Hole-in-one insurance.
I play most of my golf at The Lake Club, where this concept was introduced a few years ago. The concept is simple enough.
When someone gets a hole-in-one, it’s customary for that person to “buy drinks” for everyone inside. I can’t tell you where it started or how long it’s been the “norm,” but that’s the deal. Get a hole in one, buy drinks all night.
To me, it seems a bit punishing. Why should the person who hit the great (or lucky) shot be forced to buy drinks for everyone else? Well, I’m happy to say that golf clubs have begun to agree with that sentiment and have recently started to adopt a hole-in-one insurance program to help remedy the “punishment.”
At The Lake Club, the insurance is as equally simple as the punishment. Rather than force the player to buy drinks all night, the club charges all golfing members $5 and that money can be used for the required drink purchases.
I know it’s a stretch to tie these two thoughts together, but I bring this up because Friday evening I was lucky enough to have a hole-in-one on the ninth hole at The Lake Club. I was playing a nine-hole match against my brother Justin and finished with an ace on the recently renovated hole.
Uunfortunately, I still lost my match!
Getting a hole-in-one is always a thrill. But getting a one on this “new” hole was extra special because of the “rock” sitting by the tee box.
A few months ago, Nicklaus and Sorenstam were in town for a United Way event at The Lake Club. During the program, they, along with Lake Club owner Ed Muransky, unveiled a plaque dedicating the new ninth hole to McGee for his help in designing the new hole and his lifelong contributions to the game of golf.
It was a well-deserved honor. And I’m very honored and excited to make the first ace on the hole.
But trust me when I say, I was even more excited about the hole-in-one insurance.
Jonah Karzmer is a former golf professional who writes a golf column for The Vindicator. In his spare time he sells commercial insurance for The Karzmer Insurance Agency and loves getting feedback on his weekly columns via email at firstname.lastname@example.org