Vernon’s Mark Johnson (centre) celebrates his first hole-in-one with playing partners Dominic Meyer (left) and Devon Sales-Parno at Hillview Golf Course Thursday, Aug. 29. (Hillview Facebook photo)

Okanagan pre-teen sinks hole-in-one

Mark Johnson’s drive on Hillview’s 190-yard fifth hole one-hopped into the cup for first-ever ace

Dominic Meyer should consider renting himself out as a good luck charm at Vernon’s Hillview Golf Course.

For the second time in a year, Meyer played witness to one of the sport’s most exciting moments: a hole-in-one at Hillview. This one was recorded Thursday, Aug. 29, by playing companion Mark Johnson on the par-3, 190-yard fifth hole, the second-longest hole on the front-nine.

“He saw another one last year. He was a with a friend who got a hole in one on Number 3,” said Johnson, 12, a few hours after his first-ever ace.

Joined by Meyer and Devon Sales-Parno, Johnson had a couple of pars and a bogey as he approached the tee on No. 5. He watched as the other two played their shots, then Johnson, repping a legendary Montreal Expos tri-colour baseball hat, pulled out his driver.

READ MORE: Vernon pro sinks hole in one in support of ALS

“It felt really good when I hit it,” said Johnson, a left-handed golfer. “The launch angle was nice and the ball was heading right toward the flag, so I thought there might be a chance it would go in.”

The ball landed on the right side on the corner of the green, took one hop left and landed in the hole, though the trio wasn’t sure if the ball had gone in.

“We lost sight of it and we thought it might have bounced over the flag, but we were hoping it went in,” said Johnson, whose first-ever ace was confirmed when he and his buddies ran up to the hole and started jumping for joy and shouting when Johnson pulled the ball out of the cup.

READ MORE: Spallumcheen golfer collects first-ever ace

“It was so exciting, I was so jumpy,” he said. “It felt great to finally get one.”

Johnson came close to an ace about four years ago on the par-3, 130-yard eighth hole. His drive hit the flagstick but the ball did not drop in the cup.

The trio played only nine holes – “It was really hot” – and Johnson, who turns 13 on Sept. 8 and begins high school at Vernon Secondary on Tuesday, finished the round with some more bogeys and one par.

As word reached the clubhouse of his ace, Hillview head pro Myles Johnson (no relation, though junior Johnson’s dad Lance said the golf pro needs to work on his card playing) presented Mark Johnson with a Hole In One mug, and Hole In One Hillview pin for his shirt, plus a sleeve of Titleist Pro V X golf balls.

Johnson also got a free Pepsi.


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