TERRE HAUTE —
It’s no secret that Mark’s Par Three is not the most difficult golf course in Vigo County.
But it’s enjoyable for beginners and golfers of modest skill levels and it doesn’t lack for activity during warm-weather months.
Open since 1964, it’s had its fair share of players test their skills, probably several better than 43-year-old Brian Brown of Terre Haute.
“I’m a hacker,” Brown admitted over the weekend. “I just go out and have fun.”
Yet last week, Brown accomplished a feat that had never been done at Mark’s Par Three, according to co-owner Candy LaGrange McCord.
He fired two holes-in-one in one week.
“Sometimes I can get it out there,” Brown told me modestly. “If I have a strongpoint in golf, it’s probably my driver.”
McCord said the previous shortest time between holes-in-one came in August 2011 when Mike Stuck of West Terre Haute shot two within 10 days.
But not two in the same week.
On the morning of Sunday, June 9, Brown used a 9-iron to ace the 128-yard 17th hole. It was his first career hole-in-one and witnesses were Sonny Bennett, Terry Garrett and John York.
“I was very surprised,” recalled Brown, a former Vigo County School Corp. custodian who has been unemployed since February. “I didn’t think it was going to go in. I thought it was going to stop rolling before it got to the hole. When it went in, I threw the club in the air and raised my hands. Then they [Bennett, Garrett and York] shook my hand.”
Brown followed that up by posting a birdie on the 18th hole, even though he acknowledged that putting is one of his weaknesses on the links.
Brown also played golf last Tuesday, Thursday and Friday — he has a lot of free time with no job — but he did not register a hole-in-one on those days.
Then came Saturday afternoon when he approached the 102-yard 12th hole with a pitching wedge. His partner on this occasion was Carey Grimes.
You can guess what happened next.
“I hit the ball and it looked good,” Brown mentioned. “It landed about two feet to the left of the hole and it rolled in.”
Once again, Brown raised his hands and threw his club. Then Grimes told him it was only the second hole-in-one he had ever seen.
“I’ve been trying to slow down on my backswing,” Brown replied when asked if had had made any adjustments on his game lately.
Brown, who started playing golf when he was 20, said he sometimes goes to The Landing and Forest Park in Brazil for practice, occasionally competing in tournaments. But he usually finds himself back at Mark’s Par Three.
“Mark’s is a nice, little course,” he noted. “It’s close to home and I like it.”
Pressed for an explanation on how someone like him — a self-professed hacker — can shoot two holes-in-one in the same week when so many golfers go their whole lives without ever making one, Brown described it as luck.
“A fluke,” he continued, “whatever you want to call it.”
David Hughes can be reached after 4 p.m. by phone at 812-231-4224 or at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by fax at 812-231-4321. Follow Hughes on Twitter @TribStarDavid.