3.15 miles – That’s the accumulated distance that 35 golf balls hit by Ottawa’s Hole in One King Bob Henry have travelled from various tees to find a resting spot in the cups on greens throughout primarily Eastern Ontario.
With his thirty-five holes in one, Bob is in a special place not only in Eastern Ontario but also worldwide.
The odds of 12,500 to 1 for an amateur to score a hole in one were actually calculated by actuaries working for insurance companies offering hole-in-one coverage.
When you give consideration to those odds, you would have to think that he’s either very lucky or there is some skill involved.
When asked whether a hole-in-one is luck or skill, Bob reasons that a combination of the two comes into play. He attributes his hockey playing days and his hand/eye co-ordination for the skill portion of the equation.
He’s come a long way from the first set of left-handed clubs he bought at Laurentian Trading Post for $19.
First of all, he doesn’t play left-handed any more.
He had reasoned that because he played baseball and hockey left-handed, the same would be applicable in golf.
Bob indicated that he was working on his game and the late Carroll Boucher, co-owner of the 19th Tee Driving Range said to him, “You’re a terrific hockey player, but you are the worst golfer I’ve ever seen. I know what you’re doing wrong.”
Bob was a little surprised at this comment but says, “Carroll went into the shop and came out with a set of right-hand clubs and that made all the difference in the world.”
Bob now plays with a set of TaylorMade M2 woods and irons, Callaway rescue clubs that have to be 30 years old and a Scotty Cameron putter.
Bob scored his first hole-in-one on July 1st, 1991 at the Kanata Golf & Country Club where he had recorded 19 aces during the time he was a member. Over the next five years Bob hit a dry spell but since then he has recorded at least one ace each year except for 2006 when he only played 20 games while suffering with a back problem.
Nine other golf courses are listed on Bob’s list of recorded holes-in-one. They are Pakenham (5), Greyhawk (2), The Marshes (2), Scottish Glen (2), Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club (1), Pine View (1), Grandview, Huntsville (1), Eagle Creek (1) and Maple Leaf Golf & Country Club in Port Charlotte, Florida (1).
Bob Henry’s expectation on every par three is to hole his tee shot. “I get a little pumped up on the par three tees,” explains Bob. “I’m a little disappointed when I only hit the green and I end up putting for birdie. I hit the ball with a low draw without taking a divot and my ball when it hits the green is generally rolling towards the cup.”
I’m sure that I speak for a majority of Flagstick Golf Magazine readers when I say that I wish that could hit most par 3 greens just to have a chance at a birdie putt.
“There’s always excitement when the ball disappears into the cup, whether it was #1 or the last one,” says Bob. ” You hit the ball. You watch it go into the hole. The thrill is picking the ball out of the hole and putting a number on it. I have kept every hole-in-one ball to this day. You never get tired of getting a hole-in-one.”
Bob is retired now from his various jobs in automobile marketing and he spends much of his time (4 days a week) playing golf along with his wife Judi, his son Brian and various friends at the Pakenham Highlands Golf Club. At the time of this interview Bob was approaching 100 games this year. He has also kept in touch with some close friends at his old Kanata club and occasionally gets out for a game with them.
When asked about any other fond memories in golf, Bob replied, “Apart from my holes in one, I think my fondest memory in golf was when I went to Scotland in 2002. That had to be the thrill of a lifetime. We went for two weeks and played 13 rounds of golf. We played all of the top golf courses in Scotland.” Just to set the record straight, there were no holes in one recorded by Bob on that trip. In this writer’s opinion, that was too bad, for what a memory that would have been to add to an already full bank.
Stay tuned for future notifications about Ottawa’s Hole in One King Bob Henry. He’s still a young man with many more holes in one left to record and much more accumulated mileage to add to the 3.15 miles already registered.
/ Joe McLean @FlagstickJoe