by Dennis Dalman
Not many golfers manage to get a hole-in-one, not even in a lifetime of golfing, but what’s really rare is the golfer who gets his first hole-in-one and wins a car, too – right on the spot.
Sound farfetched? Well, it’s the truth. That uncanny combination of skill and luck happened to Jim Peterson of Sartell recently.
It happened at hole number 11 when Peterson was golfing in the “All Sports Booster Scramble,” a fundraising event for the Sartell-St. Stephen School District’s Booster Program. There were about 150 players and about 30 scramble teams competing that day.
Peterson was part of a five-man team. After hole number 10, team member Troy Cameron took the first shot at hole number 11. Then Peterson stepped up. At the tee, he decided to use his Nike Hybrid CPR 22-degree club. After a smooth swing, Peterson smacked the ball, which went sailing, sailing high into the air toward hole number 11, which was nearly 190 yards away, darned near the length of two football fields.
Peterson’s teammates squinted, peering into the distance.
“Good shot!” they all exclaimed as they saw the ball landing so near to hole number 11. They all excitedly speculated it might even have been a hole-in-one.
“Nah!” Peterson said. “Can’t be.”
Just then, the men saw a woman near hole number 11 jumping up and down, waving with frantic joy and yelling.
“It WAS a hole-in-one!” one of the team members yelled.
“Nah, can’t be,” Peterson was thinking.
The men hopped onto their golf carts and scooted toward hole number 11. By that time, some of the golfers waiting at hole number 11 heard the woman’s commotion and hurried over to hole number 11.
When Peterson arrived, there was a wild flurry of high-fives, hugs, handshakes and all manner of spirited congratulations. The woman, Joan Karpel, was an official observer. She verified, with her own two eyes, that Peterson’s ball had bounced on the green, then bounced off the number 11 flagpole and plunked right down into the hole below.
Everyone, most of all Peterson, exclaimed in befuddled wonderment, “WHAT are the chances of that happening?!”
For getting a hole-in-one, Peterson also won a brand-new Toyota Corolla.
“That was my first hole-in-one,” Peterson told the Newsleader. “It’s something I never even dreamed about because I knew it would never happen.”
Surprise, surprise – it did.
Peterson called his wife, Christine. She and two of their three children (Zachary and Katelyn) rushed to the golf course to hug their hero. Daughter Bree was in Little Falls at the time, visiting a friend.
“At first, I just couldn’t believe it,” Christine said. “Jim is really a good guy, and I believe good things happen to good people. He’s always willing to help out anybody. He’s a very deserving guy. I call that win an example of good karma.”
Peterson is still a bit dazed about that amazing moment.
“It was my first hole-in-one,” he said. “My dad got his first hole-in-one at the age of 72 in Grand Rapids, where I grew up. He passed away, but I have to kind of wonder if maybe he helped me out on this one.”
Peterson is a financial advisor for Bremer Investments. Christine, who grew up in Sartell as Christine Omann, taught second-grade for 15 years at Pleasant View Elementary in Sauk Rapids before quitting to become a full-time, stay-at-home mom.