Tim Johnson couldn’t contain his smile Wednesday.
The assistant PGA professional at Cragun’s Legacy Courses had reason to smile as he talked about a remarkable four-day golfing spree that began and ended with a hole-in-one.
Johnson’s third career ace happened Aug. 4 on the 168-yard 15th hole of the Dutch Legacy at Cragun’s. Johnson was playing with fellow PGA professionals Jesse Nelson, Jack Wawro and Mike Snow and former NHL player and accomplished golfer Shawn Chambers when he took a swing with his 8-iron and then watched in amazement.
“I had a small conversation with Jesse before and he said to me that he was going to make it,” Johnson said. “I said ‘OK’ and I didn’t think anything of it. I just stepped up and hit an 8-iron and it was just right of the pin. It was a good shot and spun straight left down the hill and fell.”
The group saw the ball fall into the hole and paused for a second. Then the disbelief started to fade. Despite being professionals, the amazement was still the same for the group, Johnson said.
For the average golfer, what happened next might be even more amazing.
“The next tee, I was teeing off and I was kind of nervous,” said Johnson. “I just thought, this is one of the most important shots of my career here because I just holed out and I need a good shot otherwise all I would hear was ‘Well, that was pure luck.’”
Johnson hit a solid drive on the par 5 16th and decided to go for the green in two.
“It was kind of my only option to go for it in two and so I hit it and as the ball is in mid air and going into the hazard I realized that it was still the ball that I just holed out with on the last hole,” Johnson said. “I decided to spend some time looking for that one, but I never did find it. I just thought, ‘That was kind of a knucklehead play there.’”
On the hole-in-one sheet faxed over from the golf course, which Johnson filled out himself, under the area where it says hole for the ball in award: There is a heavily highlighted NO.
On Monday, Aug. 6, Johnson tied for first in the Spirit of the Lakes Charity Pro-Am at Little Crow Country Club in Spicer. Then Aug. 7, Johnson hit gold again, this time at The Preserve at Grand View Lodge.
Johnson was playing with fellow golf employees when his foursome reached the 202-yard, eighth hole. Johnson took out his 5-iron.
“I was just thinking, get on the green,” said Johnson. “I was in a competitive match play game with Bobby Gaulke and he was just on the fringe, so I was thinking get on the green and maybe have a good chance to roll it in. I butter cut it up there. It was a perfect hit. We didn’t really see this one go in. We didn’t hear it. It was harder to see because we were farther away and we were into the sun a little bit.”
One person thought the ball went over the green. Another dared to say the ball went in the cup, but nobody really knew. The ball mark was three yards in front of the pin. But Johnson was in disbelief. He looked behind the green first and looked around until he finally conceded the possibility of it being in the cup.
“The reaction was just unbelievable,” said Johnson.
Johnson’s two previous aces were last year on the Dutch eighth hole and another in 2001 near Rochester.
As for the ball? Johnson kept that one.