Winning just a sleeve of golf balls in the putting contest before his round convinced Pat Luscombe it was going to be a good day.
And looking at the 2012 Jeep Unlimited Wrangler, one of the hole-in-one-prizes at the Kalamalka Rotary Community Golf Day Sunday at the Vernon Golf and Country Club, as he went to the first tee, Luscombe jokingly wondered if organizers would let him borrow the jeep to go to Revelstoke for a golf outing with a friend.
A few hours later, Luscombe had his new ride.
The chief building inspector and bylaw enforcement manager for the Regional District of North Okanagan aced the par-3, 153-yard 14th hole to win the hole’s special hole-in-one prize, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, from Vernon Dodge Jeep.
“I sure didn’t hit it as straight as I wanted to,” laughed Luscombe Monday at the Vernon Golf and Country Club while accepting congratulations and awaiting the keys to his new ride. “I hit it to the left edge of the green but I knew it was going to be on the green and I know on that hole, the ball will drain to the hole.”
Playing with Mike Dallyn, Gord Harshenin and Robert Sterry, Luscombe watched the ball funnel towards the hole, and nobody in the foursome was saying a word.
“Then it disappeared, and everybody went nuts,” said Luscombe. “We were all jumping up and down.”
Considering himself an average golfer, Luscombe shot a 47 on the front nine, and went par-double bogey-bogey-par to kick off the back before stepping up to the 14th tee, which was playing at the front of the tee boxes.
He took out his Power Bilt 8-iron, placed his Nike ball on the tee, and took a swing towards a milestone.
It was Luscombe’s first-ever hole-in-one – he did see Dallyn drain an ace playing in a group behind at the Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club’s executive course – and the first ace of the three-year golf event.
Luscombe finished the final four holes with 5-5-3-7 to end up 2-under on the par 3s, and with an overall score of 88.
“The last four holes were just a blur, I don’t even remember hitting the balls,” laughed Luscombe, who shared the news with his disbelieving bride, Dawn, when he got home.
“I can’t tell you what I said when he told me, but I’m never going to complain about him golfing again,” said Dawn.
The new Jeep will replace an old, but reliable, 1995 blue Dodge Dakota pick-up, which has more than 427,000 kilometres on it, and carries the Luscombe aluminum fishing boat.
The ace was the perfect way to wrap up Kal Rotary’s three-year commitment to the event, which helped raise funds for the North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap United Way.
“It’s a great way to finish,” said Rotarian Darryl O’Brian who, along with fellow Rotarian and co-event organizer Bruce Shepherd, missed Luscombe’s magical shot.
“We had just left the course and were on our way home,” said O’Brian. “We found out when we got home.”
Vernon Dodge Jeep general manager Dan Loewen didn’t find out until Monday morning.
“I was blown away,” said Loewen. “Since I joined Jeep in 1998, I think we do two or three of these things a year, and this is the first time somebody has won a vehicle. It’s just great, a win-win for everyone.”