Southwest Florida golf column: Naples woman makes two aces in four-hole span

Kim Spreng and her husband Rick went out to play a quick nine holes on April 26 on The Sabal Course at The Club at The Strand.

Spreng had no idea how memorable that was going to turn out.

Neither did Kathy Beers when she played at two different courses within a week last month.

Spreng, 53. used a pitching wedge and made a hole-in-one on the 78-yard No. 5.

"The ball's in flight and Rick called and said 'It's going to be a hole-in-one' and I said 'No' and it went in," Spreng said. "It was pretty cool."

Three holes later, Spreng stepped up on the 80-yard No. 8 with her pitching wedge again.

"(Rick) was in the golf cart and he couldn't see the green, but he could see the flight of the ball, and he said 'Oh, another hole-in-one,'" she said. "I just shook my head yes. He said I don't see the ball, and I said 'No, it's in the cup.' "It's pretty fun. He's still looking for his first."

Spreng is now up to three. Her first was at her home club in Ashland, Ohio, a few years ago. The Sprengs have been coming to Southwest Florida since the late 1990s, bought a place in 2011, and are now retired.

"I played through high school and when I was working, I quite for a while and then started back up probably 15 years ago," Spreng said. "I started playing more and since we retired a couple of years ago. When you live on a golf course, it makes it a lot easier to play more."

Beers, 73, was playing in the Women's Gulf Coast Interclub tournament at Worthington Golf & Country Club in Bonita Springs on April 15. 

"It was our second hole (No. 7), and it was a 119-yard par 3 up a hill and into the wind," Beers said. "I hit it a 7-iron and it just kind of went over the ridge and we never saw it again."

Beers almost had more excitement. No. 5, a par 3, was their final hole. She hit the flagstick and stopped a foot to the right of the hole.

Ellen Bonn, Mary Ann Rohloff, Mary Pendergast witnessed that one.

A week later, at almost the same time of day, Beers was at her home club, Highland Woods Golf & Country Club, and she came to No. 5, a 93-yard par 3.

"I hit a 9-iron and it just kept rolling around and went in the hole," she said. "We saw that one. I've been playing golf for 50 years and bemoaning the fact that I've never had a hole-in-one."

Shirley Wood, Marianne Patton, and Wendy Gardner witnessed that ace.

Beers' strong string has continued. On Sunday, her ball went over the edge of the hole on a par 3 and stopped a foot behind.

"All of a sudden, it's been working," said Beers, who will head back north to Oconomowoc Golf Club in Wisconsin.

Joe Fitori and Jim Fahey had a different twist on a unique golf feat.

While playing in the same group at Pelican Marsh, Fahey made a hole-in-one on No. 4 from 137 yards out with an 8-iron. Later in the round, Fitori made a double eagle on the 16th hole. Bob Call and John Weaver witnessed each.

Open qualifier on Thursday: Eagle Creek Golf & Country Club will host the area's U.S. Open local qualifier Thursday.

“We are proud to represent Southwest Florida as a qualifying course and work with the FSGA for what we anticipate being a great day of golf.” Eagle Creek head professional Jeff Jackson said. “This tournament attracts the best golfers from around the world with the dream of qualifying for the U.S. Open and a trip to Pebble Beach.”

Eagle Creek was just announced as a finalist for “Best Golf Course” in Naples by the Readers of Gulfshore Life Magazine for the second year in a row.

The 117th U.S Open Championship will be held June 10-16 at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California.

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