Father-son duo defies odds with three holes-in-one

According to a Golf Digest article published in 2005, the odds of an average golfer hitting a hole-in-one on a 150-yard hole is 80,000 to 1.

While this is more likely than winning the lottery, it still takes about 23,000 rounds to accomplish that feat, according to the same article.

With the odds so low to ace a hole, most people are considered fortunate if he or she gets one in a lifetime. So, what about getting three in quick succession?

The father-son duo of Nick and Jimmy Graham from Warren combined to pull off that feat, taking one shot to finish off a hole three times during an eight-day span from June 8 to June 15. Nick, 40, a city prosecutor in Warren, had two that sandwiched around the ace his 13-year-old son Jimmy shot.

“That’s what everyone was telling me – ‘Are you going to play the lottery? Because that’s amazing.’ ” Nick said. “Three holes-in-one in a week – it was just unbelievable. Couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”

Nick set the tone with his first-ever hole-in-one on June 8 on the No. 8 hole at Avalon Lakes Golf Course. Using a 6-iron, Nick drove the ball 176 yards and straight into the pin. No bouncing off the green, no rolling – just going from the tee to the cup. Jimmy, Nick’s father Jim, and Sunrise Inn owner Kenny Haidaris all witnessed the ace.

Nick repeated the feat on June 15 at the Trumbull County Country Club, practically right in the Grahams’ backyard on hole No. 14.

Using the 6-iron again, Nick drove the ball 173 yards and watched it take a few bounces before falling into the cup.

“As I was going up, (Jimmy’s) like, ‘You’re probably going to get it inside,’ ” Nick said. “So, I hit the ball, takes three bounces and right in the cup. We’re like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it!’ “

Nick said he was more proud of his son’s achievement than his own, which occured on June 8 – Jimmy’s 13th birthday.

Nick took his son out golfing at Squaw Creek Country Club to celebrate with a few family friends. When the group stepped up to hole No. 3, one of those friends poked fun at Jimmy, saying that he was the only one of the Grahams to not yet have a hole-in-one (Jimmy’s grandfather hit an ace two years prior). He offered to buy Jimmy his first car if he hit his first one on that hole.

Little did he know what would happen. Jimmy’s shot landed in front of the green, rolled up to the pin and fell right in the cup. Whether Jimmy will receive that car has yet to be determined, but he said that it was the last thing on his mind.

“Like shock,” Jimmy said of his reaction. “I didn’t know what happened.”

Jimmy may not have known how to react, but on a Saturday afternoon, the course was crowded. Everybody realized what they had witnessed and knew what to do when they saw the hole-in-one.

“The course was packed – guys in front of us all ran up to us and they were screaming because they knew it was the smallest guy in our group who hit it,” Nick said. “They all signed the scorecard. Everybody saw it.”

For a 13-year-old kid, this was a tremendous feat, but based on his progress participating in the sport for six years, it shouldn’t be so shocking.

Jimmy plays in tournaments for kids in his age group and has posted good scores. His best nine-hole round was a 36 he posted at Avalon, and his best 18-hole score came last summer in a tournament at Windmill Lakes in Ravenna, a 78.

Jimmy’s favorite golfers are Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler for two completely different reasons. He likes Woods because of his intensity and how hard he works, and he likes Fowler because of his wardobe.

Nick admitted that Jimmy is one of the best-dressed at the tournaments, but he’s pleased with the dedication Jimmy shows on the course.

“A few years ago, he decided on his own all summer,” Nick said of his son. “That’s fine by me. I got no problem with that. He practices a lot. Just got to get over a couple of hurdles mentally, but I’m sure he will eventually once he grows up a little bit.”

The duo was riding a high coming off those three holes-in-one, but Nick said every time is different on the golf course. They won’t hit the ball the same way every time.

“That’s what I tell him – you’re never going to have the perfect swing,” Nick said. “It’s always going to be a work in progress. Every time I go, I feel like I have a different swing. Just got to work with whatever you have on that day.”