What is your Gold Medal golf moment?

In my 35 years of playing, spectating, and working in the golf business, here are my top three memories.  What are yours?

Gold Medal Moment:

In April 2010, my family and I were vacationing in Orlando, Florida and on the last day of our trip, my son Elliot and I decided to visit the Bay Hill club to view the course and purchase souvenirs.  Our final stop was the 18th green to see where all the storied finishes of the Bay Hill Classic had taken place and as we approached from the cart path I noticed a very familiar figure swinging down in the fairway – Arnold Palmer.  I said, “Elliot, get the camera!” and we hurried over to watch him finish.  After Arnie putted out we walked up to him and introduced ourselves and shook his hand.  He was tired from a hot day in the sun and a little perturbed about the bogey he just carded but was very gracious when I asked to take a few pictures with Elliot and myself.  We briefly chatted and I learned that he had shot 81 and still took his playing partners for a few bucks.  I told him I was a huge lifelong fan and congratulated him on hosting such an excellent event year after year.  Arnie thanked us and went back to wrap up with his group.  Man, was I juiced for the rest of the day!  As I reflected on my long association with the game, could not think of a finer moment.

With Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill Club. April 2010

Silver Medal Moment:

My greatest hot streak ever was during the summer in the early 1990’s (actual year escapes me.)  I shot even-par 70 in a warm up round on a Friday at my local muni and then followed with  rounds of 69-70 on the weekend to win the 36-hole stroke play club championship.  I’ve since carded a couple of random scores of 68 on the same course, but have never enjoyed back to back to back successes in the same regard.  It was a bit surreal, as if a strange calmness had taken over my body.  While I was nervous in the club championship rounds, it never affected my play and I have never been able to duplicate that momentum in two consecutive rounds, much less three.

Bronze Medal Moment:

The first time I broke 80.  Actually shot a six-over 76 at Kenwood Golf and Country Club while working a summer job at the course in the early 1980s.  You work and play for so long and wonder when it will happen, and then you clear the magic number by four shots.  Funny how that works.

Honorable Mention: 

My first and only hole-in-one was in March of 1983.  Jarred a 7-iron on #7 at Needwood in Rockville, MD.  Several years ago, I actually made another on a third shot at #11 on Whitetail Golf Club in Bath, PA.  After sucking my first shot with a 7-iron back off the green and down into a ravine for a lost ball, I holed the provisional with a 6-iron.  A thrill but with a silver lining.

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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4 Responses to What is your Gold Medal golf moment?

  1. There have been so many over 50 years its very hard to narrow down but here are three good ones. Just growing up playing golf with my Dad was without a doubt number one. I have been fortunate enough to have 5 holes in ones and they have all been special ranging from getting one in a pea soup fog and one traveled 15 feet up a hill and slowly back down into the cup. But the one that came closest to being THE golden moment came in 2010, one of my worst playing years that started the search. I was playing a course called Stonecrest in Wampum Pa. having a pretty good front 9 and messing up the back nine with 3 straight bogeys when i game to a downhill 180 yard par 3 and hit a 6 iron 6 inches short of the hole.Then followed that up with a second shot 3 wood on a 500 yard par 5 that hit the pin and stopped 6 inches behind the hole. I came that close to going 1, 2, on a par 3 and par 5. It is a goofy game.

  2. brianpenn says:

    Very cool stories! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nice story Brian, can not think of anything for myself that would even equal your event

    • brianpenn says:

      Hey, it’s not a competition 🙂 and it took me 30 years to hit my gold medal moment, and was completely by chance. Everyone who plays or watches has some special memory, large or small that qualifies, what’s yours?

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