The JCHS Longhorn Golf Season kicked off last week in a travel match against the Sullivan East Raiders at Tri-Cities Golf Course in Blountville. Although East has been one of Johnson Countys tougher competitors in the past, the Longhorns handled themselves well, coming in eight strokes under the Raiders overall 177 to 185. Yet the real story behind the match came a few days earlier as Johnson Countys players were competing amongst themselves to establish top seeds.
Making a rough start with several tough miscalculated swings, junior Nathan Timbs was simply hoping to be pull his game together enough to earn a spot in the top six. Little did Timbs know that within the first few holes his outlook on the day was about to drastically change. Like most sports, golf is a mixture of experience tempered skill and pure luck. Fortunately, as Timbs stepped up to make his shot at Red Tail Mountains Par three hole number four he had ample amounts of both.
I had bogeyed the first three holes and was pretty mad, Timbs said. When I got to that hole I was just hoping to get it close and get a birdie. Yet what ultimately happened as Timbs took his first swing was every golfers dream, a hole-in-one. It was just two hops and it was in, Timbs reflected. I saw it disappear and I was going crazy. Its what every golfer wants to do. I just did what I always do, but I guess if you keep hitting good shots one will eventually go in. Its kind of weird. It helped me realize that I can do it, that I can be a good golfer, but now I expect to get hole-in-ones all the time.
Timbs shot was a 120-yard drive, an impressive feat even from a top ranked professional. While better than winning the lottery, the odds of landing the hole on a single swing are still very high. Because there is no way to exactly be sure of how many hole-in-ones there are at any given time, estimates vary depending on the source. However, reputable examples including Sports Illustrated have concluded the odds are at 45,000-to-1 for scoring a hole-in-one on a typical par-three golf hole.
A more scientific study conducted by Golf Digest had somewhat different numbers, but is still impressive nonetheless. According to that source the chances of an average player acing a 200-yard hole is 150,000 to 1, while making the shot on any given hole regardless of how easy or complex is 12,000 to 1. The same study found that even for a professional tour player the chances are still approximately 3,000 to 1. Regardless of how it is calculated one thing is certain, Timbs pulled off a shot that is very rare in the world of golf and certainly hasnt been seen in Johnson County for several years.
Not surprisingly the rankings quickly changed as the Longhorns prepared for Sullivan East. Timbs ended up coming in second just behind senior Blade Hampton, but the whole teams spirits seemed lifted as they made their way to Blountville. By the end of the day the young golfer ended up earning the top spot, coming in with a respectable 42 that tied with teammate Morgan Eggers. Several others on Johnson Countys team shot in the 40s as well with Nathaniel Graybeal finishing up with 46, Blade Hampton 47, and several others shooting 49 including Tristan Clawson and Brandon Vannoy.
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.