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Sunday, September 24, 2023
Sports: A tale of two perfect golf shots
Tara Di Leo couldn't see her ball land in the hole. But that's where it ended up. SUPPLIED

Tara Di Leo’s most memorable golf shot (so far) ended up as a hole-in-one – and she didn’t even get to see it unfold.

Playing in the Business Ladies league on Monday, June 5, she hit a straight tee shot, right at the pin on the short par-3 fourth hole at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club.

But a large, dangerous sand trap in front of the green blocked everyone’s view of the hole itself.

“When I teed off, the ball bounced in the sand and then we weren’t able to see where it went,” Di Leo said.

When she and playing partners Bobbi Epp, Kim Legros and Susanna Brousseau walked up to the green, the ball was nowhere to be found.

Di Leo thought maybe it had bounced into a small bush behind the green.

“My teammate, Kim, went straight to the hole and started freaking out. It was in the hole,” she said.

“We were all screaming and jumping up and down. The next team getting ready to tee off probably thought we were all nuts, but we were all just so shocked and happy. We couldn’t believe it happened.”

A relative beginner who started playing about three years ago, she used her driver on the hole, which is about 110 yards from the yellow tees.

“I’m not a very strong golfer, so I needed all the power I could get. I think this is a one-time-only event for me.”

She’s never had an ace before. “Never even came close, only in mini-putt.”

“I’ve been friends with Bobbi for years, but just met Kim and Susanna, and we have a lot of fun. This is my first year in any league.”

The rest of her day on the course was “pretty much a mess after that. On the next hole, my ball went on the next fairway and almost hit someone,” she said.

Di Leo, a mother of two boys, Michael and Nicholas, grew up in NOTL and lives in town. She works for the Meridian Credit Union and took up golf with her husband Alex during the pandemic.

“My husband thought that it would be a good way to go on a ‘date night’ when the golf courses were one of the only things open.”

Her big shot was the second of three holes-in-one in a five-day stretch at the NOTL club.

And in a weird bit of serendipity, the first one, reported last week in The Lake Report, was scored by Epp’s mother, Lisa Allen, on June 2.

 “Bobbi was just talking about how we were going to channel her mom’s luck when it happened.”

Golf can be like that.


In contrast, Brian MacIntyre had an unobstructed view of his hole-in-one during the Tuesday WOOFs league, less than 24 hours after Di Leo nailed hers.

With the pin about 180 yards away, “I used my #4 hybrid and hit the ball with a fade swing hoping to land just short of the green and maybe settle on the front of the green,” MacIntyre told The Lake Report.

“My playing partners – Rick Janes, Brian Heer and Don Stewart – were impressed with the high fade and the guys were commenting on how the ball was heading for the pin.”

It landed and rolled exactly as he had hoped.

And when the ball disappeared into the hole, “I was speechless but the guys were full of congratulations.”

It was his second ace, having turned the trick in Florida about 10 years ago.

His #4 hybrid was working well for him that day.

“I used the same club to chip onto the green on #4 and #5, with the ball ending in pickup range both times,” he said.

“The next time I used the #4 hybrid was on the ninth and I guess the club got tired of missing the hole,” he joked.

It was a classic way to finish things off. An eagle from wayyy back – a bit like newly minted Canadian Open champ Nick Taylor.

MacIntyre said he’s been golfing seriously for about 35 years and he and his wife Marion have lived in NOTL for three years.

His eldest son, Ross, is a musician with the Shaw Festival and dad enjoys golfing with him and Marion.

He said his foursome enjoyed a beer in the clubhouse after the round. Later, he and his wife had a celebratory dinner at the Prince of Wales.



Jim McMacken just can’t do much wrong on the golf course these days, it seems.

He’s been in the winner’s circle almost every week in every league he plays in.

And last Thursday, he and Patrick Craig shot identical 1-over par 37s to lead all competitors in the NOTL Golf Club’s men’s league.

Stephen Levy and Todd Watson cashed in by accumulating 23 points in modified Stableford scoring.

Other winners: Al Demray (longest drive #1), John Kozik (closest to the 150 on #2), Paul Jacot (closest to the pin #4), Doug Hernder and Harry Huizer (longest putts on #6 and #7 respectively) and Reg Kennedy (closest to the pin #9).

Net skins winners were: Dan Regan (#1), Sam Ridesic (#3) and Ben Berti (#6). Gross skins, all birdies, went to: Craig (#2), Rob Reimer (#5), Huizer (#7) and Stephen Warboys (#8).

Meanwhile, the team of Suzanne and Charlie Rate and Janice and Jim McMacken shot an even-par 36 in the Friday Couples league scramble.

They were followed by Maria and Brodie Townley and Sue and Dave Gagne (38) and Carroll and Ted Baker and Margot Hickson and Ian Reece (39).

The foursomes of Sheila and Larry Blight, Susan and Gord Horne, plus the Baker, Hickson and Reece group won honorable mention for parring the ninth hole. All players could only use a 9 iron for every shot, including putting.

Closest to the pin winners on #4 were Bill Smethurst and Deborah Williams while the Gagnes sank the longest putts – Dave on #7 and Sue on #8.

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