Some golfers go a lifetime without making a hole in one.
It's an anomaly in the sport, much like hitting an inside-the-park home run in baseball or a goalie scoring a goal in hockey.
But in more than 75 years of playing golf, Dick Gwinner has 10 holes in one to his credit, including his fourth at Chippewa Golf Course in Curtice earlier this month.
Since 1957, Gwinner has hit 10 holes in one, including four at his home course of Chippewa, a par-72, 18-hole course in Curtice. His most recent one occurred June 5 with a 7-wood on the 133-yard second hole at Chippewa.
"It's a talking point," Gwinner, 84, said last week, immediately after he completed a round of golf at Chippewa. "I get teased about it a lot, but most of the guys I golf with, they're not envious, but I know they'd like to get a hole in one too. Think about it, though. Most golfers play for years and never get a hole in one."
A Rossford resident and a lifelong golfer, Gwinner began golfing when he was eight years old and worked at a golf course growing up. After he got married, he worked at the Toledo Jeep plant, and it would seem as if his time for golfing would diminish. But because his shift ended at 2:30 in the afternoon, he still got the chance to golf several days a week after work in a recreational league. Gwinner also worked as a golf pro for 27 years and kept his pro status until 1976 -- the same year he became a member at Chippewa.
Since 1957, Gwinner has had nine holes in one in Ohio and one in Florida. In addition to the four holes in one at Chippewa, he has five in the Toledo area: two at Bay View Retirees Golf Course, one at Detwiler Park Golf Course, one at Tamaron Country Club, and one at Bowling Green Country Club.
"The first one was a little bit thrilling," Gwinner said. "But after that, it gets more routine."
Gwinner's luck also runs in the family. In a letter to the Blade in 2003, Gwinner wrote that his daughter, Jackie Hill, had an ace at Hidden Hills Golf Club in Woodville, his son-in-law, Don Hill, Sr., had one at Detwiler, and his grandson, Joe Gilreath, also had a hole in one at Chippewa. He joined his family this weekend to watch his grandchildren compete in a golf tournament in the Cleveland area.
Otherwise, Gwinner doesn't boast about his golfing accomplishments, but he admits he's able to beat his age "pretty consistently." In fact, he shot an 81 Thursday at Chippewa.
The former golf pro offers this much advice not just to those who aspire to hit a hole in one, but to those looking to improve their golf game.
"Just keep practicing," Gwinner said. "It's a game in which you have to practice. I spent a lot of time practicing, and it paid off."
Contact Rachel Lenzi at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.