Most often, a casual golfer goes a lifetime without seeing his or her ball go from tee to cup in just one shot. But that has now happened to Burt Cannon of Ronan a half-dozen times.
Burt carded the sixth ace of his amateur career last Thursday, Oct. 25 on the par-3, 130-yard No. 9 hole at the 27-hold Polson Golf Course. Just before 5 p.m., he teed up his blue-marked Titleist, pulled out his 8 iron and took a swing like he’s done thousands of times. This shot was on line as he and playing partner Kent Luedtke watched it bounce onto the green.
“I thought I hit it a little hard, but I thought I saw it go in (the cup),” Burt said the next day. So Burt and Kent pulled their golf cart up beside the green and walked on. Burt’s ball was nowhere in sight. They both walked to the cup, just to see if it had actually went in.
“I looked down and there was my ball, marked with blue,” Burt said, nestled against the pin. His reaction: “Oh my goodness!” A hole-in one, he thought. The third wheel on their threesome, John Fisher, came driving up in his cart to join them on the round, just after they confirmed the ace. He joined the celebration.
“It was a nice day. It was out of the blue, really neat, it was sure unexpected,” Burt said. He has played many times in inclement weather, like we’re been having this fall. And he has not one, but two heaters in his enclosed golf cart — just like the comforts of home.
The tradition is for an amateur golfer to “buy a round” of drinks for everyone on the course at the time of a hole-in-one. But Burt got off easy, since he and Kent were the only golfers on the course at the time — John was just about to begin play that day.
Burt is the owner and operator of the Pizza Café, on the north edge of Ronan. So he called his manager and said everyone there got a “free” beer or soda. His first call was to Polson Golf Course pro Roger Wallace to report the feat.
“I’ve been playing (golf) most of my life,” said the 71-years-young Burt, who said this was his first hole-in-one since Nov. 1 three years ago. “I play 75 to 80 rounds a year (or more).”
His first ace was recorded while he was playing with his two sons and daughter in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where he would also have his second hole-in-one. Burt then had two aces within a month’s time, one at Buffalo Hills in Whitefish and the next at Meadow Lake in Columbia Falls. Burt’s fifth hole-in-one was at Polson, which he calls a “beautiful course.”
“My goal is to get ten,” as Burt talked about his series of aces.
For many years, Burt has had a job in which he goes in early, like 3 a.m. when he owned a donut shot, which allows him plenty of time for 18 holes, or more, after work. Nowadays, Burt is “semi retired,” and generally only works from 6 to 10 a.m. Then comes a pastime that is his true love, a round of golf. Cheers!