MINT HILL, NC – According to American Hole ‘n One, the odds of your average golfer getting a hole in one are about 12,500 to 1.
Amateur golfer Craig Folnsbee defied those odds this summer, earning his eleventh career hole in one at Pine Lake Country Club. Even more remarkable, Folnsbee earned two holes in one in a single week, sinking the tenth on a Tuesday and the eleventh on a Thursday. It was only two or three months prior that Folnsbee sunk number nine, making three holes in one in a short three-month period.
“That really is pretty bizarre!” admits Folnsbee. “A lot of people play golf their whole life and never have any.”
Folnsbee himself has played golf, a sport he enjoys for its camaraderie and competitiveness, for about fifty years. A Mint Hill resident since January of 1986, Folnsbee joined Pine Lake Country Club in the fall of the same year. Ten of his eleven holes in one have occurred at Pine Lake. Now that Folnsbee is retired, he plays at Pine Lake three or four times a week.
There is no one more surprised by his success than Folnsbee himself. “You’re always surprised if it goes in,” says Folnsbee. “I tend to hit the ball pretty straight. I don’t hit it particularly long, but I’ve always hit it pretty straight. But you never get up there and think, ‘I’m gonna get a hole in one.’”
Reflecting on his accomplishments on the green, Folnsbee says that it’s hard to say what has made him so successful. “I think most holes in one are, frankly, luck,” he admits. “I think I’ve been very fortunate to get that many holes in one. These guys were all kidding me when I had that second one in one week that I needed to go buy a lottery ticket or something!”
Folnsbee has a long way to go to catch Mancil Davis, who is generally recognized as the all-time record holder with fifty-one well-documented career holes in one, but with a little more luck, he might make it to an even dozen soon!