There's no exact science to making a hole-in-one. Unless your name is Dan Patterson of Parkersburg and you happen to be standing on the No. 4 tee at Worthington Golf Course in Parkersburg.
Exactly two weeks ago, Patterson and his golfing buddy Nick Guice decided to get nine holes in before snow was scheduled to hit the Mid-Ohio Valley later that evening. The temperature hovered in the 40s and ground conditions were damp.
Guice had just completed his shift at Jefferds Corporation in Parkersburg. Little did he know what was about to transpire that same afternoon.
As the two gentlemen arrived at No. 4, Patterson took out his 9-iron on the 144-yard hole. Somewhat intriguing considering he used a 6-iron on this very same hole in the late 80s and an 8-iron in the late 90s.
But just as he had done twice before at this very same spot, his drive landed 6 inches from the pin before settling into the bottom of the cup.
"It just so happened that when I hit it, we could see a splash of water come out of the hole," Patterson said.
Three different irons, yet same distance with identical results. The first ace occurred in 1987 followed by a second one in 1998.
"The first one actually hit in front of the pin, rolled behind the pin then backed up and went in," Patterson said. "The second one rolled 10 feet then fell in."
All told, Patterson has six hole-in-ones to his credit. His most memorable one occurred in Myrtle Beach, S.C. His witnesses on that particular day happened to be his father (Pete Patterson) and his son (Stuart Patterson).
"It always comes as a surprise when the ball goes in," Dan Patterson said. "At first, you almost don't believe it went in. You're thinking, maybe it went over the green because you can't see the ball."
At 56 years old, Patterson has been dealing with some health issues related to his back. Yet, when the warm weather hits he will average three to four rounds of golf per week.
Worthington Golf Course is his home course, and even though he seems to own the fourth hole he believes luck has plenty to do with his feat of three hole-in-ones on the same hole.
"People have told me that for every hole-in-one you make, the odds to make another one get better," said Patterson, who is a former golf coach at VanDevender Middle School. "You never know when it will happen - you never expect it, so when it does happen you live the moment and enjoy it for what it's worth.
Eggs, sausage and bacon are also on the menu at the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast.
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org