A hole-in-one, one of the most illustrious feats in all of sports.
Gladstone Golf & Country Club witnessed their course's first hole-in-one of the year last week, and it came from a teenager from Sandy Bay First Nation. Drake Starr knocked in a tee shot for the first time in his young golfing career.
"I hit the shot, and it felt really good off the base. I walked up to the green and couldn't see my ball, so I thought I overshot it," Starr explains. "I was walking around looking for my ball, and I couldn't find it, so I went back to grab my clubs. I was going to take the drop by the bridge, but I noticed a ball mark about ten feet away from the pin, right in line with it. I walked up, and it was in the hole. I didn't believe it at first. It felt surreal."
Starr went back to the clubhouse to grab a witness for his hole-in-one. He says the staff didn't believe him until they saw it themselves.
While any hole-in-one is an incredible accomplishment, Starr's was a little more impressive than your average one as he found the hole from the tee on a par 4.
"It was on hole 4. It was about 350 (yards) to the green," Starr continues. "I didn't expect it to go in. I wasn't playing too well on the first three holes, but on the fourth hole, I said, 'Drake, it's time to step it up a little bit.' I got a little more aggressive, and it paid off there."
Starr says the rest of the day was more like the first three holes as he was in shock from the hole-in-one for the rest of his round. Starr is quite familiar with the golf course in Gladstone as he goes to school in town and says he and his friends would practice their game on spares very often.
The Sandy Bay product is proud of how far he's come in the sport of golf since he started taking it seriously three years ago. Not only has he hit his first hole-in-one as a 17-year-old, Starr is also one of just two Manitobans in the 19U age group to qualify for Team Manitoba at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG).
"My mom signed me up for it. I don't really know how to do that stuff, so my mom is always coming in clutch. We went to Teulon and Pine Falls for two qualifiers," says Starr. "The first day in Pine Falls, I shot a 77. The day in Teulon, I shot a +2, 74. This all still feels like a dream to me. When I tried out last summer, I didn't expect this to come so fast. Time really flew by."
With all the success he has seen at such a young age, Starr hopes that golf can become more than just a passion of his.
"I was talking with one of the guys that went to the University of Manitoba for golf, and he said I should look into it. Honestly, I'm considering pursuing a career in golf. It's surreal that in only three years, you can get to a national level."
While Starr is looking to do well at NAIG in Halifax, his main focus is enjoying his time and making memories in the process.