Drake Starr is having one heck of a year on the golf course. The Sandy Bay First Nation product hit his second hole-in-one of the year at the Gladstone Golf & Country Club last week, and this time, he was able to enjoy the moment with a few friends.
"We were playing for some money, and I was going to use my pitching wedge, but I just decided to swing soft. I wasn't really hitting the ball too well on the first eight holes. When I got to the ninth tee box, I adjusted my swing a little bit. I thought it was money right off the club. I thought it'd be a tap-in," Starr explains. "I watched it bounce one time, and then it spun back and disappeared. My reaction was similar to the first time, I freaked out. The guys didn't believe me at first until they looked through the range finders and didn't see it on the green."
In July, the 17-year-old hit his first-ever hole-in-one, but he did so during a solo run. His friends didn't seem to believe him, so he had to make sure they were present before he did it again. Starr says they couldn't stop calling him lucky.
"It kind of felt the same way but not quite as special as the first one. It was still a special moment, especially getting two in less than a month-and-a-half," Starr continues. "This really shows that hard work pays off. I went from shooting 100's two years ago to shooting 70's now."
Starr says he never could've believed that he'd hit a hole-in-one before he turned 18, let alone two. However, now that he has done it, he'll be chasing that feeling forever.
"Maybe I can top it. I got really close, on the same hole, with the same club. I was within a foot. That would've been a good way to cap off the summer just two days after I got the last one."
While it's been an incredible year on the course for Starr in the grand scheme of things, he had a few struggles in the back half of August.
Starr was unable to finish the biggest tournament of his career due to an injury at the North American Indigenous Games. He also struggled during his last few rounds of the Westman Junior Golf Tour, stopping him from winning it in back-to-back years.
With that being the case, Starr says this hole-in-one couldn't have come at a better time.
"It's very encouraging. It's 12,500-1 odds for a hole-in-one, and I got two in a summer. So, obviously beating the odds for the average golfers," Starr continues. "With the nearest course being 45 minutes away from home, it's kind of hard for me to get out and play rounds. But, I've put the hard work in the offseason and during the season when I am at home, just hitting into a net or chipping around my yard. They do say hard work pays off, and I'm seeing that now."
Starr says he found a special spot for his first hole-in-one ball but he's unsure if he's going to put the new one alongside it.
"I have the hole-in-one ball for the Par 4, but I don't know if I'm going to keep the hole-in-one for the Par 3 just yet. I hit it on the first nine, and we ended up playing another 18 after that. I shot very well with that ball. So, I might keep going with it. Hopefully, I don't lose it."
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