Eric and Ryan and their first-ever hole-in-one


By Mark Huber - [email protected]m



Eric Conley recorded his first-ever golfing hole-in-one Thursday at the Elks 797 Golf Course. But there’s more to the story than just one shot.

Eric Conley recorded his first-ever golfing hole-in-one Thursday at the Elks 797 Golf Course. But there’s more to the story than just one shot.


Sometimes things just can’t be explained away or thought of as mere coincidence.

Take Eric Conley’s first-ever hole-in-one.

Playing with Jeff Hensley, Travis Mellinger, Landon Mellinger and Justin Young, Conley and his team were 3-under par in the Thursday Night Golf League at the Elks 797 Golf Course.

As they came to No. 12, Conley set-up on the tee box and calmly swung an 8 iron like he’d done so many times before. The result this time was different. It was a hole-in-one.

Eric and his group weren’t certain of the ace immediately, though.

“There’s a big bunker in front of the green,” Conley said. “The pin was kind of in the back of the green so there was a little bit of a visibility issue.”

Conley thought his shot went long. Other felt like it went in the hole.

“I had my doubts because I’ve been playing so long without one,” he said.

As Hensley walked up on the green, he looked in the hole and noticed a ball.

“Were you playing a green ball?” Hensley yelled.

Conley said, “It’s kind of yellowish-green.”

Before Conley finished, it was confirmed what Hensley and the others believed.

“It’s in the hole, it’s in the hole,” Conley recalled Hensley screaming.

After things settled down, the rare golfing ace (Google search says odds are 12,500 to 1) came in to an even rarer perspective. In other words, the part that falls in to the not coincidence category.

Eric Conley lost his brother Ryan Conley on July 23, 2021 due to a cardiac event.

Eric’s hole-in-one came on May 12, 2022.

Ryan Conley was born May 12, 1981.

“As soon as I thought about the hole-in-one that’s the first thing that popped in to my mind … this is my brother’s birthday,” Conley said. “Quite a few tears were shed after that hole.”

It gets better.

Said Conley, “On the next hole, as I was writing down the scores I said, ‘We’re 5-under par through 12 holes.’ Then I checked the scorecard and from the back tee placement the hole is 181 yards.”

5-under par.

12 holes.

(1)81 yards.

5. 12. 81.

A myriad of emotions, thoughts were coursing through Conley’s very being by this time.

Happy. Sad. Nauseous.

It took a while for him to settle down.

“For me personally, the next three holes, I was so emotional I couldn’t hit a golf ball very good,” he said.

It didn’t really matter, though.

On this day, that one moment, the tee shot on No. 12 with approval from above, made all others meaningless.

“I believe this was a gift from my brother,” he said.

Eric Conley recorded his first-ever golfing hole-in-one Thursday at the Elks 797 Golf Course. But there’s more to the story than just one shot.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/05/web1_GLF_conleyace.jpgEric Conley recorded his first-ever golfing hole-in-one Thursday at the Elks 797 Golf Course. But there’s more to the story than just one shot.

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/05/web1_GLF_conleyace2.jpg

By Mark Huber

[email protected]

Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports

Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports