Wendy Nickerson took out her putter, looked at the hole, and lined it up. And the ball went in.
Not bad. It happens thousands of times a day across Southwest Florida’s dozens of golf courses.
Considering she did it from 50 yards away and it was a hole-in-one, well that’s something else entirely.
“I use my putter every time on that hole,” Nickerson said. “I know I’m going to hit it straight.”
It happened again:Golfer makes rare two holes-in-one in the same round
Nickerson, who only has been playing golf for three years, made the putting ace on the par-3 18th hole on the Palmetto Course at The Glades Golf & Country Club on Feb. 2.
“It was so windy and cold that day,” she said. “We all had gloves on. We all had hats on. I hit it, and it went up this little hill, and the wind was blowing so much, it just blew it right in the hole. We were hysterical.”
The green is guarded by a bunker on the front left, and there is out of bounds to the right.
It was the second hole-in-one ever for Nickerson, who made one on No. 12 that she did not see go in the hole. She used a 5-wood for that back in March 2019.
But the one with the putter she saw go in. She thought.
“I still wasn’t sure,” he said. “I looked at my partner (Kay Thede-Hughes). She was jumping up and down with her arms in the air, so now I can jump.”
Nickerson moved down from south of Boston with her husband Donald, a firefighter for 35 years in the Hull Fire Department, five years ago, and she gave golf a shot, but didn’t like it.
“I’m never golfing again,” she said. “I’d rather shop.”
But she reconsidered.
“Now I love it,” she said.
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McNeill, Lamely get ready for Yuengling Open: Two-time Yuengling Open champion George McNeill, who also has a pair of PGA Tour victories, will play on the tour this week in the Puerto Rico Open, which is where he had one of those tour victories back in 2012.
Former FGCU golfer and three-time Yuengling Open champion Derek Lamely geared up for the Yuengling by playing in the Korn Ferry’s LECOM Suncoast Classic in Bradenton over the weekend. Lamely tied for 23rd, shooting 70-68-67-72/277.
While Lamely also is a former Puerto Rico Open champion, winning in 2010, he is not entered in the field there this week.
The Yuengling Open is March 13-14 at Fort Myers Country Club.
There are others with Southwest Florida ties in Puerto Rico.
Edward Figueroa, a former St. John Neumann and FGCU golfer, is again in the tournament. This will be the eighth time for the 27-year-old, who first played in it in 2012. He has yet to make the cut. Figueroa played on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica last year.
And there are four former Terra Cotta Invitational champions in the field: Peter Uihlein (2007), Emiliano Grillo (2011), Davis Riley (2014), and Chris Nido (2017).
Two other former champions are playing up the road in the WGC Championships at The Concession in Bradenton, that was moved from Mexico. Matt Kuchar was the winner in the second year in 1997, and Justin Thomas won in 2010. In the semifinals in 1997, Kuchar beat Sergio Garcia, who also is playing at The Concession.
The Terra Cotta is played at Naples National Golf Club, and this year’s is scheduled for April 23-25.
Wilderness’ Morrell headed to Women’s PGA Championship: Samantha Morrell, who spends her winters teaching as a professional at Wilderness Country Club in Naples, was one of eight LPGA and PGA professionals to qualify for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
The top eight at the PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie on Feb. 16 made it into the field of the Women’s PGA Championship, which is June 24-27 at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Morrell also teaches at The Milbrook Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, and played for Old Dominion. Morrell also qualified for the Women’s PGA Championship last year.
JGPA remains at Quail Creek: Junior Golf Performance Academy has signed a 5-year contract extension to remain headquartered at Quail Creek Country Club in North Naples.
The JGPA focuses on long-term development programs for junior golfers. Their professional staff is led by 14-time Junior World Championship coach, Spencer Graham III, PGA and TPI award-winning professional Thor Parrish, and a team of assistant professionals and golf management apprentices from Florida Gulf Coast University.
The JGPA at Quail Creek has a double-sided driving range, three short game areas, three putting greens, two championship golf courses, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
“During our first five years at Quail Creek, over 50 JGPA clients and
their families have joined the country club, which helps to strengthen both our academy and the club’s overall culture,” Graham said in a release. “The club and its membership have been very supportive of growing the game of golf, which makes it a natural fit for the JGPA.”
74th Women’s International Four-Ball: Naples’ Mary Jane Hiestand, a Hideout Golf Club member, and Susan Temple of Vero Beach, and Kathy Glennon and Diana Chancellor of Naples were part of a tie for 16th on Feb. 10-11 at The Wanderers Club in Wellington.
Hiestand and Temple shot back-to-back 76s, and Glennon and Chancellor shot 72-80. Gigi Higgins of Cape Coral and Lin Culver of Palm Coast tied for 23rd (77-82/159).
First Tee-Naples/Collier: The newly branded chapter’s winter program schedule started Jan. 11. PLAYer/PAR — Wednesdays, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Jan. 13-Feb. 24, Valencia; Thursdays, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Jan. 14-Feb. 25, The Moorings; Thursdays, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Jan. 14-Feb. 25, Coral Isle; TBD, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Cypress Woods.
To register, go to firstteenaplescollier.org/register, or for more information, contact program director Sean Warmoth at (630) 989-1026 or [email protected]
Tiburón Golf Academy: High school golfers program on Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m. Some of the time will be spent on the range and some of the time on the golf course. The drop-in rate will be $50 per session. For more information, call Tom O’Brien at 239-250-3164.
The academy also has started a pre-junior golf program for ages 3-6 on Sundays from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Call the Tiburón Golf Shop with any questions at 239-593-2201.
Impact Zone Golf: Bobby Clampett and his instructional staff are available for private, group, and corporate lessons, as well as New Student Assessments at both IZG Academies, which are located in Naples at the Indoor Performance Center at 1040 Collier Center Way and in Fort Myers, at the new Academy at the Club at Renaissance at the intersection of Daniels Parkway and Interstate 75.
For juniors, Impact Zone has introduced the new national U.S. Player Development Model for Golf, through a partnership with U.S. Kids Player Pathways, and includes an afterschool program at Renaissance.
Because of the pandemic, class sizes will be small. The program will run for four weeks at a time; you will have the flexibility to do one or two days a week ($160 for once a week, $240 for twice a week based on the 4-week class). If you miss a class, there will only be one makeup day regardless of how many classes are missed. If your junior is going to miss a class, 24 hours’ notice is requested. Classes are Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
To sign up or for more information, contact Olivia at [email protected] or call/text 239-236-5536.
Durland Golf School: Durland, who is located at Naples Grande, is available for lessons from Monday through Saturday.
School openings — Two-Day/Full-Day golf school Wednesday, March 24 and Thursday, March 25.
Golf schools are based on a 3-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio with all instruction conducted by Durland.
True Spec Golf, a club fitting co————mpany, also is located at the school.
The Ladies Learning Club with Amber Richardson meets Wednesday mornings, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., and started Jan. 6. Tuition is $50 per student per session. Contact Richardson at [email protected]
To contact Durland, email [email protected] or call 784-2208.
To submit an item, send an email to [email protected]