Pleasanton Weekly

News - April 22, 2011

Boy hits hole-in-one - again

Feat occurs at PMS golf team practice

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

It's supposed to be the shot of a lifetime but Alex Chin has hit a hole-in-one twice -- and he's only 12.

Last summer, at age 11, he aced the 15th hole at Las Positas Golf Course in Livermore. Then Monday he delivered a hole-in-one on the 5th hole at the Pleasanton Golf Center at the Fairgrounds when he was practicing with his teammates on the Pleasanton Middle School golf team.

"It did three bounces, then hit the stick, then went in the hole," Alex recalled. "My teammates were there for team practice and they were really happy for me. One ran around in circles. They said, 'Good job.'"

"I think it was a combination of skill and luck," he added.

Alex, the son of Emily and Alan Chin of Pleasanton, has been golfing since he was 4 years old. He became a Junior Golfer at Las Positas when he was 8 under the Director of Instruction Andy Nisbet.

A sixth-grader, this is the first year for him on the PMS golf team, which is part of the Tri-Valley Middle School league.

"He is one of two sixth-graders that made the team of 12," Emily Chin said.

"I'd like to thank my coaches, Coach Phil (Woolsey) and Coach Tim (Marchi) for letting us play some rounds at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds," Alex said.

Alex said his accomplishment was announced at school the next day, and kids came up to congratulate him.

Matt McGuire, an employee at the course, said he's been playing for 35 years and has never hit a hole-in-one.

"I've come close," he said, "but they are very rare."

He agreed it was a combination of skill and luck.

"It's skill that you do have to get the ball going in the right direction," McGuire said, "and sometimes you get lucky and it goes in."

Alex said he practices for two hours twice a week with the team, plus practices daily. He also does karate, bowls and sometimes plays basketball.

"But my favorite is golf," he said. "My plan is to get really good grades and go to Stanford and play golf there."

"That sounds like a very good plan," his mother said. "A scholarship would be good."

But first, in honor of the hole-in-one tradition of paying for everyone's drinks after the game, he owes his teammates a round of cokes.


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