A 13-year-old ace of clubs
Published 7:53 pm Saturday, September 6, 2014
The evidence is already abundant that 13-year-old Sydney Grimes of Suffolk is no ordinary girl on the golf course. But she added another major piece this past week when she recorded a direct hole-in-one on No. 12 at Cedar Point Country Club.
Unlike many aces, there was no roll or bounce that preceded this one.
“The pin was up front of the green, and it was 86 yards, and I hit a 9-iron, and it went in the hole, I dunked it, and I didn’t know what just happened,” Grimes said.
“She hit the pin,” said her father, Jack Grimes, who was with her. “It was really loud,” and he was looking around to see where the ball ricocheted, but could not find it.
He saw people watching on No. 13, and heard them start screaming, prompting him to join in as he understood why.
Sydney said, “I looked back at the hole, and I realized what just happened, and I ran up to my dad, and I gave him a hug.”
It also just so happened that Cedar Point’s Director of Golf and Sydney’s instructor T.J. Young was driving along on a cart and stopped to watch. In more than 40 years of playing golf, he had never seen a hole-in-one live until then.
“I watched it fly right in the hole,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Since becoming the golf pro at Cedar Point in 1996, he said, “I don’t remember anyone that young hitting one.”
But he has become accustomed to seeing Sydney accomplish impressive things on the course, though.
Explaining why she was able to hit the ace, Young said, “I think it’s her desire and her passion to be a good golfer, and she wants to constantly improve. She wants to take a lesson on a regular basis to make sure she doesn’t slip up at all.”
Formerly a competitive gymnast, Sydney grew wary of the injuries that seemed all too frequent in that sport and ended up falling in love with golf after playing with her dad.
She played for the Isle of Wight Academy varsity team last spring as a seventh-grader, a year too young for high school competition.
“Her scores didn’t count because of the state rules,” Jack Grimes said, but she was allowed to play for the experience.
Still, when individual scores were tallied after matches, hers frequently were the best.
A change of the rules allowed her individual score to count for the Metro Conference tournament, and she earned conference recognition by placing second overall, one stroke shy of first.
Already able to beat her dad, Sydney’s average is in the low 80s. In the future, she said, “I want to shoot constantly in the 70s,” get a scholarship to a college with golf and “hopefully, after that maybe play on the LPGA.”
Of the latter goal, Young said, “There’s potential for that so long as the desire and focus remain, which I have no reason to believe they won’t.”