The stats are mind-blowing. Every year, around 450 million rounds of golf are played in the U.S. Doing the math, that’s about 25,000 to 30,000 rounds per course. According to the PGA of America, courses report 10-15 aces annually for a pace of one hole-in-one per 3,500 rounds.
On average, golfers play this wonderful game for 24 years before celebrating their first hole-in-one. Less than two percent of all golfers card a “1” each year, and 50 percent of those golfers are age 59 and under. The average handicap for those buying everyone a round of drinks at the 19th hole is 14. Better to be lucky than good, as they say.
So, what are the chances that an 80-year-old golfer records back-to-back holes-in-one during one round on the same golf course? Approximately one in 67 million. Yes, you are more likely to be struck by lightning twice in your life than to card two consecutive aces. But believe it or not, that’s exactly what happened at Rumbling Bald’s Apple Valley course on Sunday, July 24, 2022.
Paul Huber stepped to the tee on the par-3 third hole of our award-winning Dan Maples-designed layout. He pulled his PING 9-iron from his golf bag and took dead aim from 118 yards away. A crisp “thwack” ensued, and a few seconds later, the ball disappeared into the hole. An extended celebration was quickly underway with his playing partners – Kent Dyer, Rob Phillips and Gary Romaine.
Then, what happened next, has quickly become the stuff of legend around Rumbling Bald and Lake Lure. Just a few minutes later, at the par-3 eighth hole, Huber again stepped to the tee, cracked a half-baked quip about making another ace, and proceeded to make another hole-in-one with his 5-hybrid from 148 yards out.
Dyer, Phillips and Romaine had witnessed a “black swan” event few other golfers had ever seen. In fact, the last time it happened on the PGA TOUR was at the Barclays at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. at the hands of Brian Harmon. Harmon made social media waves by famously posing for a photo holding two aces from a deck of cards.
It was a special Sunday at Rumbling Bald, a story that will stand the test of time. And as the buzz made its way around both golf courses, many celebratory drinks were consumed at Huber’s expense!
Tucked along scenic Lake Lure and surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Rumbling Bald is secluded yet eminently accessible from numerous metro areas. Charlotte, Asheville and Raleigh, N.C., Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn. and Greenville and Spartanburg, S.C. are all one to five hours away. The idyllic retreat features two contrasting 18-hole layouts: W.B. Lewis-designed Bald Mountain and Dan Maples-designed Apple Valley.
Rumbling Bald’s marquee course, Apple Valley, stretches to nearly 6,800 yards and features expansive views of Bald Mountain and the surrounding Lake Lure area. Maples estimated 75% of shots at Apple Valley are either level or downhill, virtually unheard of for a mountain course. Shimmering mountain lakes adorn 12 holes, but water only occasionally comes into play.
Bald Mountain, at 6,300 yards, is renowned for its unique configuration of five par 5s and five par 3s. Movie buffs appreciate the 16th green, the backdrop of a scene from “Dirty Dancing.” A protégé of golf course architect George Cobb, Lewis is known for his traditional approach to course design. This philosophy is reflected in Bald Mountain’s playability from tee to green.
The property’s 150 vacation rental homes, condos and studios are ideal for golf groups of various sizes and feature golf course and mountain views. Post round, golfers can relax at Legends on the Lake, casual dining along the shores of Lake Lure.
Rumbling Bald is rich with amenities and activities, including scenic Lake Lure boat tours, boat rentals, tennis, pickleball, a full-service spa and hiking trails. Families enjoy the Trout Stream Pool and Lazy River, winding its way through the outdoor pool area where guests relax under fan-cooled covered seating. It’s the perfect basecamp for exploring the natural wonders of western North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains.