As a man recovering from addictions to alcohol and drugs, Darin Snodgrass said he lives with a belief in a higher power.
On Wednesday, after making two holes-in-one in the same round at Tecolote Canyon Golf Course, he said he drove home with a smile on his face and a warm thought: “How close am I to God today?”
Snodgrass, 55, of La Jolla, said he has now made seven aces in his life, but none came in bang-bang fashion like they did in this round.
A 10-handicapper, he aced the 105-yard first hole with a lob wedge and followed that with a hole-in-one with a 6-iron at the 162-yard 12th.
“How many people in the world have gotten two holes-in-one in the same round?” Snodgrass wondered. “It’s got to be pretty minute.”
The National Hole-In-One Registry puts the odds at two aces in the same round for an average golfer at 67 million-to-1. However, that is on a regulation golf course with four par-3 holes. Tecolote is a par-58 course with 14 par-3s, so the odds are better there, but still hefty.
Here’s something further to marvel at: How many courses have experienced double aces by one person in the same round in the same year?
On Feb. 26, the Union-Tribune reported Chris White, a 37-year-old father of 3-year-old twins, made two aces in his round at Tecolote, at the third and 13th holes.
Snodgrass is a frequent golfer who is the executive chef at a recovery home for men in La Jolla. He said he’d been suffering with some back pain, but decided to play with friend Jeffrey Morrow.
With no warmup and only one practice swing, Snodgrass stepped up to the first tee and hit a 60-degree wedge on the short starting hole.
“I lost it in the air, but saw it land about 18 inches from the flag. It just hopped to the right and went in,” Snodgrass said.
“I wasn’t as excited as when I made my first one, but I was still excited. Some little guy standing there said I should have given him five bucks (for a hole-in-one contest) and I would have won a nice prize. That tempered the emotion a little bit.”
At the 12th, he and Morrow watched his 6-iron shot take a kick at the side of the green and slowly dribble toward the cup.
“Jeffrey said, ‘Oh my god, dude, this might go in.’ And it fell in the side door,” Snodgrass said. “On that one I was looking around. Somebody else had to have seen that. Jeffrey said, ‘You need to buy a lottery ticket.’
“I’m glad Jeffrey was there, because no one would believe this story.”
After the round, in which Snodgrass carded a 1-over-par 59, the pair shared the news in the pro shop, but found the dining area empty. Since they don’t drink, there was nobody to buy free rounds for.
Snodgrass was back out playing golf Thursday at Balboa Park. He said he was hitting from the back tees with another friend and put his shot at the par-3 17th to about 3 feet.
“My buddy said, ‘Man, you got something going on with these par-3s,’ ” Snodgrass said with a laugh.
Morrow called him earlier in the round.
“He asked me if I’d come down off the mountain yet,” Snodgrass said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’m back to earth, dude.’ ”