A West Caldwell man made golf history on Saturday, June 23 when he made two hole-in-ones in the same round at the Donald Ross course at Mountain Ridge Country Club.
Errol Cook, 73, a retired financial executive and Mountain Ridge member for 35 years, has played golf most of his life, but never hit a hole-in-one until acing both the 14th and 16th holes (both par-threes) within about 15 minutes.
At the 16th hole, Cook reportedly turned to his group, made up of three of his usual golf partners, taking out his 11-wood and asked, “What will you give me if I make another hole-in-one?” A moment later the group watched as his shot landed on the green, rolled to the left and dropped into the hole.
“I collapsed on the tee, laughing,” said Cook. “Nobody could believe it.”
Cook finished the round with a score of 86, 15 over par for the course. A 19 handicap golfer, Cook is also a cancer survivor who currently chairs the Board of Directors at the Lymphoma Research Foundation. “I love golf,” he said. “It was instrumental in my recovering from a bone marrow transplant 19 years ago. When I got sick, my goal was to play golf six months after the surgery, and I did.”
According to the National Hole In One Registry, the odds of making two hole-in-ones in the same round are 67 million to 1. It was the first time the feat had ever been accomplished at the Donald Ross course. The report was corroborated by the three members playing with Cook and the caddy.
“It was one of the few days that I’m not here,” said Mountain Ridge General Manager Stephen Wolsky, who has known Cook for 20 years. “[I got a text] and I asked three times, ‘Two hole-in-ones?’ It’s unbelievable.”
Wolsky said the lowest score ever on the course is a 62, but even that round didn’t include two hole-in-ones.