By Barb Arland-Fye
Father Marty Goetz, whose vocation is the priesthood and whose avocation is golf, is singing praises to heaven for the hole in one he scored April 28.
The nearly miraculous event occurred at Pinnacle Country Club in Milan, Ill., where the busy vocations director for the Diocese of Davenport had taken time off to play in a four-man, best-shot tournament.
His foursome started on Hole No. 14, a 130-yard par 3. Fr. Goetz was complaining that he didn’t like having to use an eight- or nine-iron for the first shot of the day.
Still, “I hit what I thought was a pretty good shot. And when we got up to the green, there were a couple balls on the fringe, one ball on the green, but we couldn’t find mine. So we looked in the deep rough behind the green and still couldn’t find it. I walked up to the hole, looked in and said, ‘Hey guys, do you want to come take a look at this?’” His golf ball was in the middle of the hole. It was his first hole in one. The witnesses were Jul Lindner, Russ DeWinter and John Malvik.
“My first reaction was shock, and then, ‘whoo-hoo!,’” said Fr. Goetz, 43, who’s been playing golf since high school. He’s hoping for a repeat performance at the annual “clergy golf open” he organizes in Keota.
Dan Winters, assistant pro at Pinnacle, said Fr. Goetz is the second person this year to shoot a hole in one; the other golfer was an 8-year-old. But for Fr. Goetz, “it was his first swing of the day. That’s pretty rare; that’s pretty cool,” Winters said. The club usually averages about four, hole-in-one shots each year.