Steamboat Springs Most golfers will go a lifetime never knowing the feeling that comes from hitting a hole in one.
But that's not the case with Steamboat Springs residents D.J. Edwards and Joan Conroy. The two women have combined for nine holes in one, and if Conroy has her way, it soon will be 10.
"It's been a few years since my last one, so I think I'm due," Conroy said.
Conroy, who has four career holes in one, said she is feeling the pressure to ace her fifth after Edwards shot the fifth hole in one of her career at the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Club on July 10.
"I called (Conroy) after I got it and gave her the heads up that she was due," Edwards said.
Edwards recorded her first hole in one in August 1989 on hole No. 14 at the Sheraton. She aced the No. 16 hole at the Yampa Valley Golf Club in Craig in 1991, hit another on the No. 5 hole at the Sheraton in 1993 and knocked in her fourth hole in one at the Sheraton's No. 8 hole.
Her latest ace came earlier this month while playing a match in the Steamboat Women's Interclub Golf League. Edwards used a 5-wood on the 165-yard No. 5. One of the women she was playing with said she thought the ball went into the hole, but Edwards said she didn't believe it until she walked onto the green and pulled the ball out of the cup.
"The feeling you get when you pull the ball out of the hole never changes," Edwards said. "This one was just as exciting as my first."
It only took a couple of minutes for Edwards to flag down the beverage cart at the Sheraton and buy a round for all the other players on the course, as is golf tradition when a player aces a hole. Then she grabbed her cell phone and called her husband, Hank, who scored his first hole in one earlier this summer. Her second call was to Conroy.
"We've been neck and neck for a long time," Conroy said. "Now I'm feeling the pressure to get my fifth."
Conroy said she wasn't surprised that Edwards hit another hole in one.
"She's a very good golfer and aligns herself very well," Conroy said. "Good alignment is the key."
Like Edwards, most of Conroy's holes in one have come at the Sheraton. She wasn't sure about the dates, but said she has aced the No. 17, No. 8 and No. 14 holes at the Sheraton. She also recorded a hole in one at a golf course in Snowmass. Conroy credits her success to proper alignment and a positive attitude.
"Whenever I tee up on a par-3, I believe the ball is going to go in the hole on the first shot," Conroy said. "To tell the truth, I'm surprised if the ball doesn't go in the hole."
Edwards took up golf in 1978 and quickly developed a love of the sport. These days she plays four or five times a week, but she understands just how lucky you have to be to get a hole in one.
"Sure you have to be a good golfer, but in the end you have to have a little bit of luck," Edwards said. "I guess I'm pretty lucky."