Golfers across the country can go decades without ever experiencing a hole in one.
Reno’s Mia McDowell only had to wait until she was 9.
During a PGA Junior League match Sunday, McDowell used a 6 iron to ace the 93-yard third hole at Somersett Golf and Country Club. She’s the youngest member in the club’s history to record an ace.
“I was just really stunned and I couldn’t really think straight,” McDowell said over the phone Tuesday after a round with her grandparents at Sierra Sage Golf Course.
McDowell began playing golf three years ago and last year was the only girl on Somersett’s 12-person PGA Junior League team. Somersett was taking on Lakeridge Golf Course’s team Sunday when McDowell, hitting from the red teams, lofted a shot to the back of the green before it rolled into the cup.
“It was like rainbow shot,” Mia’s mother, Nicole, said. “It sat on the shelf part of the green, stuck there for a second and started rolling down, down, down in a perfectly straight line for four or five feet before it went right into the hole. There were probably five or six parents that got to see it and one of the assistant pros. It was unbelievable because she’s so little. It was the perfect shot and it rolled right in.”
One person who didn’t get to see it drop into the cup was the 4-foot-6 Mia.
“She couldn’t see it because she’s so short and it was kind of far away,” Nicole McDowell said. “She’s only been playing three years and didn’t even really know what a hole in one was. She looked over and all of the parents had their hands in the air and were screaming and she realized she had hit a hole in one.”
McDowell, who is a lefty, is now tied for the family lead in aces. Nicole said she’s never picked up a golf club in her life and Mia’s older brother, Jack, hasn’t aced a hole yet. Mia’s father, Andy, the general manger of Wolf Pack Sports Properties, has a hole in his one at Montreux Golf & Country Club, so Mia is tied with dad.
Mia was playing a scramble Sunday with her partner, Brandon Galvin. Those two plus three kids from Lakeridge were on the tee when McDowell took a whack. Everybody celebrated when the ball disappeared in the cup.
“They all high-fived me and said, ‘Nice job’ and my partner was also stunned,” McDowell said.
Given the poor weather, the tournament was cut short after six holes. As is customary, McDowell bought the other golfers a round at the clubhouse – a round of hot chocolate.
“It was really cold, so we finished early and everybody looked like they were freezing,” McDowell said.
McDowell also plays basketball and lacrosse but golf has become her true love, her mom said. Mia said she likes golf because “it’s just fun and I get to take my mind off everything.” With plenty of holes ahead in her golfing career, McDowell may or may not have more holes in one in her future, but she’s had at least one ace in her brief career, which is more than many golfers can say.
“She’s still overwhelmed and stunned by it,” Nicole McDowell said. “I put her to bed on Sunday night and she couldn’t believe what happened. Today, she was finally, like, ‘I really did get a hole in one.’”