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Voyageur's Best Features of 2006

Mark Johnson

First official hole-in-one
by John Grones  |  August 29, 2006

A group of men gather every Monday to play a round of golf at one of the area courses. This past week, six teams gathered to participate in a low-net competition at Minnesota National’s new nine.

For one of those golfers, Mark Johnson, it was a special outing. Mark hit his first ever hole-in-one on the par 3 #15–the first ever at Minnesota National’s new course. Mark sunk the 128-yard shot using a six iron from the yellow tees, and the feat was witnessed by Pat Lallas, Tom Morgan, Bob Johnson, and John Knoblauch.

This was just the third round for Mark on the new course. “The shot went straight at the hole,” said Mark. “It landed on the green, bounced up, and rolled in.”

Prior to this shot, Mark shared that he had never been closer than three feet, and he had witnessed only one other hole-in-one. “I witnessed my daughter’s (Kim) hole-in-one about eight years ago in Arizona,” he added. Mark has been golfing for 20-plus years, six of them as a member of the local course.

Mark is retired and has a home on Lake Minnewawa. He spends the winters in Arizona. In addition to golfing at Minnesota National, Mark is a twice-a-week golfer in Mesa, Arizona.

Mark kept the ball and shared that he probably won’t use it again. It was a ball he found. Mark hasn’t really thought about getting a hole-in-one, nor was it a lifelong dream. “I guess it is the story of the blind squirrel that finds an acorn,” he said.

Tom Morgan hasn’t recorded a hole-in-one yet, but he watched the shot go in. This is the third hole-in-one he has witnessed. “I came close but haven’t dropped any yet.”

Pat Lallas also witnessed the shot. He has accomplished the same feat, twice. “The last one was eight years ago at Como Golf Course in St. Paul,” said Pat. Pat has also witnessed several hole-in-ones.

Mark concluded by sharing that enjoys the new greens. “They are truer and therefore easier than the old nine,” he concluded. “The pins aren’t in a difficult position yet, but I guess you have to hit it straight no matter what.”

This article first appeared in the August 29 issue of the Voyageur Press.