A Springbank golfer’s recent hole-in-one landed him not only plaudits, but also some shiny new wheels.
Competing at the Maple Leaf Junior Golf’s MJT Ford Series on June 29 at the Olds Central Highland Golf Club, Trae Verjee scored his second career ace on the course’s 13th hole.
While he knew he hit the ball cleanly on his drive, the now-18-year-old said he was still shocked to discover he had sunk a hole-in-one on the 163-yard hole. He added he thought his ball had rolled off the back of the green and out of sight.
“It’s funny, because we saw the ball disappear, but I thought it went off the back of the green,” Verjee said. “I brought my 60-degree to the green because I thought it was in a bunker. I didn’t find my ball in the bunker, so we looked in the hole, saw it and we kind of went crazy.”
By sinking the shot, Verjee won a 2021 Ford EcoSport, courtesy of the MJT Ford Hole-in-One contest. As of July 13, he said he is still sorting out the necessary insurance before he is able to take his new car out for a spin.
A 2021 graduate of Springbank Community High School, Verjee said he has been golfing for most of his life. He added he learned the sport at the Valley Ridge Golf Club in west Calgary, where his family still regularly plays.
“It’s different than other sports in that it’s not as physically tiring, but I love that it’s so mental,” he said.
Though he has been accepted into the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business for the upcoming fall semester, Verjee said he may consider deferring his enrolment and taking a gap year instead, so he can continue to play golf competitively. He is currently playing in the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, which is one of Canada's strongest tours for junior-aged players.
During the competition in Olds, Verjee ultimately placed 28th in his age group, with a two-round score of 168 – 86 and 82 – on the par-72, 5,558-yard course.
“There are a lot of good golfers on the tour – a lot of whom get scholarships,” he said. “It’s not just a men’s night competition. That’s why I like it. To win, you have to play well. There are always 100-plus [golfers] and the courses are usually quite good as well.”
He said his dream would be to earn a golf scholarship from an American university.
“The coaching you get in the States if you play there on a scholarship would be insane – my game would be next-level if I get there,” he said.
According to a press release from the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, Verjee is the second MJT Ford Series participant to walk away with a new car after sinking a hole in one.