Some golfers spend their whole lives trying to get a hole in one.
Chestermere’s Griffin Maillot managed the feat before turning 11.
On April 9, the Grade 5 student at Rainbow Creek Elementary School scored his first-ever ace on the sixth hole at Lakeside Golf Club. The feat was the Chestermere-based course’s first hole in one of the 2021 season, according to a social media post from the club, which opened on April 7 this year.
Maillot said he could hardly believe it when his first shot from the junior tee on the par-three sixth hole – about 60 yards from the pin – went in.
“Like my friends said, my jaw just dropped – we were screaming and stuff,” he said.
“It was to the right of the hole and there was a big slope that [the ball] just came down and it looked like it was way ahead. It looked like it stopped and you couldn’t see it, but it was right by the hole and I knew it went in. We were silent for a few seconds and then we just started screaming.”
The 10-year-old Chestermerian has been playing golf since he was seven years old, though he said he’s been swinging a club at balls since he was just two or three.
He said he enjoys the sport, adding his positive mindset while he’s out on the links is his strongest attribute.
“It’s just nice to be in the sun,” he said. “It’s quick to get changed for it, unlike hockey. It’s just fun to be out there.”
Maillot said he plays golf four times a week in the summers and practices his swing at Lakeside's indoor golf simulator two times a week in the winters.
He added he hopes to play the sport competitively in the future, and wanted to give a shoutout to his coach – Lakeside Golf Club’s head golf pro, Tyler Willner.
Willner, who joined the Chestermere course in 2019, said he has been impressed by Maillot’s dedication to golf and his eagerness to improve his game. He said Maillot is a member of Lakeside's junior program and a near-constant presence at the course, where he plays multiple times a week.
“He loves the game of golf, which is great – it’s kind of become his passion,” Willner said. “It’s pretty self-fuelled. Really, the only things I’ve given him are some of the tools to understand the game of golf. The rest has really been about him putting in the work.”
While Maillot's hole in one was from a forward tee, Willner said the sixth hole of Lakeside Golf Club is still challenging, and to nab an ace on the hole takes skill.
“It was a challenging little shot – the tee kind of sits on the right-hand side of the cart path, which forces the juniors to go up and over a bit of a bunker, he said. “There’s a little bit of a neck or window they can run it up, but for where the pin was at, Griffin would have had to hit it over the corner of the bunker.”
Scoring a hole in one at the age of just 10 is a testament to Maillot’s hard work over the last few years, according to Willner.
“I think anyone who plays golf understands that, no matter what the yardage is, whether it’s 60 yards or 200 yards on a par 3, getting a hole in one is a huge feat,” he said. “To do it at 10 years old is that much more impressive.”