Allie Guzy approached the No. 17 hole last week at Blaine’s Victory Links Golf Course looking for two birdies to end her round strong.
She got something much more memorable. Guzy, a senior at Spring Lake Park, carded a hole-in-one. Using a pitching wedge, Guzy found the mark from 107 yards away.
The course website cautions golfers from hitting a ball toward the bunkers on the left of the green or the large contour to the right. Guzy went right over top of both hazards and watched in doubt, then delight, as her ball rolled into the cup.
She believes more big days are ahead. The Panthers placed second at the Class 3A, Section 5 tournament to Mounds View by seven strokes. Led by individual state qualifier Ally Rogers, Spring Lake Park is aiming for a team section championship.
Guzy, whose father, Grant, coaches boys’ basketball at Spring Lake Park, spoke with Star Tribune reporter David La Vaque about her golf roots, the hole-in-one and her high hopes for the Panthers later this spring.
Q: How long have you been playing golf?
A: I started when I was really little because my parents really liked to play. I started playing high school golf in seventh grade.
Q: Did you have any experience with Victory Links golf course before you joined the varsity team?
A: I live about five minutes away from the course and I used to have a membership there. Before we had our driver’s licenses, my friends and I would ride our bikes with our golf bags over there and play nine.
Q: What were your previous experiences like with the No. 17 hole?
A: I usually do really badly on that hole. It’s kind of tricky. My ball usually veers off to the right. So this time I said, ‘I’m going to aim a little more to the left and we’ll see what happens.’
Q: After you shot, how much or how little were you able to follow the ball?
A: It was a straight shot and I could see it the whole way. It curved a little bit left and then it went straight at the hole. It hit the green and rolled in. I could see rolling to the hole but I was like, ‘No way.’ I thought it was going to be close but I didn’t think it was going to go in.
Q: How did you react?
A: Oh my gosh, I started jumping up and down. My coach was right by the hole and I’m like, ‘I just got a hole-in-one.’ Both my parents were there and they came up and hugged me. Everyone was in shock.
Q: Have you been hitting your pitching wedge well?
A: Yeah, pretty well. I usually hit my more lofted clubs pretty well.
Q: How close have you ben to making the cut for state?
A: I usually am the No. 3 or 4 player in the lineup so I haven’t been close. But we were really close as team last year. I think we were behind by about seven strokes to go to state. We’re hoping this year that we can pull through and make it.
Q: Do you bring back most of what you needed in term of players to make it happen?
A: Yep. We didn’t have anyone graduate from last year so we have all returning players.
Q: Do you bring any added focus to your game as a senior because it’s your last chance?
A: A little bit. I think there’s a little more pressure on the seniors. A lot of people thought we would go to state last year and I think this year will be our year. I think we’re doing really well right now and we just have to keep up our good work.
Q: What do you think the hole-in-one is worth in terms of confidence going forward?
A: It was so cool. I got so many comments at school. So yeah, that boosted my confidence.
David La Vaque