PGA of America Life Member Tom Lupinacci of Vilano Beach and Todd Hand of Jacksonville made short work of the par-3 holes on the back nine of the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass during a recreational round on Sept. 13.
Lupinacci, 79, used a 7-iron from 114 yards out to hole out at No. 13 for his eighth career hole-in-one. Four holes later, Hand, 66, hit a 56-degree wedge from 97 yards out to ace the 17th hole for his third career ace — two of them coming at the Island Green.
Both are TPC Sawgrass members. Hand was also playing with his wife Vivian and TPC Sawgrass member Kyle Hancock for the first nine holes, which was the Stadium Course back nine. The group started their round at No. 10.
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Also witnessing the double aces was course advisor Mike Heard — who coincidentally drove his cart near both par-3 holes at the time the aces were made.
Todd and Vivian Hand walk and carry their own clubs several times a week at the Stadium and Dye’s Valley.
Heard and Vivian Hand also saw Todd Hand make his first ace at No. 17, on Feb. 4, 2021. That ended a streak of more than 40 years since Hand made his first hole-in-one.
“It was an unbelievable day,” said Hand, who used a Cleveland wedge to hit his Snell No. 00 ball into the cup. “I’ve played with Tom a lot and he always seems to come close to making a hole-in-one every time. I know he’s had a lot but he never had one at the Stadium until that day. We were very happy for him.”
Hand shot 76 for the day and Lupinacci, who hit a Titleist AVX for his ace, had a 72.
As if that wasn’t enough, Hand’s wife almost joined the hole-in-one party. On their 17th hole, the par-3 eighth hole, she hit driver off the tee and the ball was tracking towards the hole all the way. It landed a few feet away and rolled 10 feet behind the hole. She made the putt for a birdie and shot 89.
Those weren’t the only impressive local golf accomplishments of the past two weeks:
Rachel Maruno, a member of the First Tee-North Florida board, made an albatross at the par-5 sixth hole at San Jose during the third annual Chip Trefry Memorial Tournament, which benefits The First Tee. She used a driver and 7-wood from 435 yards.
Jeri Roche aced San Jose’s fifth hole from 107 yards with a 9-iron in the first round of the 60th annual San Jose Ladies Invitational.
San Jose member Bill Hammel matched or beat his age of 72 at two courses in one week. He shot a 70 at his home course, then had a 72 at Deercreek.
Senior golf, kid-friendly
The Constellation Furyk & Friends PGA Tour Champions event Oct. 3-8 at the Timuquana Country Club might be for competitors 50 years and over. But tournament organizers have gone out of their way to make it a family-oriented week, especially for kids.
For starters, the price is right: youth and kids 17 years and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult. But once on the property, there are a variety of activities in addition to watching World Golf Hall of Fame players such as Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Fred Couples and Colin Montgomerie tackle the historic Donald Ross design.
Among the activities and areas for families and kids:
The Kids Zone featuring the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, will be located between holes 6 and 7 near the Circle K ParTee Porch. In addition to interactive games and sensory activities for kids, the zoo will bring numerous animals for friendly encounters during the three days of competition.
Next to the Kids Zone is the air-conditioned Family Lounge, presented by Wolfson Children’s Hospital. It’s open to all fans and their families and includes complimentary WiFi, interactive games, a children’s coloring table, changing tables, stations for nursing mothers and educational information. The lounge is attached to the tournament’s first aid station, also sponsored by Baptist Health.
Returning this year are the Circle K Frosters. These icy cold, refreshments are the signature beverage offerings from Circle K and are available to fans at the Circle K ParTee Porch near the 7th green. Also available will be Tikiz Shaved Ice & Ice Cream (near the Circle K Partee Porch), with assorted ice cream bars, pops and frozen gourmet fruit sorbets, with sugar-free alternatives.
Kids looking for a memento of their visit to the tournament can station themselves at the Fisher Tousy Autograph Alley behind the 18th green, near the practice green where players finish their round.
For additional information on the tournament, visit furykandfriends.com.
Quinn makes it six
Therese Quinn of Jacksonville shot 76-75–151 at the San Jose Country Club to win her sixth San Jose Ladies Invitational title, and her fourth in seven years.
Quinn, who has won SJLI titles 19 years apart since her first in 2004, defeated defending champion Tama Caldabaugh of Ponte Vedra Beach by two shots in the Championship A flight. Jeri Roche of Jacksonville (152) won the Championship B flight.
Quinn and Caldabaugh have combined to win six of the last seven SJLI championships, capturing three each. Caldabaugh won her record seventh championship last year.
The tournament was played for the 60th time, the longest-running women’s invitational on the First Coast.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: TPC Sawgrass members Tom Lupinacci, Todd Hand match aces four holes apart