By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
It's rare enough that a player at any age finds that Holy Grail of golf, the coveted hole-in-one.
But for a teenager such as Gardendale’s Cassidy Hughes, it's almost unheard of.
The sophomore scored her ace during a four-team varsity match at Grayson Valley Country Club near Trussville on Thursday. She holed out her tee shot on the par-3 131-yard second hole.
“There was a little bit of wind, but it was a straight shot with bunkers left and right,” Hughes said. “It went left but drew back in, and rolled and rolled and rolled. I thought it rolled off the back of the green because I couldn’t see it, so I had my dad go look... He started slowly creeping toward the hole and saw it in there, and started yelling, then he started crying.”
Since then, the reaction from classmates has been huge. “It’s like my birthday, I’ve had to say thank you so many times,” Hughes said.
Hughes has been golfing for seven years. She transferred from Oak Grove after moving during the off-season. Coach Lauren Morrison didn’t know about her until coaches from other schools brought her up.
“At the coaches’ meeting, they joked about me recruiting her, and I said, ‘I’ve never even seen her swing,’” Morrison said. “She’s just a natural. It just comes so easy for her.”
Records by the AHSAA don’t include aces, but they aren’t as rare as one might think — an Internet search turned up several prep girls who hit a hole-in-one in the last few weeks, including Gwinnett County, Ga. and San Antonio, Texas.
Hughes shot a 50 for the nine-hole round, more than her usual score in the 40s, “and I don’t even want to talk about it,” she said. “My short game went bad after that shot.”
She led the Rockets to a team total of 171 (+27) for 10-stroke victory over Pinson Valley. Shades Valley was 14 shots back at 185, and Clay-Chalkville was fourth with a 197.