Two swings, two aces, one unforgettable night at LuLu
By Tony Regina
His dad gets a hole-in-one. Then one of his best friends gets a hole-in-one. Back-to-back swings mind you.
Jack Goyette is a witness to an unbelievable night of firsts.
“I’ve played golf my entire life. It was the craziest experience on or around a golf course that I’ve ever been a part of, and I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff,” Goyette, 29, of Lafayette Hill, Pa., said. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. How can you beat two aces in a row?”
It all unfolded on the evening of Sept. 16 at LuLu Country Club. Golf Professional Dennis Poiesz organized a “Closest to the Pin” contest during the club’s Member-Guest Classic. He needed contestants on the par 3, 160-yard 12th hole.
“My dad had slacks and an Oxford dress shirt on. He had leather dress shoes on. He was dressed for his style of comfort,” Goyette said. “I said, ‘Do you want to do the contest?’ He said, ‘No. I’ve already changed.’ Then we all kind of walked up when it started. He was just going to watch. Then we realized we were the first group up there checking it out.”
“We were laughing and carrying on. I was out having a cigar,” Jeff Goyette, Jack’s dad, added. “I thought, ‘Let’s just get this over with.’”
Poiesz handed Jeff a 6-iron. He stepped onto the 12th tee, spotlights illuminating the green beyond, and swung.
“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going right at the flag. I said to my son, ‘I think that’s past the hole,’” Jeff, 58, of Dillsburg, Pa., said. “We heard the guys on the walkie talkie yell, ‘It’s in the bleeping hole.’ For us, this was just the most amazing family moment.”
“It’s pretty dark at this point. The pin is up front, so it’s tough to get it close, let alone an ace,” Jack added. “I saw the ball roll, roll, roll and disappear. I said, ‘Dad, I think that went in the hole.’ He said, ‘No way.’ [The LuLu team on the green] radios up and say, ‘That went in the hole.’”
Shouts of joy came from spectators on the tee. Once they collected their collective breath, the Goyettes walked to the 12th green for a necessary photo to commemorate the event. They returned to the tee and noticed more Member-Guest Classic attendees congregating on the clubhouse deck, which overlooks the 12th hole. Fanfare incited more fans for the next 15 minutes or so.
“Jack and I have a running joke that every time we step up to a par 3, I say, ‘This would be a good time to make a hole-in-one.’ And he says that jinxes us,” Jeff said. “And of course, I didn’t say it this time. As soon as it went in, I thought, ‘Maybe he’s right. I’ve been jinxing us for a long time.’”
The mysticism lingered at LuLu as Nick Plavchak, Jack’s aforementioned friend, approached the 12th tee, 9-iron in hand.
“I was the first person to go after the restart,” Plavchak, 32, of Lafayette Hill, Pa., said. “I saw it rolling toward the pin. I honestly didn’t know if it went in or not.”
“I’m giving my dad a hug. We’re talking about [his hole-in-one]. We’re kind of in shock. We turn around and watch Nick hit his first ball,” Jack added. “It hits the green, rolls down and we both see that one. It looks like it’s gone in. ‘There’s no way that happened.’”
A brief pause before Poiesz radios his team on the 12th green.
“Did that go in too?”
Yes, that went in too.
“Everyone on the deck was hooting and hollering. The guys on the green were dumbfounded,” Plavchak said. “It was nuts. The expectations are high for every Member-Guest now moving forward.”
“At that point, there were people up on the deck. They were going crazy. We were going crazy. It was just a spectacle,” Jack added. “I paid for my three shots, but I’m not even going to hit.”
The odds of two individuals taking one shot at the hole each – and both getting a hole-in-one – are 1 in 156 million, according to US Hole In One, a hole-in-one insurance provider located in Newtown Square, Pa.
Plavchak, turns out, is the one who introduced Jack to LuLu in 2018. The two teamed in the Member-Guest Classic that year. Jack became a LuLu member in 2019. He invited dad to be his partner in this year’s Member-Guest.
The day after the hole-in-one theatrics, the Goyettes competed in a nine-hole match. Their opponents? Plavchak and his partner, Kyle Naden. Their starting hole in a shotgun format? No. 12.
“That night, we all agreed that no matter what happens on that hole, we’re going to push with aces. That’s what’s on the card,” Jack said. “My dad teed off that morning. His first swing of the day, and he hit it and it rolled right over the hole. He left a little meat on the bone there. I’m getting chills thinking about it.”
“To have back-to-back aces, and then we’re paired on the same hole the next day … golf is incredible, isn’t it?” Jeff added. “You can’t wipe the smile off my face.”
The final layer of icing on a cake already smothered, per Jeff.
“It was already open bar, so my bar tab was zero,” he said. “Thank you, LuLu Country Club. Great day.”