It took 23 years for Ken Nathan to achieve the unique feat.
A hole-in-one is every golfer’s dream.
Ken Nathan has three aces, one at each of the three predominantly Jewish country clubs in the Detroit area.
It took 23 years for the Bloomfield Hills resident to achieve the unique feat.
One of Nathan’s holes-in-one was shot on an unseasonably warm late fall day. One was on a bitterly cold early spring day. One earned him $10,000.
He shot his first hole-in-one Nov. 29, 1998, at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield.
His second ace was shot June 2, 2003, at Franklin Hills Country Club in Farmington Hills.
Then came an 18-year dry spell before Nathan shot a hole-in-one March 23 at Knollwood Country Club in West Bloomfield.
“How many rounds of golf did I play between my second and third holes-in-one? It had to be at least 2,000,” Nathan said.
“I’ve been a member at Knollwood for about 20 years. I really wanted to shoot a hole-in-one there. I came close several times before I finally did it. I holed some shots from the fairway there, but I never had a hole-in-one (before March 23).”
Nathan, 59, and playing partner Spencer Steel of West Bloomfield pretty much had the golf course to themselves at Knollwood on a cold day two months ago when Nathan aced the 173-yard 17th hole with a 6-iron.
His tee shot landed about 12 feet from the pin, made a slight right turn, and fell into the cup.
“The green at No. 17 slopes from left to right. My tee shot looked like a putt after it landed,” Nathan said.
Nathan was all alone at the tee of the 11th hole at Tam-O-Shanter, where he was a member at the time, on a warm late November day in 1998. Weary from waiting for his playing partners, he decided to tee off.
His 6-iron shot went into the hole with nobody witnessing it. But it still counted as an ace.
Nathan didn’t see his hole-in-one drop into the cup during a 2003 outing at Franklin Hills.
“I hadn’t played at Frankin Hills very much. I didn’t know the course very well,” he said.
That’s why when he teed off at the 143-yard ninth hole with a pitching wedge and thought the shot was going long, he turned to say something to a friend.
His shot hit the back of the green and rolled downhill toward the pin.
“There were spotters by the green. All of a sudden, they got out of their chairs and started screaming,” Nathan said. “I wondered what was happening.”
The screaming was because Nathan won $10,000 for making a hole-in-one on that hole.
“I kept half the money, and gave the other half to the fundraiser,” he said.
There’s no doubt Nathan is all in when it comes to golf. He plays as often as he can and calls himself a competitive golfer.
“Playing golf also is a social time for me,” he said.
A bankruptcy attorney with an office in Farmington Hills, Nathan graduated from Southfield-Lathrup High School (1979), Michigan State University (1983) and the Detroit College of Law (1986).