Josh Baker was so excited after his shot that he didn’t think about saving the golf ball he used for the ace.
Josh Baker hit his tee shot on the third hole of the South course at the Links of Novi. He had no idea what was about to happen.
Using an old tee from another golfer he had just found on the ground, Baker launched a 9-iron shot on the 133-yard par-3 hole that made history.
When his shot rolled into the cup, it was not only his first hole-in-one in his 23 years of playing golf, but the first ace in the nine-year history of the B’nai B’rith Golf League.
Baker was so excited after his shot that he didn’t think about saving the golf ball he used for the ace.
“I played with that ball for the next couple holes until someone told me to put it away,” he said.
It was a good idea to put away the ball because Baker lost a different golf ball while playing the eighth hole.
Perhaps distracted by the aftermath of his hole-in-one, Baker shot double-bogey on the final two holes of the nine-hole round and finished with 7-over 41.
Baker normally plays more golf than he’s been able to squeeze in this summer.
The 48-year-old West Bloomfield resident is the owner of Baker Design + Build, a building and remodeling company, and he’s been busy with projects.
“I’ve only played golf in the B’nai B’rith league this year,” he said.
Baker’s hole-in-one was shot July 15.
The previous week in league play, he left a tee shot about a foot and a half from the hole on a par-3 hole on the West course at the Links of Novi, which has three nine-hole courses.
“That was the closest I’d come to shooting a hole-in-one until I actually shot one,” Baker said. “I’d never even seen someone shoot a hole-in-one until I shot mine.”
There were no early indications that Baker was going to shoot an ace the week after his close call. He had to scramble to shoot bogey on the first two holes.
“I consider myself a bogey golfer, but I wasn’t exactly on fire at that point of the round,” he said.
The pin on hole No. 3 was only about 5 feet behind a sand trap on the left side of the green.
Conventional wisdom said it was best to send a shot to the middle of the green and avoid the bunker.
But Baker’s shot went straight for the pin, landed below the cup, rolled a couple feet and dropped into the hole.
He remembers saying “Clear the bunker,” then he saw the ball disappear, figured it went into the hole, and he started yelling.
So did everyone else in his four-golfer group, including league teammate Josh Harvith, “my best friend since second grade,” Baker said.
“What was amazing about my hole-in-one shot is there was such a small window to land the ball between the bunker and the pin,” Baker said.
Besides the ball he used for his hole-in-one and his scorecard from the round, Baker has another memento from his memorable day.
“I got a hat from the golf course,” he said.
This is Baker’s third year in the B’nai B’rith Golf League. He’s been teammates with Harvith, a Novi resident, all three years.
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