25 Highlights in 25 Weeks: Highlight #4 – Ace In The Hole

Pelican Lakes Resort & Golf turns 25 on July 12, 2024! To celebrate, we are listing the top 25 moments in Pelican Lakes’ history. These events are not ranked and highlight the biggest events, features, and happenings at the distinguished 27-hole facility in Northern Colorado.

Blog 4 out of 25: Ace in the Hole


The odds are steep.

According to the National Hole-in-One registry, the odds of making a hole in one is 12,500 to 1. A person has a better chance at catching a foul ball at a baseball game (835 to 1), finding a four-leaf clover (10,000 to 1) or a casual player bowling a perfect game (11,500 to 1).   

In the nearly 25 years since Pelican Lakes Resort & Golf in Windsor, CO opened its tee sheet to the public, there have been 168 known hole in ones across 11 different holes. (Ed. Note: The usage of the word “known” is a safety net for the club considering it has learned of exactly 168 hole in ones. We anticipate that number is likely double primarily because the fear of reporting the accomplishment would force the player into being financially tasked with ordering endless rounds of drinks for those thirsty in the bar. Also, while there are seven par 3 holes across The Lakes and The Falls courses, a number of par 4s have been included on this list, especially when course conditions allowed those holes to be played as par 3s.)

Let’s start at the beginning.

The first reported hole in one at the Northern Colorado golf course occurred on July 29, 1999, when Julie Johnson earned the feat using a six iron on the 4th hole while celebrating her husband Craig’s birthday.

Since then, that hole has been aced 24 more times.

Shane Madden has two of them. The first occurred July 12, 2018, and the second exactly 1 year and 11 months later on June 12, 2020.

This particular hole might have to be renamed the Hinkle Hole considering member Larry Hinkle, his son Kurt Hinkle and grandson Carter Hinkle all have carded a 1 on the hole that requires a carry over the Cache la Poudre River.

Kurt Hinkle, the Director of Golf for The Water Valley Company, started the family trend on April 15, 2020, his birthday, when he knocked in his second career hole in one. Nearly two years later, Larry and Carter aced the hole three days apart. Larry on Oct. 25, 2021, and Carter on Oct. 28. (The Colorado Golf Association wrote a story about the Hinkles in November of 2021.)

As far as our records indicate, the Hinkles and Ron and Sue Bowen are the only family members to ace the same hole at Pelican Lakes. Ron aced the 12th hole on June 11, 2013, while wife Sue followed suit on May 25, 2016.

The family with the most hole in ones at Pelican Lakes is the Zapfs.

Alison Zapf was the first with her hole in one on #17 Lakes on Aug. 3, 2004. Her mother-in-law Kim Zapf added to the total on Nov. 10, 2009, when she aced #4 Lakes. Kim’s husband, Chuck, achieved the feat on May 28, 2011, on the 12th hole and Allison’s daughter Jessica (Chuck and Kim’s granddaughter) extended the family total to four on Aug. 10, 2019, when she aced #9 Lakes while still in high school. The Zapf family member who plays golf more than all the rest is Mike Zapf, and while he has a hole in one at The Golf Club at Fox Acres, he still hasn’t achieved Pelican Lakes immortality with an ace on his home course.

While the Hinkles have the 4th hole figured out and the Bowens own the 12th hole, Kelly Hodge knows the secret to the 9th hole on The Lakes. He aced it on Oct. 5, 2006, and again on July 27, 2019.

Several people have earned multiple hole in ones at Pelican Lakes. The leader is Bill Black. In a two-year span, Bill knocked it in on #3 Falls (May 3, 2012), #17 Lakes (Feb. 22, 2014), and #7 Falls (June 16, 2014).

Besides Black, Hodge and Madden, the others who have two hole in ones at Pelican Lakes are:

Ellen Butler – #4 Lakes & #12 Lakes

Sam Chapman – #4 Lakes & #7 Falls

Ed Czech – #9 Lakes & #7 Falls

Jerry Denny – #13 Lakes (modified as a par 3 at the time) & #3 Falls

Danny Freeland – #12 Lakes & #3 Falls

Nick Frei – #3 Falls & #7 Falls

Kurt Hinkle – #7 Falls & #4 Lakes

Larry Hinkle – #12 Lakes & #4 Lakes

Steve Kannenberg – #4 Lakes & #12 Lakes

Larry Layton – #12 Lakes & #9 Lakes

Tom Macgillivray – #12 Lakes & #7 Falls

Phil Minah – #18 Lakes (modified as a par 3 at the time) & #9 Falls

Scott Peterson – #12 Lakes & #4 Lakes

Marty Stine – #9 Lakes & #12 Lakes


Understanding all of this, you’re probably wondering, what’s the hole that’s surrendered the most hole in ones?

On the 18-hole Lakes course, that hole is #12. The hole plays from 113 yards at the Red Tees to 215 from the Black Tees and has been aced a recorded 37 times.

On the 9-hole Falls course, the most vulnerable hole is #7. The green is susceptible to frequent aces – 34 reported – mostly because its left side slopes toward the middle, meaning any pulled tee shots likely will funnel to the middle or right side. And it’s relatively short in distance. It plays from 128 yards at the Red Tees to 175 from the Blues.

The other unique accomplishments the course has experienced are the four hole in ones played as a par 4.

On June 20, 2015, Steve Asherin knocked in his drive from the White Tees on #1 Falls which cards at 288 yards.

Andrew Matthewman achieved a similar feat from the Blue Tees on #5 Falls. The downhill par 4 plays 346 yards on Sept. 15, 2018 when he drove it into the hole.

Kristi Smart aced #5 Falls from 318 yards on Aug. 16, 2020, while Peter Hay, also playing from that distance, made the list on June 12, 2022.

Probably the most unique hole in one at the Pelican Lakes facility occurred April 15, 2016. The weather didn’t allow for golf outside, so Scott Kosola took his precise game inside to The Sand Bar. Kosola was playing in the Funk Room with friends celebrating a birthday and earned what is expected as the first and possibly only hole in one on the Sand Bar’s indoor golf simulators.

And that’s what we know about the hole in ones on our golf course. If you earned an ace at Pelican Lakes, and you’re not listed on our master list (found here), please send an email to golf@watervalley.com with a picture of the feat, date, hole and distance.