Stacy Dennis Makes Shot of a Lifetime

Stacy Dennis with her caddie, Wells Greeley, beside the 9th green, where during Saturday's first round she made her first career hole-in-one. (USGA/Ron Driscoll)
By Ron Driscoll, USGA
October 5, 2013

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Stacy Dennis was struggling in her first round of stroke-play qualifying as she stepped to the tee on the par-3 ninth hole at Biltmore Forest Country Club.

“She had just made a nine, and I told her, a one will fix this quickly,” said Wells Greeley, her caddie and a member at Biltmore Forest, whose college-football playing background had immediately impressed Dennis when he was selected to carry for her.

Dennis, of Huntsville, Texas, promptly struck a 7-iron shot on the 156-yard hole and made the first hole-in-one of her career, and the first in the Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in 10 years. Marilyn Hardy and Tobi Herron both made holes-in-one in the first round of stroke play at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C., in 2003.

“I’ve made the mistake of being past the hole this week in practice,” said Dennis. “I just wanted to land it somewhere in the front, and let it kick forward and see where it went… and it went in.”

The hole features a ridge running through the green from front to back, and Dennis’ shot found the front-right corner, crested the ridge, and took the slope perfectly. “I couldn’t see it because of the glare,” she said. “I thought they must be wrong. I had to go peek in the hole.”

The unforgettable shot was much-needed for Dennis. “I was having a rough stretch. I had a 9 [on the par-5 seventh] with a whiff. I was up against a tree and had to hit one left-handed.  And I whiffed it… so I had a whiff and a hole in one in a three-hole stretch. I needed a couple more but I guess that’s asking for too much.”

Dennis, 40, who reached the semifinals of last year’s championship, losing to eventual runner-up Liz Waynick in 20 holes, managed to get in with a 10-over-par 81, in a tie for 32nd.

“I struggled a little bit, even after the one, though it really helped,” said Dennis. “I do think, though, that my best golf is ahead of me.”

It will be tough to top the moment of realization she had shortly after her ace.

“I was standing on the 10th fairway after it happened and I had a good lie in the rough and the same club in my hand, and I told Wells this is one of the top five moments… in my life!,” said Dennis. “It’s such an incredible place, my caddie is the coolest guy in the world and I just made a one! I mean, how does it get better?”

As friends called from the club terrace to Dennis, warning her that she owed them the traditional post-round beverage, she called back, “I’m good for it… I’m on my way.” Before the championship, on her player biography form under holes-in-one, Dennis had entered: “Never, ever, ever.”

Until Saturday.

Ron Driscoll is the manager of the editorial services for the USGA. Email him at


Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit

AmEx image