Larry Smith had 10 career holes-in-one as he stepped to the red tee on No. 7 at Chicora Country Club with his 7-iron on Oct. 13.
Playing partners Jim Allen, Hylton Lawrence and Thurman Tart soon witnessed Smith’s 11th ace.
“We could see it go in,” Smith said.
Smith was playing No. 14 at Chicora on Nov. 11 with a group that included former Chicora pro Steven Hamby, Eric Sirois and Jarvis Tart. Smith hit an 8-iron but the green, on a hill above the tee, does not allow golfers to see the result of their shot immediately.
Joe Tart and Mark Whitman were playing ahead of Smith’s group. Tart quickly made Smith aware of his 12th career hole-in-one. Tart got a picture as Smith took the ball out of the cup.
Smith, 83, joined Chicora in the mid-1960s and that’s where he recorded his first ace. He doesn’t know the exact date of that one. That scorecard is in his safe deposit box.
A retired banker, Smith has scorecards at home for his subsequent 11 holes-in-one. An Erwin native. Smith lives in a home that was previously owned by Carl and Mavis Byrd. Mrs. Byrd was his first-grade teacher at Erwin.
All but two of his aces have been at Chicora. He had his second hole-in-one at the East course at Whispering Pines and got his 10th at the Cardinal Country Club in Johnston County.
“Chicora is in the best condition it’s ever been in,” Smith said, crediting the efforts of greens superintendent Dan Jordan and his staff.
Smith played baseball at Campbell and was a teammate of Jim Perry, who went on to pitch in the major leagues.
“I used to hunt and fish,” Smith said.
Now his sporting focus is entirely on golf and he plays three times a week when the weather allows — Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
His scorecards show that Smith has had holes-in-one in 1978, 1990, 2003, 2006, 2007, two in 2008, two in 2010 and the most recent two in 2019.
His recent pace is not quite as fast as Randy Coleman’s pair of aces within five days on No. 7 last year. Coleman used the same TaylorMade ball for both.
“I wish they had been giving a car away,” Coleman said.
The only par-3 at Chicora that Smith hasn’t aced is No. 4.