LIVINGSTON — On Monday at Bozeman’s Valley View Golf Course, 15-year-old Aubrey Kelley hit a shot during the First Security Bank tournament that people spend their whole lives wishing they could make.
“The whole experience was just -- I was speechless.” Kelley said.
One of the top young golfers in the state, Kelley has played many par-3s.
“Every single time I play a golf course, which is every single day, I play two par-3s at least,” said the young golfer.
But he had never hit the perfect shot to ace a hole. Most haven't, the odds to make the a hole-in-one is 12,500 to 1.
“Chances of hitting a hole-in-one is pretty slim,” he said.
That was until this past Monday. However, it was a series of gut feelings that led to his hole-in-one on the 125-yard sixth hole at Valley View.
“I just stepped up to that tee box and I was thinking like any other shot, ‘Where do I set up on this tee box? How am I going to hit this shot?’” said Kelley.
Kelley has played the course many times and normally he uses a pitching wedge for the hole.
“I just had a gut feeling (pitching wedge) doesn’t feel like the right club, so I clubbed up to the 9-iron and it was the right club,” said Kelley.
Also, he placed his tee in a spot where he hasn’t before.
“I had a tree to the right of it, so I kind of tee’d up to the left-hand of the box so I could kind of go around that tree,” said the Emigrant local. “I guess that was a good idea because I got pretty close to that hole.”
After that, all he had to do was swing and the rest is history. The ball hit the green and rolled its way back into the hole.
“It kind of stopped on the edge for a second and I was like, ‘oh I’ve had that happen where it looks like it’s going in but it really ends up a foot away,” he said. “Then it disappeared and it was just amazing.”
Hitting a hole-in-one is great, but Kelley wasn’t satisfied and wasted no time to improve his game after not winning the tournament. After the event he met with his coach, Floyd Horgen.
“My golf coach is teaching me how to get the fundamentals and how to play better golf and have a strategy,” Kelley said.
You have to be a member at Valley View Golf Course to win a prize for sinking a hole-in-one, but that didn’t matter to the young golfer.
“Having my friends there and having people see what happened and enjoy that moment with me -- it was just amazing,” said Kelley, who now has a memory that will last a lifetime.