Double-Aces Day for New Jersey Golfer


Errol Cook, a member for the past 35 years at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J., made two holes-in-one in the same round on Saturday, June 23. Cook aced the par-3 14th and par-3 16th hole about 15 minutes apart at the Donald Ross-designed course.

According to the National Hole In One Registry, the odds of making two holes-in-one in the same round are 67 million to 1.

Cook, 73, a retired financial executive and cancer survivor who currently chairs the board of directors of the Lymphoma Research Foundation, has played golf most of his life, but until Saturday had never made a hole-in-one.

That changed on Mountain Ridge's 14th hole, which plays 154 yards uphill to a flagstick that is hidden from the tee. Using a driver to hit into the wind, Cook hit a solid shot. Cook and the other members of his foursome looked around the green for a few minutes before finding the ball in the cup.

Two holes later on Mountain Ridge's signature hole that plays 115 yards over water, Cook took out his 11-wood and asked his group, "What will you give me if I make another hole-in-one?" After some good-natured joking, he hit his shot and was able to see the ball land on the green, roll to the left and disappear into the hole.

"I collapsed on the tee, laughing," said Cook, who was playing with three regular golfing buddies - Dr. Alan Echikson, Tom Meier and Dr. Joel Notkin. "Nobody could believe it."

Cook, a 19-handicapper, finished with a score of 86, 15-over par. Also a member at two golf clubs in Florida (St. Andrews and Banyan), Cook plays two to three times a week, year-round, with residences in Short Hills, N.J., and Boca Raton, Fla.

"I love golf," he said. "It was instrumental in my recovering from a bone-marrow transplant 19 years ago. When I got sick, my goal was to play golf six months after the surgery, and I did."

Host of the 2012 U.S. Senior Amateur on September 29-October 4, Mountain Ridge is ranked among the top golf courses in the United States by both Golf Digest and Golfweek magazines. For more information, visit www.mountainridgecc.org.


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