Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Golf

May 24, 2011

Ray Cheek holes first-ever double eagle at Cleburne’s Links

Superstition aside, Friday the 13th turned out to be Cleburne resident and golfer Ray Cheek’s lucky day.

On the par 5 16th hole of Cleburne Golf Links, Cheek holed a rare double eagle with a 3 Hybrid club.

Course employee Jimmy Terry, also a friend of Cheek’s, witnessed the event.

“We’ve had several make a hole-in-one,” said Johnny Pilcher, Cleburne Links head golf pro. “But this is the first double eagle we’ve had out here.”

Cheek — who said he’s never made a hole-in-one, let alone a double eagle — said he was as surprised as anyone.

“Oh gosh no,” Cheek said. “I never expected to do anything like that, never even heard of that before.”

Nonetheless, Cheek certainly comes off passionate about the sport.

“Play all the time,” Cheek said. “I’ve been out playing four times a week the last three weeks. I like to say that I work so I can play golf. I love it.”

Although Cheek said he’s been “swinging a club” for about 20 years, he added that he finally got serious and took lessons about a year ago.

Cheek said he turned to area golf pro and instructor Amy Hennis, telling her that his goal was to consistently swing in the mid 80s.

“She worked with me to change everything,” Cheek said. “My grip, my stance, my swing.”

Which apparently worked. Cheek said he scored in the 82 to 87 range in recent rounds.

Cheek said he was playing a practice round alone and not keeping score last Friday when Terry called and asked if he’d like to play nine holes.

At the 16, Cheek said he hit the ball to the 250-yard marker off the tee. From the rough Cheek made his second shot.

“It lay up in front of the green, so I knew I hit it well,” Cheek said.

He didn’t yet know how well. Not immediately seeing his ball, Cheek circled the green where he found a ball that had dropped off the green. Except, that turned out not to be his ball.

“I kind of, in the back of my mind, thought maybe, but not really,” Cheek said. “When I was walking back [looking for the ball], I didn’t want to go look in the hole for the sake of looking dumb in front of my friend. Instead I did one of those not look, but look out of the corner of your eye deals, and saw something.

“Jimmy said, ‘That’s a double eagle. That’s only the second time I’ve ever seen one.’”

Cheek said he told his wife, but no one else, not even his buddies when he played again on Saturday.

Terry was happy to spread word of Cheek’s feat around the clubhouse, however.

“Actually, it was that 30 mph wind out there that day,” Cheek said. “I didn’t do anything.”

Cheek laughed, recalling a 6 p.m. dinner date he had scheduled with his wife that day.

“It was about 5:46 p.m. and [Terry] asked if I wanted to play one more hole,” Cheek said. “I live about five minutes away, but I knew it would be pushing it by the time we got the cart back and all.”

Cheek said he played the hole, then called his wife to say he’d be a few minutes late.

“She wasn’t mad at me,” Cheek joked.

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