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Hole In One


By Don EskinsIt’s a golfing gem that has eluded him for over thirty five years. But he won’t have to wait any longer.On Wednesday March 3rd John Caraway, at age 71, pulled off the shot of his life.Using a nine iron, on the fourth hole of the Lake Carlsbad Municipal Golf Course’s Par 3 Course, Caraway stroked the ball 120 yards to record a hole-in-one.“It’s the first one I’ve ever gotten,” he said with a chuckle. “And it felt great.”But even with the prospects of registering golf’s most cherished shot, dropping in the gem on his fourth hole of play was quite a surprise for the Cavern City retiree.“I hit the ball pretty good and it looked like it might have a chance to drop in the cup. But the tee box on No. 4 sits lower than the green, so I couldn’t actually see it as it rolled toward the hole,” said Caraway. “Walking up to the green I couldn’t spot it so I thought it must have gone over. I walked on its backside but couldn’t find it, skirted the green without any success and then decided to look in the cup. And by golly there it was! I couldn’t believe it. I finally got one.”Although now in the Lake Carlsbad Municipal Golf Course’s record book Caraway, who played by himself en route to recording his ace, said some of his friends are having a hard time believing it also.“They like to give me a hard time,” laughed Caraway. “They just look at me, shake their heads and say who can believe a lawyer.”Getting hole-in-ones have now become a family affair for the Caraways. His daughter Katie, as a CHS Cavegirl, recorded one during New Mexico State Tournament play a few years back.“That day was really a special one for all of us. I got to follow her around the course and while watching her play I kept a scorecard,” Caraway said. “Her hole-in-one was really a great shot, one I’ll never forget. I was so proud of her. But I have to say that putting a one down on a scorecard felt really strange. I’d never done that before.”“I thought about Katie when Igot my hole-in-one,” he said. “Especially when I recorded a one on my scorecard.” Caraway, who underwent hip replacement surgery in November of 2019, says that his surgery hasn’t hampered his ability to play golf but confesses that getting out to the muni is sometimes difficult.“I play a lot by myself nowadays because I never really know when I’ll have time to make it over to the golf course,” said Carlsbad’s latest senior to record a hole in one. “But when I do get out I often play with Dave Tawater and Dean Bair. I got to watch Dean ace the No. 4 hole a couple of years ago.”As a senior golfer Caraway says he enjoys the competition he finds playing golf. But according to him competition isn’t the only reason he makes his way out to the Lake Carlsbad Municipal Golf Course.“Golf gets me outside and the walking is great exercise,” said Caraway. “Besides that it’s a great way to spend time with my friends.”


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