PLANKINTON -- What a way to start a round of golf.
In a seven-day span, Stickney's Gene Tastad shot two holes-in-one on the first hole at Fish Lake Golf Course in Plankinton.
“I couldn't believe it,” said Tastad, 69, a retired farmer. “I was so shocked to get another one. Two in a week, I was dumbfounded.”
The slick shots were his second and third career aces. Forty-one years after his first ace, on June 15, Tastad was golfing with his stepson as a substitute for a men’s league. On the first shot with an 8-iron on Hole No. 1 of the round, Tastad said it hit just short of the pin but the ball kept going.
He began to make his way towards the pin. As they approached the green, there wasn’t a ball to be found. Someone in the crowd yelled, “It’s in the hole!”
“Wow, that was really something,” Tastad said in complete shock. “I was so thrilled.”
Just seven days later on June 22, at the same course and on same hole, he tried his luck again. This time, he was golfing with friends and changed to a 9-iron because of a new pin location and slightly different alignment on the tee box.
After a recent ace, Tastad took his normal approach to the tee in this second round. His first shot, his friends believed, was close to the pin but Tastad was skeptical. Once he approached the green, he couldn’t find the ball.
While his friends urged him to go look in the cup, Tastad believed it might have somehow gone over the green. When he decided to check the cup, he surprised himself once again.
Tastad has been a lifelong golfer, even if he admits his game wasn't very good when he started out. He said he was introduced to the sport in the late 1960s at Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell.
Today, Tastad plays golf about three times a week, usually at the rural Plankinton nine-hole course, which is one of the few in the area that starts with a par-3 as its opening hole.
After his historic run in late June, Tastad has plenty of motivation to keep playing.
“It took me 41 years to get another one," he said. "Then a week later, I got another one. What are the odds of that?”