By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
MIDDLEBURG — To paraphrase the late Hall of Fame broadcaster, Jack Buck, David Broscious could not believe what he just heard.
Playing a round of golf with his longtime friend, Harold “Bud” Neff, the 87-year-old Broscious had already defied the odds by scoring a hole-in-one on the 140-yard (gold tees) 17th hole on Monday at Shade Mountain.
Broscious suffers macular degeneration, so he had to ask Neff what happened on his tee shot on No. 3 (they played the back nine first). “I asked him where it went, and he started laughing,” Broscious said. “He said, ‘right in the hole.’ I never got to see it.”
Neff was excited. Broscious was, well, he was already a bit numb after the first one.
“You can’t quite believe it when it happens,” said Broscious of shooting a hole-in-one.
He had done it once before and it was easy for him to remember the details: Aug. 9, 1999, on the No. 9 hole at Susquehanna Valley Country Club, located a chip shot from his home.
Broscious didn’t see that one either, he recalled, because of the elevated greens at SVCC.
He did see the first one on Monday, although he confirmed it with Neff.
By all accounts, Broscious was much less as excited about his feat than others who saw or heard about it.
“It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen,” Neff said.
“I never remember this happening here,” added Shade Mountain golf pro Brad Brubaker, who was not on hand when Broscious recorded the aces.
Golf course employee Zach Stuck said, “He came in (to the club house) and said ‘I’m supposed to talk to you.’ He said ‘(Broscious’ step-son) Larry Zink told me to come see you,’” Stuck said.
Zink had been playing on the course and called the pro shop to alert them of the achievement.
Stuck asked him, “Are you the guy who shot the two holes-in-one?”
Stuck asked a still calm Broscious what clubs he had used (a 7-wood on 3, a 4-wood on 17) and Broscious showed him his scorecard. “He said ‘do you want to keep it?’ and I said ‘No, you need to keep that, You better frame that thing.’”
Added Stuck, “He was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing. But it was really special.”
Indeed, the odds of Broscious getting attacked by a shark are one in 11.5 million and being struck by lightning twice, one in 9 million. Odds of two aces in a single round: one in 67 million.
When told that, Broscious was impressed.
Neff and Broscious, members of the Sunbury High School class of 1943, have played golf together since the early 1950s. Neff, retired business manager at The Daily Item, and Broscious, retired from the family business, Broscious Lumber, play nearly every week. Monday was their 12th outing of the season.
“We just go out there to have fun. At 87, you don’t hit the balls long or too accurate, you just hit and hope,” Broscious said. “It was just pure luck. It wasn’t anything that took a lot of skill.
“And the pins were very friendly placed on the greens, so I think that helped,” he said, adding that he was a bit numb after the first hole-in-one, but it didn’t affect his play.
Broscious, who turns 88 in January, ended with an 84 on the day. “Of course those two holes-in-one saved me about five or six strokes,” he said.
Neff said, “I’ve seen several holes-in-one, but I have never seen nor heard of two in one day.
“On the first one, at 17, he saw it go on the green and he said ‘did it go in?’ On the second, he said ‘where did it go?’ I saw both balls from the tee all the way to the green and into the hole,” Neff said. “On the first one, I was ecstatic. I was just stunned when the second one went in. That it went into the hole was just unbelievable, but it did.”
He said his friend was pleased, but extremely calm.
Neff suggested he stop on the way home to buy a lottery ticket.
Neff said he emailed his son in Portland, Ore., who sent a congratulatory email to Broscious. “I told him his fame has spread to the west coast.”
Broscious, who learned to like golf when serving as a teenage caddy at SVCC, has already traveled the world. For 12 years, after retiring from the business, he did mission work for JAARS, a training center for Wycliff Bible Translators.
Neff and Broscious will go out again Monday, but to Indian Hills Golf Club in western Snyder County because Shade Mountain will be aerating the greens. Indian Hills is the site of one of Neff’s two career aces (the other came in Florida).
But scoring another ace, for either of them, is not on their minds.
Neff said, “We are very thankful that we are able to play. I’m 88. I am just happy to be out there any day I can get out. It’s a blessing to have (the holes-in-one) happen.”
So if you see David Broscious today, ask him how it feels to beat the odds. Heck, ask him if he wouldn’t mind picking your lottery numbers. Perhaps by this time, the 87-year-old old retiree is beginning to show a bit of excitement.
Taking a moment to consider the odds of doing what he had done, Broscious said Wednesday, “Maybe I will go buy that lottery ticket.”