Scoring a hole-in-one is a rare accomplishment for even the most celebrated golfers in the world. But not for 12-year-old Nick Kindler of Overland Park.
Kindler recorded not his second or third, but his fourth career ace on July 1 at Nicklaus Golf Club in Overland Park.
His secret to success?
“Grip and rip,” Kindler said, “and play a lot of golf and practice.”
But when Kindler hits the ball, he doesn’t get a sense of whether it will be a hole-in-one.
“I knew (the latest hole-in-one) was going to be a good shot and it had a chance,” he said.
Kindler used a lob wedge on the 14th hole to drive the ball 85 yards into the cup. It was also his first ace at a tournament, according to his dad, Kyle. Kindler tied for first with Leawood’s Matt O’Keefe among 12- and 13-year-olds in the Metro Section of this year’s final Kansas Junior Golf Association event.
With another hole-in-one, Kindler and his family — his dad, especially — enthusiastically celebrated, even if it is now a recurring achievement.
“I always go a little bit crazy, and it usually lights up my day,” Kindler said. “I know everybody’s going to be proud of me because they’re a very, very, very supportive family.”
Kindler first picked up a golf club when he was 2, following his dad, who has played throughout his life.
“I just like the feeling of holding a club,” Kindler said.
He began playing on courses, and at age 7, he tallied his first hole-in-one.
Kindler remembers the shot well. “I hit the ball. It just looked good. I was so young that when it went in the hole, everyone was going crazy, but I didn’t understand,” he said. And then Kindler did.
“I was yelling and screaming. It really lit up my day.”
That one took place at the par-3 third hole at Overland Park Golf Club. He hit his second and third aces as a 10-year-old, at Brookridge Country Club, then Heart of America Golf Academy.
Kindler said he hopes to become a professional golfer, but if that doesn’t happen, he plans on playing for the rest of his life. Regardless where his career leads him, Kindler won’t be trying to tally more aces.
“That sounds like … (I’m) kind of bragging and other people haven’t done that,” he said. “I decided that it happens when it happens, and if I keep practicing, I know I’ll get better.”