Homer Alaska - Outdoors

Story last updated at 3:31 PM on Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Shoreline Golf celebrates first hole-in-one

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer

Dave Schroer, owner of Shoreline Golf, was out on the beautifully greened East End Road course on June 1 when he heard some excited shouting. The cause of the noise: Homer golfer Mark Brinster's first hole-in-one.

"I heard the hollering when they found the ball was in Hole No. 17," said Schroer.

Golfing with Brinster that morning was another Homer golfer, Mike Houghton.

"He hit it, I watched it land on front of the green and bounce toward the pin and trickle in while Mark was just not even paying attention," said Houghton, who has been golfing for 25 years and hit a hole-in-one at Fireweed Meadows in Anchor Point a year ago. "I told (Brinster) it went in and he didn't believe me. He thought he'd hit it long and so he didn't even watch it."

Brinster laughed when asked about sinking the shot.

"It's not that unusual," he said of golfers hitting a hole-in-one. "(Schroer) has hit 13 holes-in-one on that course."

However, this was the first one to occur since Schroer opened Shoreline Golf in June. The course began years ago as two holes in Schroer's front yard and, after retiring in 1982, Schroer developed it into a nine-hole course he opened to the public in 1986. After devoting 12-14 hours a day seven days a week to operating and maintaining the course, Schroer sold it and he and his wife, Beth, began spending their winters in Arizona and summers in Alaska.

The golf course went through several transitions under its new ownership, including being renamed Kachemak Bay Lynx Par 3 Golf. Following the owner's death, the course was closed and sat idle last summer. It was eventually put up for sale, Schroer bought it back and reopened it in May.

Brinster's hole-in-one also had personal significance because No. 17 is a hole where he often has problems.

"I can be shooting a great game and then I get to that hole and all too often it all blows up," he said, adding with a laugh, "The fact is, you can hit a hole-in-one on one stroke, but then you still have to stand up to the next shot. You still have the opportunity to completely blow up again."

Brinster began playing golf near Seattle when he was a youngster.

"I think it was something for me to do to keep me out of trouble," he said of his parents' encouragement of his interest in the sport. A few years ago, during a visit with his mother, he walked out of her Seattle area apartment and noticed a nearby garage sale.

"There was a set of golf clubs for sale for $4 and, well, I couldn't pass that up," said Brinster. "I bought them for $4 and when I came back to Homer, I went out to the Links and started playing again."

It was with those clubs that Brinster hit his hole-in-one.

Of having a Homer golf course available, Brinster said, "We are so happy to have Dave, who built that course, buy it back. It's been an amazing gift that Dave bought it and it's coming back to life."

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.