Making a hole-in-one on the golf course is a dream for anyone who plays the game.
Some golfers, for whatever reason, seem to have lady luck more on their side than others.
Although former Texas pro Mancil “King of Aces” Davis holds the recognized all-time career mark of 51 holes-in-one, 1956 Marietta High School graduate Jim Moyers is an ace master of his own having made 22 himself.
“I think that’s what it is. Some people get them and some people don’t,” admitted Moyers, who is 85 and has been married to wife Nancy since December of 1956.
“My boy has played golf, I don’t know for how many years, and he’s never had one.”
A two-time senior club champion (1997-98) at Marietta Country Club where he was a member for 44 years, Moyers is now in year 15 as a member at Oxbow Golf Course.
During his prep days as a Tiger, Moyers competed in track, basketball and football. He was twice named all-SEOAL on the gridiron and had several scholarships to play football, but a knee injury ended those hopes.
“The last guy from Mississippi State said he’d give me a full ride if I played football, but I was on crutches,” recalled Moyers, who recorded his first ace in June of 1962 at ParMar Pines, which is now the Golf Club of West Virginia.
“There went my football scholarship. Nowadays they do the arthroscopic surgery. It was on number 16. I used a 5-iron. I think it was about 165 yards. What made it so strange I hit the flagstick about a foot and a half up the flagstick and it went in. A slam dunk.”
Moyers said he didn’t become a golfer until after high school.
“When I grew up I lived on the west side of Marietta and we went up on the truck farm and picked the tomatoes, the cucumbers and the lettuce,” he said.
“That’s what I did in the summertime. The east side, they went to the country club and caddied. They all had a head start on me.”
In 1959, Moyers said his former teammate and fullback coaxed him into going golfing for the first time.
“That’s for old men,” Moyers told him. “He said I played last week and it’s fun.”
After borrowing clubs from his in-laws he hit the links for the first time.
“If I remember right it had to be at least 50, 55 strokes for nine holes,” Moyers continued.
“Whenever March came along (in 1960) I had clubs, a pull cart, shoes, everything. The whole works.”
Before going to work at People’s Bank in 1957, Moyers did construction and finally retired from banking after 34 years.
Another passion for Moyers was being a football and basketball official for 41 years.
“I did 24 playoff and championship games in Ohio and West Virginia,” Moyers stated. “(Pineville’s) Curt Warner, I did his playoff game. I think it was at North Marion or somewhere.
“It was muddy as heck and he stood out like a soar thumb. He was a head higher than everybody else and of course he went on the pros.”
Moyers said he made three aces at ParMar and in May of 1991 his career total rested at seven.
The most recent time he’s found the bottom of the cup was on Oct. 27, 2021 when he aced No. 13 at Oxbow.
He’s had eight holes-in-one at Oxbow and “seven I believe at Marietta Country Club.”
The ex-Tiger also has aces at several other courses including Woodridge in Mineral Wells, the Athens Country Club and at Brass Ring in Logan, Ohio.
“There were 80 guys in a tournament at Brass Ring and after it was over I was downstairs,” Moyers said. “The pro said what are you doing down here. I’m not buying 80 people drinks.
“He said just wait a minute. He said you won’t have to buy them, but I had to buy the team and we had 14. Afterward, everybody expects to have a beer after one of those.”
Overall, Moyers admitted “it’s been fun, but most of them have been around here.”
Even though each ace is special, Moyers does have a pair of memorable ones.
“The creek runs through there and the green was on a hill and it was a really small green. You’re lucky to even get on the green,” Moyers said of an ace at Brass Ring. “We played three days over there. I don’t think I hit the green at all.
“It was only playing about 165, 164 or something like that and I hit it on the fly and it went into the hole. In a tournament like that I guess it’s unusual. That’s probably the best one I think I made. That was quite a thrill over there.”
The other ace which stands out for Moyers is the only one he never watched go into the hole, which happened on No. 17 at Marietta Country Club.
He had seen an eye doctor earlier in the day and opted to play golf anyway.
“She dilated my eyes and I joined them on the backside,” Moyers said. “I had contacts at that time and sun glasses in them. I had them in still and couldn’t see.
“When I got to 17 on the par-3 I hit the tee shot and picked the tee up and went to the cart. My buddy said did you see where that went? I said on the green. He said it went in the hole dummy.”
Whether it’s a combination of lady luck and skill, there’s little question the golf Gods have been on Moyers’ side.
“A lot of people say I’ve played all these years and I’ve come close and never had one,” Moyers added. “I just said after the one I had when I had my eyes dilated, you don’t have to see it going into the hole just hit it that way.”
Contact Jay Bennett at email@example.com