Coronado High Teenager Hits Amazing Golf Shot
Do you know what an “albatross” is in golf? No? You’re about to find out. And
you’re going to meet a young man who accomplished one of the greatest shots in
the history of golf in El Paso. I’m sure you know what a “birdie” is. That’s one under par on a hole. An “eagle” is two under par on a hole.
But three under par on a hole? Well, that used to be called a double eagle.
These days it’s known as an “albatross.” Needless to say, it’s one of the hardest feats to accomplish in golf. That’s better than a hole-in-one on a par three hole and even better than a one on a par four hole.
HOLES-IN-ONE really aren’t that rare. They come on the shorter holes, which means you’re setting up the ball to hit the shot. A one on a par four hole is much harder because of the longer distance, but you still get to tee up the ball. There have been several ones on a par four hole in El Paso. But to record an “albatross” on a par five hole you must hit the second ball into the hole without having the advantage of setting up the ball. On top of that, the hole is usually far, far away. It is one of the rarest of golf accomplishments.
THE MOST famous albatross in pro golf occurred in the 1935 Masters. Gene Sarazen was three strokes behind with four holes to go when he got to the par five 15th hole. His tee shot had landed on heavy grass, his ball was touching a divot and the hole was 220 yards away. His caddy suggested a 3-wood but Sarazen decided on a 4-wood because of the bad lie. He swung and the ball went straight for the green and dropped into the hole.
Sarazen went on to tie for the lead and win the playoff. It was described as a “shot heard around the world” and so sensational it helped make the Masters the great tournament it is today.
AS GREAT as Sarazen’s shot was, Carson Greathouse, a 17-year-old teenager on the Coronado High School golf team, recently executed a shot that was even more amazing. It happened on one of the toughest holes not only at Santa Teresa Country Club but in all of El Paso. That’s No. 14 on the Yucca Course. The hole is so tough
it’s called “Jaws” because of a huge depression between the tee box and the green that gobbles up balls. Hitting from the back tees, Greathouse launched a 300-yard drive. A distance finder one of his friends had showed he still had 253 yards to go with his second shot. Greathouse took out a 3-wood. “The ball went straight for the green,” he says. “When I got there I saw a ball on the back of the green but when I checked I saw it wasn’t mine. Then I looked
in the bunkers but there were no balls there. I finally looked in the hole and there it was. I couldn’t believe it. I jumped up and down with joy.”
GREATHOUSE took up golf when he was a tyke with the help of his father, Craig. However, he didn’t begin playing seriously until he was in the seventh grade. He carries a near-scratch handicap now and is a key member of the powerful Coronado High School golf team, coached by Robert Pounds. Greathouse was playing with teammate A.J. Auza and friend Shane Whitaker when he shot his albatross. They were just as excited as he. There have been some amazing shots in golf in El Paso through the years. Carson Greathouse’s albatross will go down with the best.
Veteran sports journalist and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column. Contact him at (915) 584-0626, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.raysanchezbooks.com