Securing a tee time to play golf at Pebble Beach with his sons this week was special for Raleigh’s Jim Wiley.
Then, James Wiley II scored a hole-in-one at the fifth hole.
The Wileys celebrated, convinced that would be highlight of their once-in-a-lifetime round together Tuesday on the iconic golf course near Monterey, Calif.
Then, Jim Wiley aced the 17th hole.
“It’s just an incredible gift, to be with your family, on a great trip, on one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world,” Jim Wiley said Thursday. “To be playing, then to hit a hole-in-one, you almost have to laugh and soak it in, that it’s just an amazing treat.”
James II, 18, is a scratch golfer who qualified to compete in the recent U.S. Junior Amateur. He already had a hole-in-one a couple of years ago acing what was then the 15th hole at Morehead City Country Club.
At the 139-yard fifth hole at Pebble, he hit a pitching wedge. “Landed a little bit left of the hole, kind of bounced past, then trickled back to the right and into the back of the hole,” he said.
“It was cool. The first hole-in-one I had, I was playing with my grandfather and brother and couldn’t see it go in. To be able to see this one go in was definitely awesome.”
Jim, 49, had never had an ace. Nor would he have the pleasure of seeing his first.
“It was late and we were fighting fog and other things to get in,” he said. “By 17, it was difficult to see down there.”
The yardage: 165 yards. Wiley’s club choice: a six-iron.
“It felt good but I could not actually see it land,” he said.
James II, looking through a rangefinder, couldn’t see the ball on the green and sensed it could be in the cup. What were the odds of that?
“Since I had a hole-in-one, I didn’t want to tell my Dad that and then it wasn’t in the hole,” he said.
But it was in the hole. Another Wiley celebration.
The only one feeling left out was David Wiley, 16. “A little bit,” David said. “I think I’m up next.”
David Wiley did hit his tee shot five feet from the pin at the seventh hole, the downhill par-3 framed by Carmel Bay that’s one of the most photographed holes at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
The Wileys, whose home course in Raleigh is Carolina Country Club, returned to Pebble on Wednesday to receive commemorative flags and take photos. They did have to leave the clubs behind — they were rentals.
James II said Pebble Beach officials told them there have been two holes-in-one from the same group in the same round, but that it was believed to have been the first father/son aces from the same group.
“It was neat to be a little part of history,” Jim Wiley said. “Maybe we’ll come back and try to relive it one day. It was a true gift.”