And the best thing is that it happened just when I was playing along with her after an almost two years break from the game I have a love-hate relationship with. I love it because of the challenges it brings, the exercise, the camaraderie with media friends; and most of all the VIP clients I get to have through the game.
But I also hate it because of the high cost of the game and the very long time it takes to play it and mostly out of town at that. Recently, I had to return to the game as I start to have an increasing number of public relation and social media campaign clients who are addicted to golf. When invited to play, I send my daughter Ashia or make up excuses, but I am really running out of excuses not to play.
And so off I went reluctantly to practice with Ashia last December 28, 2013 and how lucky I was to be there when she made her historic sports record. I initially thought that her caddy was joking with us.
Of her six holes in one, I only witnessed the first one made in the US – where I was caddying her – and the rest was witnessed by fellow players, their parents, the caddies and my wife Ann. I guess my wife is the one with lucky charm as I view a hole-in-one as more of a luck than skill.
When people ask me after learning about Ashia’s holes-in-one why I was not there to celebrate a very important milestone in the world of sports, I usually answer: “If I am with her, who is going to make a living so Ashia can play an expensive game?”
I give the same answer when fellow golfers jokingly tell me why I can’t play as good as my daughter.
More on this matter later, but for now we are sharing with you a press release my PR firm did to seal Ashia’s history-making feat:
13-Year-Old Jungolfer Hits 6th Hole-In-One
Junior golfer Ashia Marie S. Nocum, who is known to have the most number of aces in her age group, hit her 6th hole-in-one Saturday morning at the Capitol Hills Golf and Country Club (CHGCC) in Quezon City.
The 13-year-old Nocum, who made her first ace in a junior golf world tournament in the US at age six, used an eight-iron to ace the 135-yard 4th hole during a practice round at the Capitol golf where she is a member.
“I’m speechless. I did not expect to make my 6th hole-in-one in my home court. I’ve been regularly practicing golf since I was five years old here but a hole in one eluded me at Capitol golf all these nine years,” said Nocum, a Grade 9 student at the Mirriam College High School in Quezon City.
For her feat, the Ayala Land Inc. golf course under CHGCC General Manager Jose Dagdagan awarded Nocum with P5,000 cash and guest playing vouchers.
The hole-in-one was witnessed by Nocum’s father Armand Dean Nocum, a former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and caddies Sheryl Olores and Marian Atipin. The ace was certified by CHGCC starter Jessie Agustin. Nocum used a Callaway golf ball to ace the hole.
Nocum hit her first ace during the practice round of the July 2007 Callaway Junior World Golf Championships in Colina Golf Park Course in San Diego, California. Nocum landed 5th place in the world tournament.
The second ace came on February 2008 during the Champions for the Future golf tournament at the Riviera Golf and Country Club Executive Course.
On March 9, 2008, Nocum aced Riviera’s Hole No. 4 during another Champions for the Future golf tournament.
Ashia’s 4th hole-in-one happened on April 17, 2009 during a practice round for the qualifying tournament of the 2009 Callaway Junior Golf Championships at the Manila Southwoods golf course in Cavite.
After a three-year hiatus from competitive golf, Nocum returned to the game and made her 5th ace at the Junior Golf Association of the Philippines’ tournament at the Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo, Rizal on August 26, 2012.
Ashia's 5th hole in one was witnessed by fellow junior golfers Sam Bruce, Mika Fortuna, Sophia Blanco, their parents and caddies.
Although now Quezon City-based, Nocum also represents Zamboanga City and Muslim Mindanao since she is born of a Mindanao-born Christian father and Muslim mother.
Apart from playing golf, the young Nocum is also active in the family-run NGO Kristiyano-Islam (KRIS) Peace Library, which is engaged in building libraries, distributing books and school supplies and putting to school Muslim and Christian scholars in conflicted areas all over the country.