Countless golfers have made multiple holes-in-one, though not many have added to their total after turning 86 years old.
But that’s not even the most impressive thing about Joyce Malison’s seventh career ace. When the Waterford resident and former LPGA tour player holed her tee shot on the par-3 seventh hole at Rivermoor Golf Club on Sunday, she completed a lifelong quest.
Malison has now eagled each of the 18 holes at Rivermoor. That’s right. Every. Single. One.
“I thought I was going to go to my grave without (an ace on No. 7),” Malison said. “I’ve hit the pin, my ball has spun around the hole, I’ve done everything except make a hole-in-one and I finally did it. In fact, I couldn’t believe it until I went down there and saw the ball in the hole. I wanted it so bad, because that was the only hole I hadn’t eagled on that course.”
There is no way of knowing how many golfers have eagled all 18 holes on a course, but it can’t be many. Certainly, it would be even rarer for a woman to accomplish the feat.
Malison had a few things going for her. She’s been a tremendous player her entire life and is credited with five LPGA victories (six by her count). She maintained her power – and a low single-digit handicap from the back tees at Rivermoor – into her 70s. Longevity is a bonus: Malison started playing the tree-lined course in 1949 and still plays there every day.
Asked to estimate how many rounds she’s played at her home course, she laughed and said, “I would have absolutely no idea. Thousands. When I was younger it was nothing to play 36 or 45 holes in a day. As many as we could get in.”
Still, an eagle on every hole? That makes her ringer score 36-under par.
“To be honest with you, no, I haven’t heard of anyone doing that,” Malison said. “I don’t know if anyone was ever stupid enough to try to do it. But it was one of my goals. It was just one of those things I was trying to do. I’ve eagled quite a few holes two or three times. And I’ve even eagled the holes they changed, like No. 3 and No. 11 (before and after). But that seventh hole kept biting me.”
All seven of Malison’s aces have come at Rivermoor.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “I never had a hole-in-one before that or on the tour or anything.”
Malison, a member of the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame, once owned Waterford Bowl with her late husband, Tom, and still maintains a 155 average in a Thursday night league. But even at 86, with thousands of rounds behind her, she can’t get enough golf.
“I’m fortunate that I’m able to play as much as I do,” she said. “I play every day. And I feel better playing every day. I just like to play golf.”