Hobby, exercise lead to rare achievement for 76-year-old Stockton Springs golfer

Ed Nickerson (center) of Stockton Springs holds up his golf ball after recording a hole-in-one Saturday on the sixth hole at Hampden Country Club. Looking on are playing partners Paul Bertrand (left) and Cory Brooks of Old Town.
Hampden Country Club
Ed Nickerson (center) of Stockton Springs holds up his golf ball after recording a hole-in-one Saturday on the sixth hole at Hampden Country Club. Looking on are playing partners Paul Bertrand (left) and Cory Brooks of Old Town.
Posted July 15, 2014, at 7:08 a.m.
Last modified July 15, 2014, at 10:44 a.m.

Ed Nickerson, 76, took up golf about 13 years ago because he was looking for a hobby and some exercise.

He has consistently achieved both by playing the game a few times a week and reached one of the sport’s rarest achievements Saturday when he recorded a hole-in-one on the 170-yard sixth hole at Hampden Country Club.

“In all honesty, I feel pretty good about it. To be able to walk the course and play the game within reason,” said Nickerson, who is from Stockton Springs and likes to play at Hampden because “the price is right and there’s good people there.”

Nickerson used a 3-wood on the hole because as he has gotten older, “I don’t think I can reach it with an iron.”

He was a bit skeptical of whether the ball went in the hole until he walked to the green.

“I’m a left-handed player and I play with a little slice — that’s another reason why I use a 3-wood, it takes some of that out instead of a driver,” he said. “I just hit it right on, it went on the green and rolled into the cup. The guys with me saw it. I thought it went by.”

His playing partners, Paul Bertrand and Cory Brooks of Old Town, witnessed the hole-in-one.

Before the hole-in-one, Nickerson’s best efforts in golf over the years have been recording birdies on several different holes at Hampden CC.

“I play nine holes each time because I like to walk. I like to get below a 45, but sometimes it’s a 47 on a bad day,” he said. “I always like to shoot for a 45.”

Nickerson had some simple advice for other long-time golfers who haven’t recorded an ace.

“Keep trying,” he said.

According to Golf Digest, the odds of an average golfer recording a hole-in-one are 12,500 to 1. For a low-handicap player, the odds are 5,000 to 1, and the odds decrease to 2,500 to 1 for a Tour pro.

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