By Nick Beaulieu, Editor-In-Chief
Perfection on an individual basis is hard to come by in sports. You can always get a few more yards, shoot a better percentage or have a lower ERA. In golf, every player looks forward to one moment of perfection. A hole in one.
Taylor Sidzyik has played countless rounds of golf. Competitively and recreationally, Sidzyik has taken aim at pins his entire life, but had yet to get a hole-in-one. That is until a breezy morning at Shoreline Golf Course.
“It was hole no. 13, a par four over the water,” Sidzyik said. “We were playing from the white tees. The wind was blowing off the lake from the left.”
The hole is a dog leg left. It plays 330 yards, but is under 300 if the player elects to go over the water; that’s what Sidzyik did.
“I just take driver out, and I’m like, ‘I’m going over the lake,’” Sidzyik said. “The ball hangs ove the lake, takes one big hop and my buddy said ‘that’s either in the hole or over the green.’”
Sidzyik rushed over to the hole as quickly as he could, although most golfers don’t have to drive 300 yards to find out. Sidzyik checked the back of the green while his friend checked the cup.
“He started going crazy, and I then I start going crazy,” Sidzyik said. “My first hole in one.”
Sidzyiks’s shot was even more out of the ordinary than you’d think—the senior isn’t known as a long ball hitter, more of a long iron player.
“I never would have thought [I’d get a hole in one with a driver] because I don’t hit it that far,” Sidzyik said. “I don’t really go at the golf ball that hard. I really have to focus on getting the ball to the fairway.”
How common are holes in one to competitive golfers? It depends on the player. Some go deep into their careers before getting one, if not their entire lives. Former teammate and UNO alumnus Alex Overfelt had four.
“It’s kind of a relief,” Sidzyik said. “Almost everyone on the team has one. It was a big relief but also shocking.”
Does having one under his belt change the way Sidzyik approaches the game? Hardly.
“I’ve played so much competitive golf I don’t think about hole in ones, I just think about getting on,” Sidzyik said. “Sometimes you can’t go at every pin when you’re playing competitively. I usually don’t think about it that much.”
Sidzyik picked up the game of golf from his cousin who played at Nebraska Wesleyan. Sidzyik caddied him in some of his tournaments. After learning his son took an interest in golf, Sidzyik’s dad picked up the sport, taking him to practices and the range.
As for how Sidzyik keeps his game sharp? The Mav golfer, along with the other UNO golfers, get regular access to Oak Hills Country club. He also works at Tara Hills.
“I always have to work on my short game,” Sidzyik said. “I’m probably the shortest hitter on the team. I played with the new recruits coming in, and I still hit it shorter than everyone on the team. So I have to work on my long irons and my hybrids because I can’t always get it to the green as much as the other kids.”
So just what made Sidzyik pull out the driver and line up for the bomb?
“We were playing a scramble that day,” Sidzyik said. “There were already two shots out there.”
With a little luck and a touch of irony, Sidzyik got his first ace and a splash—or more so an avoidance—of perfection.
“I would have never hit the shot if we were playing regular golf.”