Tanner tees off with hole in one – Lowell Sun

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It was a very good Friday indeed for D.J. Tanner on the local greens last week.

A Pelham, New Hampshire, native and former Lowell Catholic hockey player, Tanner became the latest golfer to join sports most elite clique, shooting a hole in one on hole No. 4 at Trull Brook Golf Course and Tennis Center in Tewksbury last Friday.

“It was great,” said Tanner, 31. “First time it’s ever happened. Never thought it would happen to me. I’ve played that course since I was nine. I recently moved back to New England, so I went up on Good Friday to play some golf that morning.”

Opening their 18-hole excursion, Tanner along with Tom Varnum and his aunt Donna Tanner, had no idea they’d witness history as they approached hole No. 4, a 129-yard green surrounded by three bunkers. The course can be deceiving on the tee box due to the sloped green with a large bunker in front.

“It’s a typical par 3 surrounded by bunkers, front left and right,” said Tanner. “If you go too far over the green you’re on the next tee box and it falls off pretty quick. It’s almost downhill towards the front of the green. You always want to try to hit it below the ball, but in this case I ended up getting it just to the left of it and with enough slope that it rolled right down toward the hole. It was luck more than anything.”

Reaching for his trusty 50-degree gap wedge, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Tanner teed off with the ball landing approximately seven feet to the left of the hole, before slowly funneling in.

“I could barely see it with the shades of the trees,” said Tanner. “I thought I saw something trickling toward the hole and sure (enough) when I went up there it was in the hole. I originally wasn’t sure if it went in or not.”

Rolling alongside the Merrimack River, Trull Brook is a golfer’s paradise, featuring 125 acres of challenging fairways and greens. According to Tanner’s aunt, and Trull Brook Pro Shop Manager Donna Tanner, hole No. 4 is always a challenge.

“It’s a fun hole in the morning,” said Donna. “With the dew and sun, it can cause golfers challenges with determining actual distance. Often golfers try to get below the hole because the severely sloped green can result in extremely challenging putting.”

Tanner has been golfing since the age of nine. He resided in Florida for 12 years before moving back to New England in March. The Lowell Catholic graduate (’09) still finds time to get out onto the course and indulge in his favorite hobby.

“It’s always challenging,” said Tanner, who sports a 9-handicap. “It’s one of those sports that’s not necessarily a team sport. I played hockey all my life, so I always gravitated towards golf.”

He’s taking his latest athletic accomplishment all in stride.

“I was shocked,” said Tanner. “I never thought I would ever get one. It was a surprise. The fact I could only see the shadow, not that actual ball roll in, I was even more surprised, to be honest with you.”

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