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The City Journals

A whole lot of holes-in-one for Alta’s Ethan Tolley

Oct 06, 2020 12:21PM ● By Tavia Dutson

Ethan Tolley after his first hole-in-one at Mountain View Golf course Aug. 28, 2019. (Photo courtesy Cody Nesbit)

By Tavia Dutson | [email protected]           

Spectators at Mountain Views’ nine-hole JV tournament were able to witness something few golf fans have—a repeat hole-in-one.

As Alta golfer Ethan “Ace” Tolley approached the tee box for hole eight, he was still ruminating on his unmet goal to hit a hole-in-one on hole two.

“I wanted to try to hit it on the other par 3 so I could say I shot a hole-in-one on both the par 3’s on the front nine,” Tolley said.

Although he didn’t quite reach that bar, Tolley didn’t stay upset for long. On Aug. 19 2020, he hit a second hole-in-one on hole 8—the same hole as the previous year.

When Tolley hit his first hole-in-one in competition on Aug. 28, 2019, his coach, Cody Nesbit, was shocked. But when Tolley called him this year to tell him he had done it again; Nesbit did not believe him.

“I said you’re pulling my chain. There’s no way. I had to wait until the next hole to ask the people he was with,” Nesbit said.

Although Nesbit was busy hosting the tournament both years and was unable to see either hole-in-one, Tolley was able to celebrate with those around him. Golf is a sport that allows rivals to put competition aside to recognize these rare feats.

“All the kids had so much fun with him, they couldn’t believe it. His group of competitors had never seen a hole-in-one before,” Nesbit said.

While getting ready to tee off, he and his competitors discussed his hole-in-one on the par 3 hole the previous year.

“One of the Orem golfers I was with said jokingly, ‘let’s see if he can do it again,’” said Tolley. “I hit it on the toe, and I was thinking, this one might actually run a little bit.”

After some debate and looking through range finders, the golfers finally decided to approach the green to find out if Tolley had done the unimaginable. Sure enough, there his ball sat—in the cup on hole eight—right where it sat a year prior.

A lot of things that day seemed like déjà vu, but one difference was in the club Tolley used. Although he had achieved golf perfection with a 7-club in 2019, this year he went with a 6- hybrid.

“I haven’t been hitting my clubs as far, so I had to switch it up just a little bit,” Tolley said.

Tolley, a lifelong baseball player, decided to make the switch to golf his freshman year. He has now hit more holes-in-one than home runs, so it’s safe to say he has found his sport.

With performances like Tolley’s, it’s no surprise the Hawks are off to a great first half of the season. They’re ranked second in the region and fighting to keep that position. The top two teams from each region are given a bid to the state tournament, with the rest of the teams being determined by stroke average.

“We’ve started well,” Nesbit said. “We’re going in the right direction and we have good golfers.”

As the season comes to an end, there’s one thing that is sure to live on—Tolley’s legacy. 

“Mountain View no longer has a hole eight, we just go from seven to the Ethan Tolley hole to nine,” joked Nesbit.