Raleigh father and son ace Pebble Beach

August 10, 2018

Jim Wiley and his son James got to share their hole in one celebration together at Pebble Beach. It was dark by the time the pair finished their memorable round, but they made a return trip to document where they both sunk holes-in-one.

It was a senior trip that a father and son from Raleigh will never forget.

Jim Wiley took his son, James, to California before the younger Wiley heads off next week to start his freshman year at the University of North Carolina.

“The trip was a gift in itself,” Jim said. And it got better when they got to play a round of golf at pristine Pebble Beach for the first time in their lives.

“I’ve played it on Xbox,” James said. But that’s nothing like playing it in person.

“It’s so hard to play there,” Jim said. “The course is so beautiful that sometimes you can’t concentrate on your golf game.”

Maybe not overthinking in golf is a good thing. Jim and James didn’t travel with their clubs, so they had to play with rentals. But I doubt rentals at Pebble Beach are a bad bag of bones.

They arrived at the par-three fifth hole where James hit a pitching wedge from 139 yards out. It was dead on target from his vantage point.

“It hit left of the hole and then it just disappeared,” he said. The foursome playing and James’ mom and sister couldn’t contain the excitement of witnessing a hole in one at Pebble Beach.

“It was kind of a shock,” said James, who also has a hole in one at the Morehead City Country Club.

But this is Pebble Beach.

It soon got better on the par-three 17th as daylight began to fade.

Jim paints the picture like this: “It feels like a dream to start with (playing Pebble Beach). Then it gets foggy.” But through the fog, “I could see the pin and the green,” he said.

James was the last in the group to hit; 6 iron from 165 yards.

Fog made it hard to follow the ball with the naked eye, but James had a better view.

“I was looking with a range finder,” he said. “I watched it hit the green, but then my mom walked in front of me and I couldn’t see!”

Before heading to the green, James could see that three of four balls were on the green. He thought the impossible, but didn’t want to say anything to his dad.

Once the group got to the green, they went to check the cup. Sure enough, nestled by the flag stick, in the bottom of the cup was the ball that Jim Wiley hit: another hole-in-one at Pebble Beach for the Wiley duo.

There was a mixture of laughter, celebration and wonderment. “We were like, ‘Holy Cow!’” James said. “What in the world just happened?”

They looked up the odds and found that it’s about one in 10 million to have a pair of aces from the same group on the same day.

But father and son, at Pebble Beach? There are no numbers on this.

Jim and James took several photos at the end of the round in the dark. The next day they returned to Pebble Beach to get some daylight pictures and relived their impossible moment.

“It doesn’t feel real, even at this point,” the proud father said. “We’re still living on the memory!”

Maybe they should stop off in Vegas on their way back to Raleigh, then buy a lottery ticket when they get back home to ride out the luck.

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