The elation coming from NFL All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald on the 13th hole at Seminole Golf Club at 1:30 p.m. Friday was unreal. But then again, it was very real. So real, in fact, that club president Jimmy Dunne waived the no-cell-phone rule on the course so that Fitzgerald could deliver the message.
"I'm playing with the President of the United States and I just made a hole-in-one," shouted Fitzgerald into his phone. "This is unbelievable!"
Fitzgerald had the honor of hosting former President Barack Obama, who was playing the exclusive Juno Beach, Fla., course for the first time. Rounding out the foursome was Dunne and Glenn Hutchins, a part owner of the Boston Celtics and Obama Foundation board member. Dunne, who advocated Fitzgerald's club membership last year, provided the details: Obama had just hit his approach shot 20 feet from the hole when Fitzgerald stepped up with an 8-iron from 162 yards out and jarred it. It was Fitzgerald's first round of the new season. He had played Seminole's Pro-Member with Jon Rahm last year.
The stock shot on the 13th hole is 165 yards from the blue tees to an elevated green that almost always plays into an easterly breeze. It stands as one of the most picturesque holes on the property, with a green up against the sand dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. Designed by Donald Ross in the 1920s, it was hardly touched by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in their renovation for the club’s hosting of the 2021 Walker Cup.
Members will say the 13th at Seminole is considered one of the hardest 18th-handicap holes one could find in golf. Fitzgerald plays to a 10.7-handicap, and eyewitnesses described the ball rolling in like a putt. Cell phones came out on the green to take photos of the moment. Among the high fives was one coming from the 44th President of the United States.
With all he’s achieved in football, it will be a moment that Fitzgerald will never forget.
But wait, there's more: Fitz wasn't the only person to have his moment Friday. Obama, who was partnered with Dunne, made a 3-net-2 on the par-4 18th hole. He and Dunne were 2 down with two holes to play before winning the final two holes to halve the match.