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Totally Random

November 6, 2008 |  6:40 pm

Curt Hocker

For most, a hole-in-one is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And then there’s Curt Hocker, who nearly made it a daily occurrence last week, recording five aces during the week, including two Saturday.

"I don't know what to think," the 22-year-old Illinois amateur golfer told Chicago’s Daily Herald. “After each one I say it’s over, and it keeps happening.”

Hocker recorded all five holes-in-one at the El Paso Golf Club, where he works in the pro shop. He said he’s glad his club membership comes with “hole-in-one insurance” -- which calls for the club, and not the golfer, to pay for the traditional drinks for everyone in the clubhouse after an ace is made.

“I think the golf course is getting mad at me for all the drinks,” Hocker said.

Trivia time

How old was Tiger Woods when he hit his first hole in one?

Pride of the Yankees?

Jane Austen, baseball historian?

Author Julian Norridge, arguing that baseball originated in Britain, cites a reference to the game in Austen’s novel “Northanger Alley,” which was written in 1797-98. He says Austen referenced the sport in the early pages when she introduced tomboy heroine Catherine Morland, writing: "It was not very wonderful that Catherine, who had nothing heroic about her, should prefer cricket, baseball, riding on horseback, and running about the country at the age of 14, to books."

“There’s no doubt it was played in Britain in the late 18th century, and equally no doubt that it traveled to America,” Norridge writes in his book, “Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please?”

While on the topic of Americans rewriting British sports history, Norridge might want to examine what Hollywood did to Nick Hornby’s “Fever Pitch.”

Walking the plank

Mutiny is breaking out in the Oakland Raiders’ locker room following the release of Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

"I'm not on board with what happened to DeAngelo," Nnamdi Asomugha, a defensive team captain, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I don't agree with what's going on.... You can only bite your lip and play football."

"This is a soap opera over here," strong safety Gibril Wilson said. "I've never been in a situation where you cut one of the best players. That's strange to me. It's almost like you're throwing in the towel."

Actually, the Raiders already threw in the towel. It was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

Trivia answer

Six years old.

Final Thought

Dan Daly, Washington Times: “Well, Charles Barkley, the erstwhile Round Mound of Rebound, is once again talking about running for governor of Alabama. I have my doubts, though -- not about the “governor of Alabama” part, but about the “running” part. With Charles, I suspect, it’ll be more like a slow jog, perhaps even a leisurely stroll.”

-- Mike Penner

Photo: Amateur golfer Curt Hocker holds three golf balls used on holes-in-one recently while playing at El Paso Golf Club in El Paso, Ill. Credit: Jim Benson / The Pantagraph / Associated Press Photo