By Stian Morck
The weekend started early. John Bodrero, Julius Morck, my boys Alex and Gus Morck and yours truly enjoyed a Saturday round of golf at Ben Brown’s Golf Course at the Ranch in Laguna. The ground was soaked from the good rains and it was quiet. And as the light from the sun crept down the side of Aliso Canyon and the morning mist flowed towards the ocean, we knew if was going to be a good day. After golf we enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast from The Harvest on the patio overlooking Aliso Canyon. Santa was there too. We were about to leave when we decided to go to the putting green where a golf ball company, Volvik, had a stand. Marty, their sales rep, gave us each a brand new shiny golf ball in exchange for our names and email addresses. He said, “when you make a hole-in-one with your ball by June next year, you will get $500 from us.” I think my boys had lots of ideas for what to do with $500.
The next day, I received a message from our friend DJ Roller, who wanted to know if we wanted to play golf. Plans were made and Gus, Jameson, DJ and I met at Ben Brown’s. It was so nice and the sun was starting to set. Deer grazing around you just make things seem peaceful and perfect. Really, there is nothing like a stroll at Ben Brown’s on a late Sunday afternoon.
I asked Gus if he had brought his Volvik ball, but he had left it at home. Oh well, I thought. On the third tee box, Gus asked me, “Dad, if I get a hole in one, can we say I used my Volvik ball?” I just told him we would talk about it if he made one. On number 6, Gus lines up with his seven iron and using his non-Volvik ball, proceeds to hit it on the green and he runs it right into the hole.
Hole-in one! OMG. We can’t believe it. After the initial euphoria, which included Gus and Jameson running around in silent circles for a minute or so, the question came again. “Dad, can we say I used my Volvik ball?”
I told him that even if we would get away with it, we would still know it wasn’t real and that we shouldn’t do it. I told him that the plan would be for him to go out and get another one with his Volvik ball.
This morning driving my boys to zero period at Thurston Middle School, I asked Gus how much he attributed his hole-in-one to Rob Reinhorn, the golf instructor at Ben Brown’s and the LBHS JV boys golf coach. Every Tuesday, Rob, Gus and Jameson with friend Trey Lockhart meet at Ben Brown’s for golf lessons and fun. Gus said Rob has had a lot to do with growing his love for the game and has helped him hit better chips and drives. Thanks Rob!
Thanks also to Tim Jackson, Nick Jankowski, Ryan Sheffer and Andy Fechko for running the pro shop and bringing a great golf program at Ben Brown’s. And a special thank you to Brian Pauling – the course and the greens are as good as ever!
And finally, thank you to Mark Christy, Kurt Bjorkman and The Ranch for the vision and the work with restoring this iconic piece of Laguna history. Thanks for believing in our community. The Ranch and Ben Brown’s is a slice of heaven right here in Laguna.
Golfer Stian Morck lives in town.