Here at Hole in One Program Headquarters, we know that every hole in one win has a unique story. This time, the story is about a man whose love of golf helps keep his family close across generations.
Mike Rowen made a hole in one on a vehicle hole sponsored by Dave Sinclair Ford in St. Louis, MO at the 17th Annual Friends of Kids with Cancer Golf Tournament this past May. This was Mike’s first hole in one after a lifetime of playing golf. In his words, getting a hole in one was “kind of a dream come true” and his friends and family were also ecstatic about the win.
For Mike, the day started off slow. His team wasn’t playing their best, so they decided to just relax and play for enjoyment. As with many of our hole in one winners, it seemed that when Mike was relaxed and least expecting it, he took a winning shot that would be a game changer.
“The pin was on the back on the green which makes it difficult because the wind was in our face. It’s a relatively challenging hole. I hit the ball, and a guy in my group joked that it was on line to go in the hole and then it landed! It was kind of unreal, I was in disbelief until the spotter raised their hands in the air. There’s a question about whether it landed right in the hole or rolled in, but I think it landed right in the hole!”
Caught up in the joy of his first hole in one, Mike didn’t even realize that he had won a car. “I didn’t even put two and two together, and then my playing partner said ‘you just won a car too’! And then I freaked out about that as well!” When asked how he felt, he replied, “shocked, then pure excitement!”
Mike tells us that the most memorable part of the day was calling his wife to tell her the big news and then ultimately celebrating with his family.
“I have a wife and three boys 12, 10, and 7 and they all golf. They understand the importance of it and they know how much I love golf. We’re a big golf family, so winning the car was just a bonus.”
This is Mike’s second year playing in the tournament, a fundraiser for Kids with Cancer. Mike is the general sales manager for 101 ESPN, a radio station that is a Kids with Cancer sponsor and is proud to support the center. His involvement with the nonprofit is what originally led him to play in the tournament, but his love for golf is what keeps him coming back.
“I love the fact that it’s a lifelong sport, and I love that its brought my immediate family together. My father brought me and my brothers up playing golf and now I’m playing with my kids. It’s also advantageous for my business, and I love the social aspect. The good and bad shots keep me going back!”
Not only does Mike know how to take the good shots with the bad, he also knows not to force the game. As with many things, Mike’s advice is to not go looking for hole in ones, but to just keep playing the game.
“Just keep playing and you never know what’s going to happen. Don’t plan on hitting a hole in one, it doesn’t happen when you think it’s going to happen”. All in all, Mike said the experience of winning and working with the dealership was incredible.
“The dealership was wonderful to work with and they were spectacular. They are a class organization. They made it so easy for me to get this taken care of.”
Congratulations Mike! We are honored to be a part of your big win!