Chad Elder: An Afternoon Ace on Dunes 11


March 25, 2021 —

Holes-in-one on par-4s rarely happen.

Holes-in-one — in general — had never happened for Chad Elder.

He’d seen a handful of them, including a few from his pops. But even armed with a single-digit handicap, a golf career at Nebraska Wesleyan, and life spent playing the game, he had yet to scratch a one on a scorecard of his own.

That was, until one magical evening in September of 2017.



Elder’s father Bruce is a long-time member of the club. Chad has made a handful of family trips to the club over the years — highlights of their summer.

On this September afternoon, the group —  Bruce, his uncle Dirk, and his two cousins Kade and Joel — took off on the Dunes at dusk.

They got to hole 11, the popular par-4, and Chad did what he always does — almost out of subconscious reaction.

“Whenever I play 11, I like hitting driver,” said Elder. “It’s risky, but there’s a lot of room up there and I like the risk reward of that hole.”

With a south wind at their back, Chad teed it up and ripped one at the bunker cresting the hill.



“Right way, we weren’t sure if it had enough juice to carry, but sure enough,” remembered Elder, “it bounced a few times over the top of the hill.”

Crisis averted.

But with a back right pin sitting in the distance, the ball suddenly appeared on the green, scooting toward the hole location.

Then, it disappeared.

“My dad said, ‘I’ve seen so many balls go over the green and the collect back there. It had to go behind the green,’ and I agreed with him,” said Elder.

Then, a two-some scurried down hole 10 behind them.

Being the respectful members they are, they allowed the group to play through.

Chad joked to them as they teed off, “if there’s a ball in the hole, leave it, it’s ours.” 

Little did he know.

After a few minutes of watching players dart all across the fairway, Elder lost his patience.

“I finally had to just drive up to the green and check,” Elder recalls.

He walked to the back of the green, golfers scattered throughout looking for golf balls and taking practice swings.

The ball was at the bottom of the cup.

His Titleist D3 910 driver produced one of the rarest feats in golf — an ace on a par-4.

“We went nuts,” said Elder, as he laughed over the phone from his home in Kansas City, MO.

Once the group returned to the clubhouse, Elder remembers the Eagle’s Nest being packed with members. They found some space and started picking up drinks in celebration.

“We had an absolute great time, it was a blast.”

The scorecard is framed on his wall to this day.

What a day for the Elders.





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