Dr. Rick Hartwig and His Pinnacle Moment


January 19, 2021 —

It was a lovely, 80-degree August morning. 

The warm sun burned through the air, competing with not even a breath of wind. 

It was the kind of day where you tee up scuffed, old Pinnacle golf balls on bright pink tees and make holes-in-one.

But more on that in a minute.

The day was Monday, August 24, 2015. Dr. Hartwig, an anesthesiologist from Lincoln, NE, and his three playing partners — Dave Lueders, Nick Cusick, and Steve Eicher — hit the Pines Course for a full day of golf.

They did not know the surprise ahead. 

Dr. Hartwig typically plays to a 15-handicap, but claims the morning saw some of his worst golf.  The first 5 holes were disastrous.  As for his playing partners?

“They’re usually even worse than me!” Dr. Hartwig joked.

As they passed the Pines Canteen, their carts sauntered to the tee of Pines 6. 

Dr. Hartwig’s group members threw him a worn Pinnacle 4 they had found in the weeds earlier in the day.

They gave him a pink tee, as they mocked the state of his game.  Dr. Hartwig never plays Pinnacles.

The ball had a random church logo on the side and condition-wise, had seen better days.

A fun-loving person, Dr. Hartwig teed up the Pinnacle, pulled out his 30-degree hybrid and took a swing.

Measuring only 142 yards, the pin sat on the front crest, just ahead of the green’s signature Biarritz-style swale.

The ball cut through the air, hit the slope on the front of the green, and bounced up onto the surface. The group watched the ball roll until they could no more.

“We saw it disappear,” said Dr. Hartwig, remembering his disbelief.

After finishing the round, they nervously approached the Lodge and a pending bar tab. As it turns out, it was a quiet evening.

“We got to the Lodge and I went to buy drinks. We walked inside, and only two people were there,” said Dr. Hartwig. “Only one ordered a drink. It was a cheap night!”

The Pinnacle sits proudly today in a trophy case, along with the tee and some TPC memorabilia.

Who ever said old, scuffed up Pinnacles have no purpose?

Have a hole-in-one story, we want to hear it!