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Getting two hole-in-ones proves to be fun feat, expensive treat

By Staff | Aug 11, 2008

I have been golfing for more years than I care to count. I have played a lot of courses, lost plenty of balls and enjoyed the game – most of the time.

One thing I have never done is scored a hole-in-one. I guess only one golfer in 33,000 gets one, or so the golf pros say.

I have a friend who is a school teacher. He doesn’t do much in the summer other than golf – every day. He has not ever scored an ace either, despite playing thousands of holes.

It is not something I lose sleep over, just setting the stage for the following information I received this week.

Former Blue Earth resident Don Greiman had an interesting week when he shot not just one, but two hole-in-ones on two different courses.

Greiman, who lives in Centerville, Ohio, is a 1972 graduate of Blue Earth High School.

He was golfing with some friends and doing poorly. “I was ready to hang up the golf bag for a while,” he says.

Then he nailed a shot on a par-3, 196 yard hole. The ball rolled into the cup.

For those of you who don’t golf, a 196 yard par-3 hole is a long one.

“It’s not an easy par-3,” Greiman says. “In fact, I have never been on the green before.”

Of course, scoring a hole-in-one comes with the obligation of buying drinks for everyone in the clubhouse, and dinner for his fellow golfers in his foursome.

Greiman did that.

On August 1, he was golfing on another course and scored another hole-in-one. This time it was on a 185 yard par-3.

“Two of the guys I was golfing with that day were with me the first time, too,” Greiman says. “One of them had only golfed with me those two times-he has only seen two hole-in-ones and I hit both of them.”

Greiman says if he played golf for a living he would hire the guy to come along just for the luck he brings.

The second ace meant another round of drinks, dinner and an 18-year-old bottle of scotch.

Greiman played football at Blue Earth (center on the 1971 conference champion team) but no golfing.

“I didn’t pick up the clubs until the air force,” he says. He spent 30 years in the service, from 1977 to 2007.

He was involved in music and theater in high school besides his sports exploits.

“Somewhere in your archives there is a picture of me as Col. Pickering in the ‘My Fair Lady’ production in 1972,” he admits. He remembers that Nancy Steinke and Bruce Ankeny were also in the musical.

Ankeny played Liza Doolittle’s dad in the 1972 production. Last month he was Belle’s father in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Greiman says Ankeny must be typecast.

Greiman went on to graduate from Bemidji State as a bass trombone major, just a few years after BEA teacher Mike Ellingson. Greiman was also a music teacher, before the air force called.

“I still play the trombone with the Ohio Valley British Brass Band,” he says.

Greiman married a Pennsylvania girl, Noel, in 1985. That has kept him in that area ever since.

“You can take the boy out of Minnesota, but you can’t take Minnesota out of the boy,” says Greiman. He has remained a loyal Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves and Gophers fan over the years he has been gone.

“Is Bret Favre an undercover cheesehead disguised as a defector, or just a Packer turncoat,” he asks. “What is going on with that?”

He still has family connections to this area, including his sister Deb Swanson in Fairmont and the Greimann family in Blue Earth. He spells his name with one ‘n’ however.

This past Tuesday Greiman was headed out to the same golf course he scored the first ace on, with the same group of fellow golfers from that day.

“Most people don’t think lightning strikes in the same place twice, but I am testing whether it can hit three times,” he says.

He is willing to buy drinks and dinner and a bottle of scotch for the third time if it happens.

“Heck, I might even throw in a trip to Disney World,” he laughed. “As long as I can take my clubs with.”