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Ryan Bakken / Forum Communications Co., Published May 27 2012

Five-year-old from Grand Forks gets a hole-in-one

GRAND FORKS – Step aside Tiger Woods, the golf world has a new prodigy.

Meet Carter Olson, a 5-year-old from Grand Forks who recently made a hole-in-one. Tiger was an ancient 6 when he had his first ace.

Carter, who will start kindergarten in the fall, isn’t the youngest golfer to ever have an ace. That distinction goes to a 3-year-old in California.

But Carter gets extra credit for his timing. It came on Mother’s Day, with mom Jaime watching. So was his golf partner, father Brad, and 1-year-old brother Jackson.

“It hit the flagstick in the air and dropped straight into the hole,” Carter said, describing the ace.

The shot defied the odds, which are one in 40,000 for a hole-in-one. Carter’s came on the 51-yard No. 6 hole at the Steve Mullally Youth Golf Course, a Lincoln Park layout of six holes – all shorter than 100 yards – that is designed for young beginners.

Carter may be young, but he’s no beginner. He started playing at age 2.

“When he started, there was a lot of swinging, but not much hitting,” dad said.

Although he had a few whiffs early in his round Wednesday evening – when his eye was on the Herald photographer rather than the ball – he showed later that the ace was no fluke. One tee shot rolled through the green, about three feet left of the pin.

On the next hole, his second shot landed softly on the green as two women walking their dogs strolled past. One woman, with a mix of awe and surprise in her voice, said, “Good shot.”

Carter takes a robust swing at the ball. His enthusiasm is even heartier, as he frequently runs/dances to the ball while carrying his clubs. He’s so eager that his swing sometimes starts before his feet are set. Unlike many his age, he’s not distracted by the likes of butterflies.

“He’s always begging to play,” Brad said. “The one thing I do not want to do is push him.”

After the ace and the ensuing jumping and yelling in celebration, Carter’s first words were: “Can we go around again?”

Father and son play two to three times at week at the Mullally course. They also play when the Olsons visit Brad’s family in Hallock, Minn. Playing from the forward tees, Carter “usually is putting for bogey or double-bogey on the par-four holes,” Brad said.

Carter loves sports. He plays Sunflake soccer. The family has a hockey rink in the backyard. And his first T-Ball game looms in a few weeks.

If T-Ball is anything like his Mother’s Day tee shot, he’s likely to hit a home run.

Ryan Bakken is a reporter for

the Grand Forks Herald,

a Forum Communications Co. newspaper