Babineau’s 2015 Recap and Golf Shot of the Year

GOLFWEEK’S JEFF BABINEAU HAS COVERED THE SPORT for three decades. On Saturday, in his “My Year in Golf” column, Babineau was “trying to recall a year as complete from start to finish as this one. It never let us down.

“It. Just. Kept. On. Delivering.”

I’ve been watching golf just as long, and it’s hard to disagree with Jeff’s assessment. Read his full column here.

Included in his article was the best shot of the year. There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the player who hit it. Babineau wrote:

That said, considering what was on the line (a playing spot in the 2016 Masters at Augusta National), I confidently can state that I saw the very best shot in the world in 2015: Sammy Schmitz’s ace at the 260-yard, par-4 15th hole at John’s Island’s West Course (Vero Beach, Fla.) in the final match of the 35th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. 

Schmitz had a 2-up lead over Marc Dull on the 33rd hole of the day, and smashed a driver that flew onto the green at the shortened par 4, with his ball rising up a steep slope, stopping, and slowly curling back toward the hole, finally vanishing for an improbable ace. I mean, c’mon – a man steps to the tee in the final match of a coveted U.S. Golf Association championship and hits a tiny golf ball into a 4 1/4-inch hole carved 260 yards from where he is standing? Pretty legendary.

The Minnesota native’s only previous ace had come in a scramble.

Pretty legendary, indeed. As Babineau wrote about Schmitz in October, “Next big stop, Augusta National.”

Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

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