Tanner debuts with a hole-in-one


It was a very good Friday indeed for DJ Tanner on the local greens last week.

A native of Pelham, New Hampshire, and a former Lowell Catholic hockey player, Tanner became the latest golfer to join the sport’s most elite clique, hitting a hole-in-one on the No. 4 hole at Trull Brook. Golf Course and Tennis Center at Tewksbury last Friday.

“It was awesome,” Tanner, 31, said. “This is the first time this has happened. I never thought this would happen to me. I’ve been playing this course since I was nine years old. I recently moved back to New England so rode on Friday saint to play golf that morning.

Opening their 18-hole excursion, Tanner, Tom Varnum and his aunt Donna Tanner, had no idea they would witness history as they approached hole No. 4, a 129-yard green surrounded of three bunkers. The course can be deceiving off the tee due to the sloping green with a large bunker in front.

“It’s a typical par 3 surrounded by bunkers, front left and right,” Tanner said. “If you go too far on the green, you’re on the next tee and it goes down pretty quickly. It’s almost downhill towards the front of the green. You always want to try to hit it under the ball, but in this case I ended up placing it just to the left of it and with enough slope for it to roll towards the hole. It was more luck than anything.”

Reaching his trusty 50-degree gap corner, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Tanner teeed off with the ball landing about seven feet left of the hole, before slowly heading inside.

“I could barely see it with the shadows of the trees,” Tanner said. “I thought I saw something flowing towards the hole and sure enough (enough) when I went up there it was in the hole. Originally, I didn’t know if it went in or not.

Along the Merrimack River, Trull Brook is a golfer’s paradise, with 125 acres of challenging fairways and greens. According to Tanner’s aunt and Trull Brook Pro Shop manager Donna Tanner, hole #4 is always a challenge.

“It’s a fun hole in the morning,” Donna said. “With dew and sunshine, this can cause problems for golfers to determine true distance. Often golfers try to get under the hole as the steeply sloping green can lead to extremely difficult putts.

Tanner has been playing golf since the age of nine. He resided in Florida for 12 years before returning to New England in March. The Lowell Catholic grad (’09) still finds time to take the course and indulge in his favorite hobby.

“It’s always tough,” said Tanner, who sports a 9 handicap. “It’s one of those sports that isn’t necessarily a team sport. I’ve played hockey my whole life, so I’ve always been drawn to golf.

He takes his latest athletic achievement in stride.

“I was shocked,” Tanner said. “I never thought I would have one. It was a surprise. The fact that I could only see the shadow, not the incoming ball, I was even more surprised, to be honest with you.


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