by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
They might want to change the name of No. 2 hole at Elk River Golf Course to “Grupa Alley”.
Cory Grupa became the third member of his family to shoot a hole-in-one on that same hole last Thursday.
Cory, 44, aced the 145-yard hole while playing alone, on the way to a 39 for the round.
In 1981, he witnessed his older brother Brad acing the same hole. In 1998, Brad’s son Tyler got his hole-in-one there while in high school.
“All three of us got our first hole in one on the same hole. That’s amazing,” said Cory, lifelong Elk River resident.
After using a seven iron to sink the ace on one hop and a short roll, his first concern was having a witness.
“When the ball went in, I thought, ‘Boy, this is really cool — but I’m alone!’ ” said Cory.
Fortunately, two guys appeared on No. 18, the adjacent hole, just then.
“I hollered at them that I’d just gotten an ace, and asked them to go look in the cup, to attest to it, and they did.”
Brad, who’s made six more aces since that first one, was golfing at ERGC at the same time, and was thrilled to hear about Cory’s feat. After getting a call from Cory, he rushed to No. 2 on his cart, and was able to walk to the green with his brother, watch him retrieve the ball from the cup, and take photos.
“What an honor it was for me,” said Brad, “to be out there and witness Cory’s moment of glory taking the ball out of the hole 30 years later on the exact same hole.”