Star-Bulletin Sports

Sunday, December 16, 2001


Douglas Kim got his 15th hole-in-one on the par-3 No. 6 at the Kahuku Golf Course on Dec. 4. He's also aced Kahuku's first (3 times), third (3) and fourth (5) holes.

Ace of Aces

Scoring a hole-in-one has not been
hard for 74-year-old Douglas Kim,
who already has recorded 15 aces

By Kalani Simpson

he clubhouse is filled with laughter. It is talk-story time, and there is beer and soda, a full rice pot and shrimp and chicken and other delicious pupus. There are friends, and tall tales and Broke Da Mout cake. They ante up, and one man turns to cooking and the rest turn to talking.

It's not a golf course clubhouse, indoors with waitresses and menus and high-class "Caddyshack" characters. It's a real clubhouse, the Little Rascals kind, a makeshift backyard local-kine party place.

And the party is for No. 15.

Fifteen. That's the reason for this special occasion. Douglas Kim, 74, sank his 15th hole-in-one Dec. 4. That's right. His 15th.

And a group of retired rascals live out the good life in Kahuku.

"They all happy," Kim said. "They like eat lunch."

Douglas Kim, 74, shares a laugh with his friends in a makeshift clubhouse near Kim's favorite golf course, Kahuku.

The last hole-in-one came on No. 6 at the Kahuku Golf Course, Kim's first on No. 6 -- the only par-3 on the course where you can't see the ball's final destination. He walked up and there it was, his 15th. "Maybe my friends threw 'em in the hole, I don't know," he joked.

He knows about the rest. He saw three aces go down on the first hole at Kahuku, three more on No. 3 and five holes-in-one on the fourth hole of his favorite course.

He's also had two at nearby Turtle Bay and one at Makaha. And that's a lot of lunches.

"The first one, I spend good money," Kim said. "It was my first hole-in-one."

Everybody chips in now, or Kim would have gone broke a long time ago.

His first ace came in 1961, and he's still got the scorecard. But except for a Hole-in-One Club cup, that's his only memento. The aces are fun, and nothing more. A little excitement, a short celebration and another excuse for lunch with the gang.

"A lot of people made hole-in-ones, but only lately they put it in the papers," he said. It's not that big a deal, nothing to brag about. Not to the guy who's had 15 of them.

"But, eh, that's 40 years now, you know what I mean?"

Kim started golfing in the '30s as a kid, caddying for the Kahuku Golf Course manager, cleaning the manager's clubs, taking them home, using them until the manager's next round. In the 1940s the course was bulldozed to keep airplanes from landing on it. But Kim was hooked.

As the years went by he played exhibitions, played with people he worked with at Pearl Harbor, played with golf great and LPGA pioneer Marilyn Smith. He won the Korean Championship. On Oahu, and in 1964, of Korea.

But these days on the course are pretty good, too. He's still got game, still got friends, still talking story and making plates in celebration of his latest ace.

"Eh!" a kolohe friend said. "No write everything good about him! He told you about how he make all the wife mad at us?"

Kim sits in the clubhouse down the road from his "poor man's Pebble Beach" and smiles, saying how he is always the last one to leave these get-togethers, how he wants to look after things, to make sure that everyone else goes home first.

"No," another friend bursts out, "it's so nobody talk stink about you!"

And the clubhouse is filled with laughter.

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