Sisto Santinelli said he took up golf five years ago just to have fun. But on Aug. 14, that fun turned into elation as he shot a hole-in-one on the 12th hole of the Pilgrim’s Oak Golf Course in Peach Bottom.
“It really felt good. I knew it was a good shot that got close to the hole, but I didn’t know it went in until I got to the green,” he said. “I don’t play that good, just in the 90s. I guess the shot was just lucky.”
Santinelli, 72, is a retired sea captain who worked 47 years on an oil tanker for the Atlantic Richfield Company. He grew up in Italy and went to sea captain academy, later getting a job on a ship. When the company established an office in the Philadelphia Area, he moved to the Village of Penn Ridge in Penn Townhship.
Santinelli said he plays golf two or three times a week. “I go out to have fun, not a nightmare,” he said.
He added that he plays with people who have much more experience than he does, and that when he started playing five years ago he was shooting in the 120s to 100s.
He said he found it exciting that his friend who has been playing for 30 years has not had the experience of a hole-in-one, bus he has.
This time, however, he paid a price for the honor.
Usually a player who shoots a hole-in-one has to buy a round of drinks for the folks at the club. He said, “I had to buy drinks and dinner for four people.”
Santinelli is retired, but he said he can recall piloting a ship in plenty of storms. When he was asked if it requires physical strength to guide an oil tanker, he said not so much.
“It requires mental strength,” he said.
Sports experts say the odds of getting a hole in is one in 2O,OOO.