New Haven Country Club member Hoffman records ace - at age 96

Dr. Joe Hoffman recently aced the second hole at New Haven Country Club at the age of 96.

Dr. Joe Hoffman recently aced the second hole at New Haven Country Club at the age of 96.

Contributed Photo

Dr. Joe Hoffman didn’t see where his tee shot finished up on the second hole at New Haven Country Club last Tuesday, but one of his playing partners did.

“My partner (Bill Hoffman, no relation) saw it go in the hole,” Hoffman said. “I thought it stopped short and then I went up there and there it was in the hole.”

Hoffman said it was about a 100-yard shot from the forward tees. It was the fourth ace he has made.

That alone is quite an accomplishment. But then take this into account: Dr. Hoffman is 96, currently the oldest living member at New Haven CC, according to club head pro William Wallis.

“In my time at New Haven (CC), Dr. Hoffman has exemplified why golf is so great,” Wallis said. “Not only can you play and enjoy the game for a lifetime, but like Dr. Hoffman, you can also fiercely compete. And he is a competitor.”

Hoffman, who said he plays roughly once per week, said his playing partners were more excited about the ace than he was.

“I was amazed that ball went in the hole. I was sort of stunned,” Hoffman said. “(His playing partners) thought it was great. I’m a very modest person.”

Hoffman’s first ace happened almost to the exact date 71 years ago: it occurred on June 16, 1950 at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma.

His second one? The 100-yard, downhill seventh hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links in 1997. Hoffman recorded his third ace on the ninth hole at New Haven CC in 2010.

Hoffman is a Professor Emeritus of Cellular And Molecular Physiology at Yale University. He has been retired since 2003. He still goes into the office every couple of weeks or so.

In addition to being a member at New Haven CC, Hoffman is also an honorary member at Yale GC.

Northeast Amateur

Both finalists in Friday’s Connecticut Amateur are part of a group of state players competing in the Northeast Amateur Invitational Golf Tournament Wednesday through Saturday at Wannamoisett CC in East Providence, Rhode Island.

Chris Fosdick, who repeated as Amateur champion, and Cody Paladino, a former champ and finalist this year, will be in the field, along with two-time Amateur winner Richard Dowling, Ben James, who is contention for a berth on the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team later this year, and Brad Tilley, the medalist after 36 holes of stroke play at the Amateur.

The low 60 players and ties will remain for the final two rounds Friday and Saturday.

Travelers 4-spot qualifier

The final four sports into the Travelers Championship field will be determined on Monday at Ellington Ridge CC.

Among the notables are: Brett Stegmaier, the former Madison and Hamden resident who played for a few years on the PGA Tour (8:09 a.m., first hole); former UConn standout Zach Zaback, who qualified for the U.S. Open (9 a.m., 10th tee), reigning Connecticut Open champion Max Theodorakis (9:03, 1st); former PGA Tour pro Robert Garrigus (9:12, 1st) and Cheshire’s Eric Dietrich (10:06, 1st hole).

joseph.morelli@hearstmediact.com; @nhrJoeMorelli