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Hole in one at Lac La Biche hole-in-one tourney

Lac La Biche golfer 'slam dunks' approach shot at golf club fundraiser

The owner of the Highpoint Clothing store in Lac La Biche had his own high point at the local golf course on Canada Day Monday, scoring a hole-in-one at the annual hole-in-one tournament.

Ali Abougouche drained his 154 yard shot on Hole 13 during the Lac La Biche Golf Club's annual Canada Day Hole In One Fundraiser.

Abougouche was playing in a foursome, one 36 teams of golfers who paid their entry fees to take part in the event that turns each hole on the course into a Par 3 target of about 160 yards. Each green has two target flags set up for the tournament.

Using his trusty seven-iron, Abougouche said he didn't do anything particularly different from the other approaches he had been taking during the tournament. The end result, however, was like nothing he'd seen before.

"It's my first one," said Abougouche taking a mid-tournament lunch stop in the clubhouse shortly after making the shot.

He said the ball just flew straight into the hole. "Slam-dunk" is how he described it while getting pats on the back from other golfers in the clubhouse.
Admittedly still in a bit of shock, Abougouche told the Lac La Biche POST newsroom it was all a bit surreal. He said he watched the ball go into the cup ... but didn't quite believe it.  He ran the 154 yards to the green, as his teammates caught up in the golf carts.

His teammates verified the ace.

"Slam-dunked. No hop," said Abougouche's brother Samear, detailing the shot as the rest of the team watched. 

Another team member wrote the date and "Hole In One" on the ball since Abougouche's hands were shaking a little too much to handle the Sharpie.

Hitting a hole-in-one at a tournament specially designated for those elusive holes-in-one earned Abougouche a $2,500 prize. The local retailer wasn't yet sure how he was going to spend his winnings.

Family history 25 years later

The tournament has been a fixture on the Lac La Biche Golf Club's schedule since 1995. There have only been half a dozen golfers over those years to record a hole-in-one on the tournament day ... including Abougouche's late Uncle Kelly Abougouche, who was the first person to notch a one-timer at the tournament in 1999. 


Other prizes handed out at Monday's tournament included $3,600 in cash — $100 per hole – for players whose first shots were closest to either of the two pins on each green.  

All proceeds from the tournament go towards golf course improvements.



Rob McKinley

About the Author: Rob McKinley

Rob has been in the media, marketing and promotion business for 30 years, working in the public sector, as well as media outlets in major metropolitan markets, smaller rural communities and Indigenous-focused settings.
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