AMORY – Back when Joe Knight was 33, he started golfing every so often but mostly practiced hitting shots on his nine acres east of Amory. After retiring from the Amory Post Office, following other jobs throughout the years, free time allowed for the 84-year-old’s backyard practice to pay off on the links.
He recently sunk his ninth hole in one since starting play, driving a Titleist Pro V1 approximately 130 yards with a TaylorMade 6-iron on River Birch Golf Club’s 17th hole, which is a par-3.
“The boy I play with [Jerry Atwell] was telling me the ball went in. We went up, and it did,” he said of the most recent hole in one. “I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t get excited. I don’t whoop and holler but I was excited.”
Ten to 15 years ago, he sunk his first career hole in one at River Birch’s 11th hole with what he called, “the sorriest shot you’ve ever seen.” Although he hasn’t kept records of his other hole in ones, which he has achieved at places such as Amory Golf Course and Fort Walton Municipal Golf Course in Florida, he is more proud of his albatross on River Birch’s 2nd hole 20 years ago.
“That’s more rare than a hole in one,” he said of finishing a par-5 hole with two shots.
He was using a Big Bertha driver from the tee box and a 5-wood on the fairway for his second shot on the 510-yard range.
“I didn’t see it go in the hole. Old Johnny Cadden was in the group I was playing in and he started jumping up and down and said it went in in the hole,” he said of the second shot. “We went up, and it was in the hole. We were supposed to get points for every hole we won and I said, ‘I need to get double points.’ They said, ‘We’ll give you one point.’”
Atwell and Bill Powell rounded out the group that day for that round of golf.
Knight’s playing days are far from over, as he and Atwell play River Birch on a regular basis, setting the par for a possible 10th hole in one or maybe even a second albatross.