Things were supposedly so crazy with Gabby Carollo’s golf swing one day at practice that Elkhorn coach Sue Saalfeld called the senior’s dad.
“My coach was like, ‘What’s up with Gabby? She’s not doing very good. Her swing looks weird and out of place,’ ” Carollo said.
Shawn Carollo wasn’t thrilled to get that news, and when Gabby got on the phone he demanded to know what was going on.
She listened to what he had to say and then dropped her bombshell.
“By the way,” she said. “I got a hole-in-one.”
Everyone could hear his scream, he was so excited. And he wasn’t the only one.
Gabby said there was lots of celebrating after she used an 8-iron to ace the 130-yard fifth hole on the Red Feather Course at Indian Creek. Saalfeld, assistant Ben Meyer and teammate Chelsea Knott were witnesses.
Gabby had just been talking about getting a birdie and winning an incentive prize from her coach on the previous hole. She stepped up to No. 5, went through her routine, thought about swinging easy and then hit the ball the best she could.
“We are watching it. It drops in front of the hole, and I thought birdie opportunity,” Gabby said. “It keeps rolling, and all of a sudden we knew it went in.”
Gabby thought her mind was just playing tricks on her until Saalfeld started jumping up and down and screaming.
“We all started jumping up and down and screaming,” Gabby said.
That’s when they came up with the idea to pull the prank on her dad. Although a very good golfer, he doesn’t have an ace.
“I just told him, ‘Now you know, since I got this hole-in-one, every time you critique my golfing ability, I’m going to remind you of that hole-in-one.’ He was like, ‘yeah, yeah, yeah.’ ”
Gabby loves the game and is interested in playing collegiately. She and her dad also plan to check out the golf management program at Nebraska.
Gabby has qualified for state three times, and her goal this season is to medal. She’d also like to break 80, which she almost did by shooting an 80 at her first Nebraska Junior Golf Tour event.
Gabby did well this summer, placing in every tournament and winning a few. She qualified for the NJGT championship at Sand Hills Golf Club, finishing eighth.
She likes her irons and drives, saying she has a huge advantage because of how far she can hit the ball.
Saalfeld said Gabby is the No. 1 golfer on a veteran Elkhorn team. The team’s goal is to make it back to state, Saalfeld said.
She never has to worry about Gabby, who often loses track of time because she’s so focused on improving her game.
“She has a lovely swing and works very hard at it,” Saalfeld said.
Gabby said her coach, who doesn’t have an ace, starts every tournament by saying, “It’s a great day for a hole-in-one, ladies.”
Now, Gabby knows how good it feels.
“It feels great,” she said.