The London Knights and the Peterborough Petes have a few things in common.
For starters, both franchises know how their uniforms look in tube skates. Along with Kitchener and Oshawa, they were the first teams on the block in the Ontario Hockey League to still be standing in the days of flex sticks and 3 on 3 overtime.
And they may also be the only teams with a player on their roster who has a hole in one on the golf course.
For all of the stats the hockey world keeps, that isn’t exactly one that gets its own column. Not even next to shootout percentage and insurance goals for.
But this past summer, Max Jones entered the ranks of aces at Firerock Golf Club during the London Knights’ charity golf tournament in support of Hope’s Garden, joining Logan DeNoble of the Peterborough Petes, who completed the feat on in 2011 at the age of 13.
Jones did it as part of an incredible day and created proof that the golfers who spend five minutes going through practice swings and adjusting their stance before they hit are just killing everyone else’s time.
Jones had signed his first professional contract with the Anaheim Ducks earlier in the day, so he was already on a high. He and his group drove up to the tee on the 11th hole right about the time the Ducks released the news of Jones’ contract signing.
Something like that tends to make your phone blow up and Max spent the next few minutes answering texts and emails while the rest of the golfers hit their balls.
It got to the point that Jones had to hit, but his phone was still buzzing, so he put it down, grabbed a club (without even checking to see what it was), teed up a ball and let fly.
He didn’t think much of it after that. His ball had disappeared, so Jones figured it had gone over the hole.
It wasn’t until they got to the green that one of the marshals told him he should go look in the hole.
An NHL contract and a hole in one in the very same day.
For DeNoble, things were special for a different reason.
It was Father’s Day and he was at the Kawartha Golf and Country Club with his dad and his grandfather.
Like Jones, he says he figured he had hit it too far.
“The green was elevated, so we didn’t see it go in. I thought it went over.”
DeNoble’s wise grandfather snuck a peek a little closer to the pin and told his grandson to go and have a look, and there it was.
Just to make anyone who is still trying to hack out their first ace feel old, Jones and DeNoble were a combined 32 years of age.
And they’re both very good at another game as well.