In the waning hours of his bachelor party trip, everything came together for one Gabe August
By Alex Podlogar
There’s always that one guy in the bachelor party.
You know the one. Shows up, makes a birdie on the 18th hole of Pinehurst No. 2 in front of a throng of onlookers enjoying their perch on the veranda, a cold beverage of some repute in their hands. Then he goes out and makes an ace on The Cradle with a borrowed club and a range ball.
Yeah, that guy.
Meet Gabe August.
Gabe won’t be a bachelor for much longer. He is getting married in 39 days. The day after he left Pinehurst, he turned 27 years old. This was his party.
And boy, did he make it count.
“My buddies and I have been on a lot of golf trips – Ireland, Florida a bunch of times, Myrtle Beach,” August says. “I got engaged last May, and I knew exactly where I wanted to go to celebrate – Pinehurst.”
The Guilderland, New York, native had been following Pinehurst on Instagram. He knew the score.
“I had three goals for the trip: One, I wanted a Deuce coin. I wanted to shoot in the 70s on No. 2. And I wanted to do something special on 18.”
And then some.
He met his caddie for the day, Aaron Dittman, on the first tee. Five hours later, they would exchange numbers. (“When I come back, I want none other than Aaron Dittman on my bag,” August says.) Together they marched over No. 2. Birdie at 7. Birdie at 8. Then, birdie at the par-3 9th. August had his deuce.
“What wasn’t fine, though, was up ahead. It was nearing 7 p.m. Golden Hour on a Saturday evening. Shadows were getting longer. The crowd was thick on the veranda watching players as they finished. You know the scene. And by then, August definitely knew the scene.”
Coming to 18, unless something decidedly un-special happened, August would have his round in the 70s. His tee shot drifted right, though, barely rolling into the native area. Dittman handed August his 54-degree wedge.
“He knew my game inside and out by that point,” August says of Dittman. “He just said, calmly, ‘Choke down a little, trust it and you’ll be fine.’”
What wasn’t fine, though, was up ahead. It was nearing 7 p.m. Golden Hour on a Saturday evening. Shadows were getting longer. The crowd was thick on the veranda watching players as they finished. You know the scene. And by then, August definitely knew the scene.
“It was buzzing. You could tell,” August says. “There were nerves.”
August’s approach stopped 22 feet from the flag. Dittman handed him his putter to better enjoy the walk.
“The best feeling in the world,” August says.
Gabe August and his playing partner walk up to the 18th green with putters in hand, the veranda awash in spectators.
August was last of his group to putt. He and Dittman read the line from both sides. “I’m not a very good putter – at all,” August says.
When the ball was a foot away, August knew.
He raised his arm. Walked it in. And then…
“The crowd just erupted,” he says. “It was a roar.
“It was the coolest thing that has ever happened to me on a golf course.”
Dinner was back at the Carolina Dining Room. Word of August’s special day had made the rounds. When he got back to his room, an 18×24 print of No. 2 was waiting. A little gift from the Pinehurst staff.
“I mean, who does that?” August says. “The people here are incredible.”
Sunday was a travel day. But August is experienced in golf travel. He and a friend had a late flight out of RDU. They booked a tee time for The Cradle.
Soaked in Pinehurst delirium and perhaps still buzzing from the birdie heard ’round the Village, August didn’t realize until he got to the starter house that he didn’t have his clubs.
“We got to North Carolina on Tuesday, so it’s safe to say we were a little banged up by then,” August said. “I borrowed my buddy’s clubs. I was so disoriented that I even forgot golf balls, so I picked up a practice ball from the starter.”
Playing barefoot, they got to the 3rd hole. The Punch Bowl. He grabbed his friend’s sand wedge.
Gabe August relaxes on The Cradle with his fateful range ball.
“I saw it land, saw it start to come back and figured, hey, that’s probably pretty good,” August says.
He turned to give the club back to his friend. And then he heard it.
Another roar. This one from the Cradle Crossing.
Ace No. 1,253 on The Cradle.
“I don’t know what to say,” August says of his experience. “Every person we interacted with at Pinehurst was the best, nicest person I’ve ever met. Every possible cool thing that could happen to me, happened.”