BRICK – For years Pete and Mike Cetinich have enjoyed playing golf and they’d be the first to admit that they’ve had good days and bad on the course. The one elusive aspect of their play was the coveted hole-in-one.
That is, until recently. First Mike and then Pete pulled off the amazing feat shortly thereafter.
Pete Cetinich, 71, of Lakewood and his brother Mike Cetinich, 69, of Brick are both retired and the pandemic has slowed down their normal golf outings one bit. “We play anywhere from three to six days a week, Pete said.
“I live in a complex that has a nine-hole course in Four Seasons Lakewood,” Pete added.
“I got my hole in one in Lion’s Head South where my sister lives in Brick. They have a nine-hole course there. I got my hole in one on March 23 on the first hole. There was a lot of jumping up and down and screaming because I’ve been playing golf for 50 years,” Mike said.
Mike said he had been playing golf since he was a teenager and was a caddy at a north Jersey country club. “On Mondays they let caddies play in the morning. I used my dad’s clubs and had no clue but that was how I got into golf. During my career I didn’t get to golf as much as I’d like to because I was raising a family and working. Now that I am retired like Pete, now I play just about every day.”
Six days later, Pete got his own hole in one. “Being the older brother, I thought I’d be kind and let him go first,” Pete joked. “I didn’t give him a chance to bask in his glory. I was playing at the course here in Four Seasons. There wasn’t a lot of people on the course. I was out there alone. I was on the ninth hole and I hit the ball and couldn’t see it.
“I was looking for the ball. I was looking everywhere but the hole because I knew I wasn’t getting a hole-in-one and finally I looked in the hole and there it was. I called Mike right away and sent him some pictures,” Pete said.
Pete added, “I asked the guy at the pro shop if nobody sees it does it count? He said, ‘God saw it so it counts.’
“I on the other hand had three witnesses,” Mike said.
“They are all in the witness protection program now,” his brother interjected with a laugh.
“I actually watched mine go in and it landed on the green and the ball had to trickle to the right in order to get close to the hole and it bounced twice and rolled right in. It was a once in a lifetime happening, I was elated to say the least,” Mike added.
As to their family’s feeling about their regular golf play Pete said with a laugh, “my wife has no problem with it and she probably enjoys my being out of the house.”
“My wife and my kids probably feel I play too much golf but they give me a little slack because I worked for a company for over 46 years and I put a lot of time there so now that I am retired they understand,” Mike said.
Both brothers lived in Clifton for most of their lives. While Pete said his course closed down for six weeks during the pandemic, Mike said Lion’s Head was also closed. “The pandemic put a little damper on it but they both finally reopened and we were able to play the rest of the year,” Pete said.
The Cetinich brothers have played golf all over the state and “back in 86’ Pete and I went to Scotland to play and that was a once in a lifetime thing. We played where the British Open was played. For 20 years, we go down to Myrtle Beach with as many as 12 guys and play for four or five days and just have a lot of fun,” Mike added.
“We’ve played a lot of courses, probably at least 100,” Mike added.
“It is a crazy game but we’re brothers, we are retired and we’re having fun. My wife and I had Covid last March when the pandemic first started. It really gave me an appreciation of how short and fragile life is. We are both fine now but I am out playing golf and enjoying every day of life,” Pete said.