From the 13th tee box at Moon Brook Country Club in Jamestown, N.Y., 14-year-old golfer Lily Ellis saw her ball sail over the pond and bounce onto the green of the 115-yard, par-3 hole. It rolled a few feet and then disappeared—into the cup. "I really didn't think it was a big deal," says Lily, who was born without most of her left forearm and grips each club with only her right hand. "I suppose I'm not the type of person who gets really excited, but everyone else was going crazy."
Including her mom, who was one of four witnesses to the hole in one on Aug. 19. "It was one of those things like, Where'd it go?" says Sophie Ellis, who was told during an ultrasound that her unborn child had transverse partial hemimelia, which resulted in the incomplete formation of Lily's left arm. Lily, who has been playing golf since she was eight, prefers not to wear her prosthesis. ("It just feels better when I don't wear it," she says.) She also plays tennis and is the goalie for her travel league soccer team.
Her father, Howard, the greens superintendent at Moon Brook and an 11-handicap, missed Lily's ace but received a call from Sophie and raced over to the 13th green with a camera. Later that day he played the hole—and made double bogey.