Athlete of the Week: Jim Slaminko

 

Athlete of the Week: Jim Slaminko

 

Date: June 24, 2009
by: Jen Blanco | Associate Editor

 
 

It took Sarasota resident Jim Slaminko nearly five decades to record his first-ever hole-in-one. And it’s one moment he’ll never forget.

It happened one Sunday morning two-and-one-half years ago while he was playing a round at The Meadows.

With one swift swing, the then 61-year-old Slaminko sent his ball soaring into the distance — but at the time, he didn’t know just how well he had hit it.

“That was exciting,” Slaminko said of his first ace. “Nobody saw it go in. We were all looking around for my ball, and then one of the guys looked in the hole and saw my ball.”

As luck would have it, Slaminko didn’t have to wait long to record in his second perfect shot. On June 10, Slaminko used his 4-wood to record an ace on the 179-yard No. 22 of University Park Country Club.

Only this time, the feat didn’t resonate quite the same.

“I think the guy I was playing with was more excited than I was,” Slaminko said.

Slaminko began playing golf when he was 12 years old after he started caddying in his hometown of Sewickley, Pa. Over the years, Slaminko developed a love for the game, and prior to moving to Florida with his wife, Sandy, in 1990, Slaminko spent every Saturday and Sunday out on the course.

Today, Slaminko only plays once a week — not nearly as often as he’d like.

“I used to be a pretty good golfer, but age has since caught up to me,” Slaminko said. “I just enjoy the fresh air and being out with the guys.”

But Slaminko is never far from the course. Last August, Slaminko began working at University Park as a ranger and a starter.

“It’s an excellent facility, and there’s a good group of guys over there,” he said.

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