When Stewart Warner got shoulder replacement surgery this past fall, he worried how such an operation might impact his golf game.
“I knew I’d be able to play,” Warner said. “I just didn’t know how well.”
Well enough for the 57-year-old to notch three holes-in-one over the course of 11 days this spring.
On May 13, Warner notched an ace from 178 yards out on Lewiston Golf and Country Club’s hole No. 12. Three days later, Warner repeated the feat at the same course, this time on hole No. 8, from 101 yards out. And on May 23, Warner again got a hole-in-one on Lewiston Golf and Country Club’s hole No. 12 — though this time from 172 yards out.
“My first hole-in-one was last year in May (2018), and it took 48 years of golfing,” Warner said. “My wife and I are pretty avid golfers — and we just could never get a ball to go in a hole. But last year, along with these three, it still kind of shocks me.”
A fitting description from an electrician — which is Warner’s trade.
Warner, who lives in Lewiston, wasn’t the only one amazed by his accomplishment.
“Three holes-in-one in (that period) is just ridiculous,” said Casey Brown, the head golf pro at Lewiston Golf and Country Club. “I remember the last rare thing like this to happen — it was in a tournament in Spokane. Some guy aced the same hole two days in a row, and they put the odds out, and it was even more rare than winning the lottery. And I would figure the odds of (what Stewart did) are even more rare than that.”
Warner hoped his luck might translate to other things.
“Everybody was like, ‘You gotta buy a lotto ticket.’ So I bought two — thinking two holes in one — but I didn’t get a single number,” Warner said. “After the third one, I bought three tickets and didn’t get squat.”
While the winning lotto ticket evaded him, Warner did perhaps manage to pass his luck on to someone else.
“The most amazing part of it is, it was during the LT Classic (on May 25), he witnessed someone have a hole-in-one on No. 8,” Brown said. “So (Warner) witnessed four holes-in-one in (13) days — three of them his own and another from someone playing in the same group as him.”
Added Brown, “the best part is, he was wearing the same shorts all four of those days, so that’s what (Warner) was suggesting his luck was: those white shorts.”
Having a new left shoulder certainly didn’t hurt Warner, either.
“I’ve got this new titanium shoulder that they claim is knocking the ball in the hole and now (other people) want to get their shoulders replaced,” Warner quipped. He added that he’d only recommend doing something like that for medical reasons — not to improve one’s golf game.
“That’s a tough surgery,” Warner said. “So I was thinking of sending my doctor a thank you. That’s Dr. (Regan) Hansen, up there at Lewiston Orthopaedics.”
Warner said he’s always had good experiences with Dr. Hansen, who performed Warner’s shoulder replacement surgery in mid November of 2018.
“He replaced my shoulder, and he also replaced my knee around six years ago,” Warner said. “I also had my thumb wired together on my left hand because I dislocated it and didn’t have it looked at (in time). It still works. Just one joint doesn’t bend.”
Warner said he got what’s known as a “reverse” shoulder replacement “to have a better recovery and hopefully more range of motion.”
Warner believes that another major part of getting back on the golf course following shoulder surgery was the work he put in at Peak Performance Physical Therapy in Lewiston with therapist Tami Biery.
“The therapy’s just as important, if you want to get your range of motion back,” Warner said. “I was just happy I could play somewhat decent golf and I’m back to the same level I was at a year ago.
“That’s what makes the holes-in-one amazing,” Warner said. “For a while, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to golf again. You don’t know, when you’ve got your arm cut off and they start replacing parts.”
During all of his holes-in-one, Warner was accompanied by his wife, Cheri Warner.
“When I married my wife, I hit the lotto on that one,” Warner said. “Marrying her, that was the winning lottery ticket. We’ve been together a little over 25 years. She didn’t golf when we first married. But after a year or so (of marriage), I got her some golf lessons. And once her kids grew up, that’s what we did. Our vacations are usually golf vacations. ... We just love to play golf together.”
Warner said he’s seen other couples who play golf — but do so separately, as if “they don’t like to play together.”
“But we like to play together,” Warner said. “And that’s where we hit the lottery. Since she loves it, I get to play more golf.”
Byron Edelman may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 848-2277.