The Golf talk with Paul article for the January 2024 issue of The Beacon is with Frank Aiuto. Frank is a former MGA President and is a current MGA player at Harbour Pointe Golf Club.
Frank Aiuto, Harbour Pointe Golf Club Member and MGA player.
Beacon: How long have you been living in FFH and how long have you been a Member at Harbour Pointe Golf Club and in the Men's Golf Association?
Frank: My wife, Rosanne and I have been in the Harbour for 5 years and I joined HPGC immediately and also joined the MGA at that time.
Beacon: That's great, when we blind draw for teams, all the guys are happy to have you in their group.
Who introduced you to the game? When? Where?
Frank: My Dad, when I was 5 years old. This was at Hillcrest Country Club in Mount Clemens, Michigan. I played all through my youth and all 4 years of High School. I have always loved the game.
Beacon: That's a long time playing this wonderful game.
Which hole is your favorite at HPGC and why?
Frank: My favorite hole at Harbour Pointe is the Par 4 dogleg right 13th hole. The Tee shot sets up nicely for my fade. I've probably made more birdies on #13 than any other hole on the course.
Beacon: That is a great shortish Par 4, that asks for a good Tee shot around the dogleg and a short iron or a wedge to one of the many tough greens at Harbour Pointe.
Your son, Anthony lives in the Harbour and is also a Member at HPGC. So... you and Anthony are playing a game for bragging rights, playing straight up, no strokes, who wins you or Anthony.
Frank: I do. Anthony folds under pressure. Anthony plays lots of good holes, he makes more birdies, he also makes more big numbers than I do though. I think I'm a little more consistent.
Beacon: Ok. We will ask Anthony that same question and get back to you.
Do you have any career hole in ones? When? Where?
Frank: I have had 3. The first one was at Hillcrest Country Club, I was 9 years old, at that time I was the youngest person to make an ace in the state of Michigan. The other 2 were at Harbour Pointe on #9 2 years ago and #17 3 years ago. One of my great memories is exactly 1 year later to the day of my first ace, my Dad made an ace on the same hole as me at Hillcrest CC. My son Anthony made a hole-in-one on #17 at Harbour Pointe in 2022.
Beacon: That is amazing! The Aiuto's are a family full of Aces. Making a hole-in-one at 9 years old is incredible. Buy your friends a Coke and go home with a big smile on your face. Then 2 more at HPGC in recent years that were probably a little more expensive.
Beacon: You have played in the Buick Open Pro-Am a few times. How many? Who were your Pro's?
Frank: I was fortunate enough to play in 4 Buick Open Pro-Am's. Twice I played with Steve Stricker and I also played with Steve Elkington and Paul Goydos. They were all great to play with, lots of fun. Also, had a couple of drinks with Ben Crenshaw who was sponsored by Buick back then. Ben told us some great stories, mostly about his early days on the Tour. He talked about what great influence The King, Arnold Palmer was to him and other young players in the early 1970s, like Tom Watson and Lanny Wadkins. They all called him Mr. Palmer.
Beacon: Wow! You had really great Professional partners in the Pro-Am and to rub elbows with Ben Crenshaw and hear Ben tell stories about Mr. Palmer must have been a thrill!
Frank, you also shot your age in July of 2023, please tell us about that round.
Frank: Really, it was just a solid round, 2 birdies and 2 bogeys, 14 pars. Even par 72 at 72 years of age, I'm pretty proud of that.
Beacon: That is something that you should be very proud of, awesome round of Golf. I think that is something we all think of accomplishing as we age and are healthy enough to still compete.
What do you like most about playing in MGA events?
Frank: First of all it just feels like home in FFH. We have made new friends here. I also like that we play different formats all the time and blind draw for pairings so you get paired with different players often.
Thank you, Frank for taking time for The Beacon today. It was fantastic to hear a little bit of your story about playing Golf for 67 years.
Happy New Year Everyone!