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Mesa pro golfer sinks hole-in-one, reels in bass

January 26th, 2021 Mesa Tribune Staff
Mesa pro golfer sinks hole-in-one, reels in bass
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By Jim Jertson
Tribune Guest Writer

On Monday, Dec. 28, while playing a friendly skins game in Phoenix with other golf professionals, including PGA Tour superstar Paul Casey, Mesa-native Ryan Hogue hit a hole-in-one on the 163-yard, par-3 seventh hole at Águila Golf Course in south Phoenix.

It was the ninth hole-in-one the professional golfer and PGA Tour caddy has hit in his lifetime, and it came while battling an injury that has affected his swing. The following day, Hogue reeled in a 10.87-pound largemouth bass while fishing with a buddy at Saguaro Lake.

The nearly 11-pound bass represented a personal best for Hogue.

“It was definitely an amazing couple of days for me,” Hogue said. “It was a really cool way to end the year. I was shocked, to say the least. I went and bought a couple lottery tickets the next day. But my lucky streak had ended with the
mega millions.”

Like his success on the golf course, Hogue’s success on the lake can be credited toward skill rather than luck.

He has always been a phenomenal angler, picking up the skill over a decade ago with friends from the PGA Tour. He arrived at Saguaro Lake knowing the biggest bass in the lake had been feeding on rainbow trout.

“My fishing partner and I were committed to only using large swim baits that day, and the bait I used to catch the large bass looked exactly like a rainbow trout,” Hogue said. “It was a very big bait about the size of your average trout.”

Most bass fisherman know that you don’t get many bites when fishing with super large baits. But when you do get a bite, it’s typically a big one.

That was obviously the case on when the beefy, 10.87-pound bass struck Hogue’s large swim bait with a vengeance. When Hogue landed the monster bass, it actually had the tail-end of a real rainbow trout still hanging out of its throat.

So, Hogue’s personal record bass inhaled his trout look-a-like bait while not entirely finished swallowing a real rainbow trout.

Hogue respectfully refrained from sharing anymore details about how he caught his monster bass such as the exact area of the lake where he caught it, the water depth, and the exact brand of his bait. He said that’s sacred information for a fisherman.

“A fisherman should never give up his exact spots or baits in keeping with the fisherman’s unwritten rule and code,” Hogue said with a smile.

Hogue first earned his notoriety as a professional golfer.

The 42-year-old once qualified for and played in The Phoenix Open, and he also performed well in a televised PGA Tour event in Las Vegas a few years ago. He has also garnered numerous professional golf victories in a variety of mini-tour events.

Hogue later garnered recognition as an exceptional professional golf caddy who was “on the bag” for PGA Tour player Martin Laird when he won this year’s PGA Tour Event in Las Vegas.

Hogue has also caddied for pro golfer Marty Jertson in a handful of PGA Tour events, including the 2020 Phoenix Open and a couple of PGA Championships. He has also caddied for some of the world’s best female golfers in a variety of LPGA Tour events.

With his personal golf career on hold due to injury, Hogue hopes to become a full-time caddy on tour in 2021. He currently steps up to fill in when needed, which has been more frequent than in year’s past due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Playing golf for me is not even on my radar because I’m not able to swing at a competitive level,” Hogue said. “I’m constantly making sure my name is in the pot just in case someone needs a caddy. I prefer to be a full-time bag, but even with my playing experience and caddying experience, it’s a tough job to get.”

Hogue hopes his impressive end to 2020 with the hole-in-one and large bass will carry over into the new year.

“I think getting the chance to be a full-time caddy will fulfill some of the need for competition,” Hogue said. “Not only to be a great caddy but to enjoy playing golf again myself, I want to work on getting in better physical condition.

“I think the hole-in-one and the fish was a perfect combination of skill and luck combined.”

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