WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana – More than six hours after Devon Brouse finally achieved one of golf’s elusive feats, the veteran coach of the Purdue women’s program took a moment to reflect.
Brouse recorded his first hole-in-one on Thursday at Purdue’s Ackerman-Allen course, but his thoughts quickly shifted to his long-time friend, Pete Dye, who passed away earlier this year.
Dye designed the school’s two courses and for Brouse to reach this milestone on one of his Purdue layouts made the achievement special.
“Absolutely,” Brouse said. “That course over there is near and dear because of the sweat equity we put into it and my friend Pete Dye, who we all admire. To do it right there is cool.”
Brouse’s hole-in-one set off a social media and text frenzy among his children, friends, former assistants and golf buddies that didn’t let up throughout the day.
Purdue volleyball coach Dave Shondell, who was playing in the group with Brouse, tweeted a picture of the accomplishment. And then Brouse just let the world come to him on his phone, virtually non-stop.
Brouse made his hole-in-one on the par 3, 17th hole. Drizzle was starting to fall, and the wind was slightly in his face. He used a seven-wood from 167 yards.
“It’s a little bit out of my range for my five-iron into the wind,” said Brouse, who guided the program to the 2010 NCAA Championship and a runner-up finish in 2011. “I hit it straight at the hole. I couldn’t see but nobody saw it go in.
“We’re riding up there and there’s a ball on the front of the green. I know that’s not mine because I knew mine was close. There’s nothing on the back. The other guys had missed the green.
“I asked Shondell: ‘Is there a ball in the hole?’ He walks over … ‘drinks are on Devon.’ ”
Although golf has been a huge part of Brouse’s life, coaching takes up plenty of time and playing isn’t a priority. Since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the college sports world in the spring, Brouse has spent more time on the course playing.
“I’ve played more golf since the lockdown in the last 3 ½ months than I’ve played the last 30 years,” Brouse said. “Being tied up with the teams in the fall and the spring and recruiting in the summer, I haven’t played a lot of golf.
“Your game doesn’t stand neglect. You have to service it and practice it.”
Brouse said Thursday was his best personal round since he recorded a 71 in the rain at Turnberry in Scotland in the mid-1980s when he was the head coach at North Carolina.
He’s also been determined to shoot his age, which is 71. He fired a 68 on Thursday. Brouse’s score wasn’t the best round of the group. Purdue men’s golf coach Rob Bradley shot a 66 but Brouse came out on top in the end.
“I was in a zone,” Brouse said. “I could’ve birdied the first seven holes.”
Mike Carmin covers Purdue sports for the Journal & Courier. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter @carmin_jc