The temperature was broiling hot and Michael Bell says he was boiling mad.
But not because of the heat. From not being able to find his golf ball.
Bell was playing Friday at Croasdaile Country Club in Durham and tried to cut the corner with his tee shot at the 367-yard 17th hole, a slight dogleg to the right.
"I bombed it," Bell said. "Had a little bit of a helping breeze. Had a little cut to it. Went over the trees. Perfect."
Little did he know how perfect. He was about to experience one of the coolest, rarest moments in golf -- an ace on a par 4.
When Bell approached the green, he couldnt find his ball. It wasnt in any of the bunkers. It wasnt in the trees that surround the green.
After almost a five-minute search, one of Bells playing partners, Ron Carpenter, found it.
"He said, What are you playing?" Bell said. "I said, Titleist." He asked what number. I said, Titleist 4.
"Ron said, Its in the hole."
Bell said it wasnt his first career hole-in-one. He said he had two other aces, both on par-3s at The River Golf and Country Club in Louisburg.
Now, he has one on a par 4.
"I prefer to say its my first double-eagle," Bell said, chuckling.
Bell, 34, said he wasnt quite sure how to react to the rare hybrid -- an ace/"albatross." There was no whooping or hollering, he said.
"The shock value ... I cant put it into words," he said.
Bell said lasers were brought out to properly record the distances. He said the hole, which has a gentle slope down toward the green, played 367 yards from the tee but his shot traveled 349 yards "as the crow flies."
Croasdaile head golf professional Rob Nelson said it was believed to be the first ace on a par 4 at the club, which opened in 1966.
It was exciting. I was going around the course that day and some of the members told me they heard there had been a hole-in-one, Nelson said. I said, Yeah, at 17. The response was like, Great, then a doubletake and, At 17?
Weve had a couple of people hit (tee shots) on the green at 17 or on the fringe. But to make it, thats a whole different story. The trees are 50-60 feet high. The pin was 25 paces on. It was an awesome shot.
Bell, a former newspaper reporter, runs a retail business in Durham and is a Croasdaile member. Also in his threesome Friday was Peter Michaels.
There have been aces on par 5 holes, including one on a 496-yard hole in England in 1995. There was a hole-in-one on a 448-yard par 4 in Hawaii in 2007 that was recognized as the longest ace on a par 4.
Nor is Bells ace the first on a par 4 -- or the longest -- in the state this year. In April, Michael Alvarez aced the par 4 eighth hole at Zebulon Country Club that measured 373 yards.
But Bell, who shot 69, will always remember his day in the sun. And the aftermath.
"I just clapped. Thats all I could do. I was speechless," he said. "It also made for an expensive bar tab."