Carmel youth sinks historic hole-in-one at Meridian Hills


At 13 years old, Carmel resident Leo Bard not only registered his first hole-in-one, but he made Meridian Hills Country Club history.

“I was very surprised when it went in,” Bard said. “I was just shocked.

Bard became the youngest golfer to record a hole-in-one in the Indianapolis golf club, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2023.

Bard used a 9-iron on the 137-yard par-3 12th hole to make the hole-in-one June 8 while golfing with his older brother, Oscar, a 16-year-old Bishop Chatard High School golfer. It is something Leo Bard said he will remember forever.

“Meridian Hills is a very old country club, and I would’ve thought that somebody younger than me would’ve been able to hit one,” Bard said. 

Bard said he had never been that close to getting a hole-in-one in the past.

“I love all the par-3s at Meridian Hills,” Bard said. “They are some of my favorite golf holes I’ve played.”

Todd Firestone, the head pro at Meridian Hills, praised Leo’s accomplishment.

“His natural talent and dedication to the game at such a young age is inspiring,” Firestone stated. “This is just the start for Leo and we can’t wait to see what other milestones he reaches on our course.” 

Bard’s ace was one of the first holes-in-one notched on the newly reopened Meridian Hills course. During the past year the club had undergone a $5 million project that rebuilt all course bunkers, made generational investments in the irrigation system and redesigned course greens to closely resemble Bill Diddle’s initial design. 

Bard, who will be an eighth-grader at St. Luke Catholic School, started playing golf when he was 5 years old.

“My main concentration is on golf, but I also have a lot of other interests such as fishing and basketball,” Bard said.