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hole in one golf

Can anyone can get close to this incredible tally of aces?

It’s an ambition that eludes most golfers – but this golfer has had enough aces for a dozen lifetimes. Can anyone better it?

 

Celebrating a hole-in-one is something 90 per cent of golfers will never do. With odds of around 12,000-1, you’ve got more chance of becoming an astronaut.

So it makes what John Russell has done all the more incredible. The 12-handicapper must surely be one of the game’s most fortunate players – or not if you consider his bar bill – after recently racking up his 12th hole-in-one.

The 69-year-old might even lay claim to club golf record. Can you beat his phenomenal hole in one golf tally?

Russell’s first perfect shot came at Shirehampton in 1977 and he had to wait 19 years for his next, at Oake Manor, in 1996. But from there, he has just kept finding the bottom of the cup.

His most recent two came just nine days apart at his home golf course of Isle of Wedmore, in Somerset, in the last few weeks.

In fact, seven of his delightful dozen have come at Wedmore, with four arriving on the 9th hole, two on the 11th, and one on the 4th.

He said: “I got my first hole-in-one in 1977 at Shirehampton where I’d been a member for 14 years to that point. I didn’t think I’d ever get another one.

“42 years later I was there playing for Wedmore in a friendly and when we got to the hole, I said to the two Shirehampton guys: “Believe it or not, I had my first hole-in-one here 40-odd years ago.” One of the guys turned round and said: “I bet you can’t do it again!” And guess what happened?

“The hole slopes quite a lot so we didn’t see it go in, but it was very nice to get it! It was so spooky!”

Incredible hole in one golf story: ‘Let’s hope that’s the end to it!’

Looking back at his most recent feats, Russell’s 11th hole-in-one came on July 31 in a monthly seniors’ Stableford – an 8-iron at the 11th from 153 yards.

“Because it was a qualifying competition, part of my subscription at the club meant that they stumped up £75 for drinks, and on top of that I’m insured by an in-house insurance, so we had £125 to spend on the seniors’ drinks at the bar that day, which just about covered it!”

But he had to put his hand in his pocket for his hole in one golf dozen, which came in a Wednesday roll up on August 9 with a rescue club from 160 yards.

Russell explained: “It was a good shot, held the line and we saw that one go in. It was disbelief really, having had one only nine days prior. I waited nearly 20 years between my first and second holes-in-one and two in nine days was just unbelievable.

“Sadly the 12th hole-in-one wasn’t in a qualifier, so I didn’t get the £75 insurance and I had to put my hand in my pocket to pay most the balance!”

He joked: “Let’s hope that’s the end to it!”

hole in one golf

John Russell’s 12 Holes-in-One

1. Shirehampton Park (the old 3rd hole) May 25, 1977

2. Oake Manor (6th) July 25, 1996

3. Scotscraig, Scotland (13th) June 11, 1998

4. Isle of Wedmore (9th) May 16, 2005

5. Isle of Wedmore (9th) July 9, 2009

6. St Pierre, Wales (6th) August 29, 2011

7. Isle of Wedmore (11th) August 7, 2012

8. Isle of Wedmore (4th) April 25, 2015

9. Isle of Wedmore (9th) February 1, 2016

10. Shirehampton Park (old 3rd, now 13th) August 15, 2019

11. Isle of Wedmore (11th) July 31, 2023

12. Isle of Wedmore (9th) August 9, 2023

Can you top John Russell’s magic hole in one golf dozen? Why not let me know on X, formerly known as twitter.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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