This club is famous for... The hole that was halved in oneOctober 6, 2015
You wait a lifetime for a hole-in-one, and then your playing partner spoils your moment of glory.
Most club golfers get what, a single hole-in-one in their entire golfing life? So mark me down for a point right? I mean, the only way you can halve the hole is if your opponent also get a hole-in-one.
It would be a heck of a claim to fame for a club if that was to happen…
Step up Aaron Saddleton, of Sprowston Manor, who was playing in a match for the Norfolk Handicap League.
‘I don’t think I will ever experience that again’ The 29-year-old closed off the front nine on the 135-yard par 3 with a nine-iron tee shot that stopped and span back into the hole, the eight-handicapper no doubt marking his card with a point soon after.
Saddleton said: “I couldn’t believe it. I don’t think I will ever experience that again. It’s a game of golf I will never forget.
“After I hit my hole-in-one, I even remember Mark saying something like, ’So that’s what I need to do,’ and then he did exactly the same thing. I can’t believe I hit a hole-in-one but didn’t win the hole.”
Faced with either holing from the tee or walking over and picking up his ball, Mark Avis, 43, playing at his home course of Royal Norwich, rose to the occasion. Seven-handicapper Avis’ shot was a runner, skipping over a bunker rather than spinning back, but incredibly it ended with the same result – rolling straight into the hole.
Two aces, and only half a point each.
What are the odds of this happening? Well the National Hole in One Registry website quotes it as 17 million to one.
So what other things were more likely to happen to the golfers, than shooting two aces?
Dying from being struck by lightning – 3 million to one
Being attacked by a shark – 1 in 11.5 million (admittedly reduced on a golf course)
Dying in a plane crash – 1 in 11 million
Being killed using a right-handed product, if you’re left-handed – 1 in 7 million (you righties will never know how terrifying it is for us lefties to use a can opener)
Miracle man Avis talked about his shot: “When I saw my opponent score a hole-in-one, I knew what I had to do. I then hit my shot and the ball cleared the bunker and rolled into the hole – unbelievable.
“I was amazed; we were all stunned. It’s a moment in history – you can’t make it up.”
Fittingly, the match ended all square.
Incredibly, the same thing happened in Sydney, Australia, last December, when two club golfers hit consecutive holes-in-one – also on the ninth hole.
Peter Hough and Jonathan Cook had the back-to-back aces on the 136-yard hole, although both used 7-irons. (Our boys used 9-irons – big men!)
While we’re at it, here are some hole-in-one facts:
On average a course will see 10-15 hole-in-ones each year.
A hole-in-one is scored once every 3,500 rounds
Only 1-2 per cent of golfers score an ace during the year.
On average it takes 24 years for a club golfer to get his first hole-in-one
40 per cent of aces are scored with a 7, 8 or 9-iron
60 per cent of hole-in-one golfers are aged over 50
The average hole length is 147 yards, although the longest was 404 yards