Hole-in-one - on a par 4? It's a million-to-one shot for Turnbull

Golf News

The Northumberland club's new skipper aced the 8th hole on the classic links layout...

A HOLE-in-one is every golfer’s holy grail. But what if that ace is also an albatross? It all adds to up to a million-to-one shot for Goswick Links’ incoming captain Keith Turnbull.

Just days before the 51-year-old assumes office at the Berwick-upon-Tweed club, he hit a perfect drive at the par 4 304-yard 8th hole and was delighted to find his ball in the hole.

Turnbull’s only other ace had been a mishit pull on a par 3 but there was nothing fortunate about his draw off the tee this time.

“It was a good shot,” the 5-handicapper said of his effort during a club roll-up.

“I know how it sounds but I thought it was in the hole. You can’t see the front of the green on the 8th but I didn’t see it go off the back either.

“One of my playing partners pulled his shot and we ended up looking for his ball for five minutes. I could see the front of the green and the apron and I knew it wasn’t there.

“When I got towards the green I thought ‘don’t look in the hole’. I walked round the back of the green because how many times have you looked in the hole and it isn’t there?

“It was quite surreal and I didn’t want to tempt fate.”

But the shot had found its target, and some experts estimate the chance of making an albatross at around 1 million to one – or 80 times harder than making a hole-in-one on a par 3 (1 in 12,500).

Turnbull, though, believes Goswick’s 8th is a perfect fit for his game – and was happy to put a bottle of whisky behind the bar, despite his feat failing to come in a competition.

He added: “Bizarrely, it suits the way I hit my driver. I’d hit the green 6 times out of 7 (before the ace) on the winter tees and it’s a stroke hole too.

“I think I’m going to pick up some points and I have had a few 2s. This was a 6-pointer, we had to work it out! I have never had a 6-pointer before.”


Turnbull, who has been a member at Goswick (pictured above) for 7 years, says his proudest moment at the James Braid-designed layout was winning the Matchplay Mens Foursomes in 2011 with his then 14-year-old son Jordan.

On becoming captain, he said: “I am immensely proud. I couldn’t wish to play a better links course. People come from all over to play and they are all different holes – even though it is a links course.”

Can you match Turnbull’s albatross heroics? Leave a comment below or get in touch with Steve Carroll at s.carroll@sportspub.co.uk or tweet @SteveCarrollNCG

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