Billy Walsh explaining to Colm Bannon, chairman of Club Déise, how he scored a hole-in-one – as did Mary Ann Coffey – during the recent annual Waterford GAA Classic at Dungarvan Golf Club, Knocknagrannagh.
Without wanting to put either of their exploits in the ha’penny place, just the other week an English pensioner beat odds of 67,000,000/1 by scoring two holes-in-one in a single round.
Peter Wafford, 75, who’s only been playing six years, sunk a pair of par-3 tee-shots (both seven woods) during a veterans match at Chigwell Golf Club in Essex on Monday, June 17.
The chances of doing such a double are the same as winning the lottery four times. Press reports of Wafford’s feat suggest there are no records of anyone having the same fortune twice in the same round. However, in Chris Rodell’s 2003 book ‘Hole In One! The Complete Book of Facts, Legend and Lore on Golf‘s Luckiest Shot’, American pro Fred Funk is quoted as saying: “My Dad had two in one round. Two! In one round! Man, the only thing I can think of is he must have been really drunk.”
Amazingly, some top pro’s such as Seve Ballesteros have never had an ace (that’d be too straightforward), though Tiger Woods can count 19 holes-in-one in his career (and no pun intended).
‘Golf Digest’ magazine estimates the odds of making a hole-in-one at around 12,000-1 for an average player and 5,000-1 for a low handicapper.
The longer you play the more likely you are to join that exclusive club. However, last month five-year-old Eleanor Gamble scored an ace at Cambridge Lakes golf course, though the ‘youngest hole in one’ honour, also recounted in Rodell’s book, goes to Jake Paine, who was just 3 when he fluked a 66-yard uphill par-3 at Lake Forest in California in 1999 using what’s described as “a snoopy driver”. Presumably he didn’t have to buy a round afterwards.
The ultimate nightmare, of course, is to have a hole-in-one while playing on your own. That’s when your luck is both in and out.