First published on the Golf Monthly website on Thursday 14th May 2009
Fergus scored a hole-in-one last Saturday but he’s not quite as delighted as you might expect.
Playing in last Saturday’s Medal I had a hole-in-one at Banchory’s 16th hole – the Doo’cot. It was an exciting moment when I looked in the cup and saw my ball but, if I’m perfectly honest, I should probably be more thrilled by the achievement.
There are a number of reasons why this freak occurrence didn’t have me jumping for joy quite as enthusiastically as might have been expected:
1 –The Doo’cot requires a wee dunt up a steep hill to a pin you can only see the top section of. So, you don’t know what happens to the ball on the green. The shot I played looked reasonably straight but I’ve no idea whether it was a “slam-dunk”, if it spun back or if it had missed completely before a helpful squirrel picked it up and plopped it in the hole.
2 – At only 88 yards long, holes-in-one at the Doo’cot are relatively common. When I passed my dad going down the 18th, I called over to tell him I’d had a one at the 16th. He replied, “Well done, I’ve had five there.” His name also appears on a plaque on the side of the Doo’cot (dovecot) that sits to the right of the green. Playing in a competition a few years ago he holed his tee-shot. One of his playing partners stood up after him and holed his as well. The third member of the group only managed a two.
3 – To prove how common aces are at the 16th, I got into the clubhouse to find Alan Nelson had scored one on the hole earlier in the day. It was upsetting enough that I would have to share my thunder with Alan but, when I saw he’d splashed out on a nice bottle of Macallan to celebrate, I was doubly disturbed. I’d planned to leave the usual bottle of Bells on the bar for those who wanted a wee dram. But, I’d have looked like a right cheapskate if I’d set that alongside Alan’s generous offering of single malt. So, I felt compelled to fork out for a bottle of 12-year-old Glenfiddich. Cheers Alan.
4 – The one on my scorecard got me back to two over the card. I parred the last two holes and finished with a 71 (nett 70). I needed nett 69 to make the buffer so I went up by 0.1.
Walking off the 18th green, my playing partner for the day asked whether I’d prefer to have replicated my previous Medal round of 67 or to have scored the hole-in-one. I could honestly answer that I’d have preferred the 67.
Despite all this ingratitude, I am actually pleased to have had a hole-in-one, particularly given my only other one came some 13 years ago….. But…. I’d have preferred to land it with a “slam-dunk” at a 200 yarder into a slight headwind en-route to a round of six under.