The hole in one can raise an ordinary golf club member to God like status in a stroke…
For the hole in one has mystical and magical resonances. As the Kilted Caddie writes, it is our Dead Sea Scrolls, and can raise an ordinary golf club member to God like status in a stroke…
This is basically the philosopher’s stone of golf. It is as desired as Dragon’s gold, but highly elusive and hovers high. It is the eagle, the albatross, the condor miracle. Some people never find it in their long and life-consuming searches. However, it does not allay their desire for it.
I have had one, and I have caddied for a lovely young man who had one. Mine was a perfect 5-iron to the third green at Mortonhall on a beautiful summer’s evening long ago in the dreamy days of my youth. The young man I caddied for likewise hit a perfect shot, but into one of the most stunning golf holes in the world, the 17th on the St Andrews Castle Course, the signature hole. Now that was a class act. In fact, he almost finished off incredibly when his 20-foot putt on the Par 5 last slid by for an eagle two.
I remember how proud my Dad was on my achievement, and in true Scottish tradition bought a bottle of whisky to put behind the bar at the club for other members to share in the celebration. In some countries, this has got a bit out of control, and I do believe in Australia there is pressure to throw a party instead. And to this end, there is even holein-one insurance. Now, this is going a tad far. A bit of the modern lark of saving for your funeral costs. I shall certainly be dead when they try and bill me for that.
A good friend at my club, Al, reached heavenly status when as a 16-year-old junior, he holed in one on the Par 4 sixteenth. This was the first known hole in one at a Par 4 in the club’s history and elevated his status considerably. Just a pity for him that it was a predominantly man’s game at that stage because I’m sure this feat would have helped him pull a few crackers at the summer ball. For there is surely a phallic dynamic in golf, like in owning a Ferrari. And this was certainly a coupe at the top end of Testarossa levels.
In the entire history of the PGA Tour, there has only been one such hole in one at a Par 4. It happened on the 17th at TPC Scottsdale in the 2001 Phoenix Open and was performed by Andrew Magee. It was marvellous the way he executed it though. Not being a big hitter, he played while the group in front were still on the green, as one would. However, maybe through anger at just having had a double bogey, he melted a ball down the middle towards and onto the green whereon stood Jack Nicklaus’s son Gary, Steve Pate and Tom Byrum. The latter was lining up his putt when Magee’s ball came rolling up, through his legs, hit his stationery putter and ricocheted into the hole! Byrum’s caddie, Rusti Uresti, could simply not resist the rather fabulous and amusing quip: ‘That’s the first putt Tom’s made all day’.
At the Martini International in 1971, an English journeyman Pro John Hudson holed in one on the Par 3 twelfth and picked out his driver on the Par 4 next, hitting into the hole again, for the only recorded consecutive hole in one. Quite a feat.
There have been five recorded holes-inone on Par 5’s by all accounts and most at dog legs. However, at these accomplishments, I stand in absolute awe and with a marginal degree of incredulity.
And for certain, if any human can carry a drive across St Andrews Bay and into the hole on the Par 5 last at the Castle Course in St Andrews, then I would have to call that most ghostly, if not Lordly. In fact, I would name a car after it - A McLaren Testirustiuresti.
But I am now getting carried away!
Andrew Magee made the only hole in one at a Par 4 in the entire history of the PGA Tour, which happened on the 17th at TPC Scottsdale in the 2001 Phoenix Open