Hole In One Club
Dave Yapp carded his first ever ace during the Midweek Medal on 9th August 2023; The Par 3 14th may be designated the easiest hole of the 18 but to record a Hole-In-One a player still has to find that little round hole that's been cut somewhere on the green. And, lets be honest, even though we all think we are aiming for that little dark place below the surface of the green, it still needs all of the Golfing Gods to come into play on our behalf! Prevailing conditions, choice of club, the aim (distance/line/ball flight....blah, blah), the perfect (well maybe) swing and as you hold the follow-through you can do nothing to influence exactly where your ball might actually end up. In Yapp's case the ball pitched just short, got a good bounce and ran on nicely. However, as is usually the case for us amateurs, there is no crowd of on-lookers to cheer the perfect shot and as you and your playing group stand and squint, you're never quite sure where your cherished little white globe has actually finished. And, thus it was for Yapp but, as he later related, "The closer I got to the green, the quicker my heartbeat became....until....well, there it was, down there in that little dark hole, my first Ace!!".
It wasn't pretty by all accounts but, as the addage goes, "There are no pictures on the scorecard!"; Jamie Newton Aced the 14th hole while representing the Mens Team in the Dennis English Team Event. Newton decided to take his 7 Iron from his bag, aim straight at the flag and put it somewhere close. What he actually did was thin the ball (quite badly) and pulled it low and left. The ball pitched well left of the target, took a massive kick to the right and vanished down the hole!!
They all count Jamie!! Obviously very happy with his Ace, Newton was at least totally and typically honest about his good fortune which will earn him a Boss HIO watch as the competition, although an aggregate Team event, was a qualifier for individuals.
With the 'rocky' start to his Club Captaincy with Covid-19 restrictions, a delayed start to the competitive season, last minute Committe changes and everything else that conspired to make the 2020/21 Season one that will go down in History for all the wrong reasons, Newton will be only too happy to take this HIO away with him and quite right too. Well done Skipper.
Wednesday 29th July 2020 will be forever in the mind of Mike Sanders as he joyously marked down his first Ace when he found the cup in just one shot from the tee on the third hole. During the 4th and final round of the President's Trophy, Sanders hit a gentle 9 iron and the big guy saw his ball pitch just shrot of the green before running on towards the cup. Not one of his group were sure but all agreed that it was going to be close!! The pin was sited in a fairly decent spot near the centre of the green but as they approached Mike's ball was nowhere to be seen - until Mke noticed a small flash of white in the hole!!
Out came the phone cam to record the moment and in a couple of weeks Mike Sanders should be in possession of a Boss HIO watch courtesy of HowDidIDo.
Well done big man!
During the Texas Scramble on 23rd February 2019 five handicapper Wayne Humphries aced the par 4 second hole; taking his driver off the tee Humphries hit a great shot straight down the middle and he watched his ball carry over the bunker just short and above the green. Clearly carrying the sand, the ball came to earth with an almighty leap into the air before vanishing from sight. Approaching the green Humphries and his 2 team Member searched high and low, short and long for his ball but to no avail! Finally, playing partner Julian Bateman suggested, half joking, that should he look in the hole and low and behold there it was nestling at the bottom of the cup – a Hole In One on a par 4!! Humphries commented after his game that, ‘'2when the ball pitched we all saw it jump high in the air. It was clearly out of any danger but we all agreed that it could have finished up anywhere around the green and its other players should have the chance of surrounds. Even when I had found its final resting place my other playing partner, Stephen Griffiths, thought I was joking when I pointed at the hole”.
Magdelen Coomber bagged her first ACE on February 13th whilst playing in a friendly game with some of our Lady Members.
Maggie banged one up the fifth and knew that she had hit a decent shot but had no idea just how good until she got to the hole!
Shocked but overjoyed with her ace the modest Coomber returned to the Clubhouse as if nothing special had happened but word soon got out as her playing pals started to spread the word – quite right too, such an achievement should be shared and fellow Members should be given the chance to pass on congratulations.
Well done Maggie.
On a really miserable wet and cool Sunday morning the 3rd hole was playing all of its 139 yds from the white tees and with the bottom of the flag usually just out of sight due to the green sloping away from front to back right.
Even with 'Big' Steve's height he would have been hard pressed to see the hole from the tee. See it or not, Williams found it!! Williams went on to post a disappointing net 75 for his round but at least his soggy card was enhanced by a big circle around the number 1 on the 3rd.
With his Ace being in a qualifying Competition Williams will be blessed with his reward of a Boss Hole-in-one watch courtesy of How Did I Do.
Steve Bellinger found the cup in one during the Ryder Cup Texas Scramble; taking a 9 wood off the tee on the fifth hole Bellinger hit a beautifully flighted shot which found the green and both his playing partners, Ed Nicklin and Roy Turner commented, “that's close Steve!”
When the trio reached the green Turner was the one who confirmed Steve's Ace.
Unfortunately for Steve, as a non-qualifier event his Ace doesn't qualify for the award from How Did I Do so no watch for Bellinger – this time!
Well done Steve.
Moyra Bodley may have approached the troublesome 5th hole at Ravenmeadow Golf Centre with trepidation but all her fears were quickly forgotten when she saw her tee shot run up the green and vanish into the hole for a brilliant Hole-In-One.
Looking from tee to green, some 130 or so yards away, the three bunkers that guard the green always look intimidating and almost inviting to the point that finding sand feels almost inevitable; with sand on the left, sand on the right and sand front-centre the tee shot during the Ladies Stableford Competition was made even tougher by storm-force winds that swirled and buffeted at the tee box but appeared to be driving and playing into off the right at the green.
Torn between clubs Moyra decided to play a gentle and sawn-off swing with her trusty driver and got everything absolutely spot-on such that even the final hurdle of the recently seasonally dressed/sanded green couldn’t prevent the inevitable – Moyra’s first-ever Hole-In-One. Well done Moyra – some say it’s just luck when an Ace goes on a card but let’s face it we all aim for that little hole and sometimes it just works! Congratulations.
On 10th July 2018, Malcolm Shepherd carded a magnificent Hole-In-One on the fifth hole whilst playing in Round 2 of the Seniors' 2 Day Salver; hitting a steady 5 iron off the tee Shepherd and his playing partners, Dave Johnstone and Peter Jansen, watched his well-hit shot pitch on-line just short of the green and then trundle up towards the hole.
All three players knew that Shepherd’s ball had finished close to the hole but none of them could actually be sure whether the Ace had been made or not.
Once again, some of the ‘shine’ of the Hole-In-One was taken off by the uncertainty but as they approached the green expectation steadily grew until Shepherd’s 4th Ace in his golfing ‘career’ was finally confirmed when the players reached the hole and found Shepherd’s ball sitting nice and snuggly in the bottom of the cup.
Erstewhile Captain at Ravenmeadow (2003 & 2004) Shepherd left the Club for approximately 2 years to try his luck at Gaudet Luce but returned to our happy fold in November 2017.
On Saturday 28th April 2018, during Round 1 of the Summer League Mike Williams aced the 10th.
Seventeen handicapper Williams went on to win the competition on the day after posting a glorious net 62.
It's only a matter of weeks since Williams aced the 5th, albeit on a temporary green and therefore a non-qualifier, and once again Mike had to dig-deep into his seeminly bottomless pockets to get the drinks in.
Well done Mike.
During the Pairs Better Ball Competition on 10th January 2018, Brian Hodgetts aced the par 3 third; hitting a six iron and taking a ‘bit off’ by going down the shaft, Hodgetts’ ball temporarily vanished from view as it rocketed its way into the low lying mist, pitched onto the front of the green (we believe) and once again vanished from sight. On approaching the green Hodgetts looked baffled as he couldn’t see his ball saying, “it’s probably gone off the back of the green” to which a playing companion said (perhaps not too convincingly!) “it might be in the hole Brian”.
A somewhat bemused Brian Hodgetts eventually conceded that it just might have found the hole, walked over and calmly stated, “It’s in the hole”. Well done Brian on your first ever Ace – it was a great looking shot but, typically in Club Golf there was no gallery or spotters out there to cheer the event and I know that when you found where the ball was you felt it a little bit of an anti-climax.
19th June 2016 - Congratulations to Leighton Hine who aced the par 3, 14th hole during Round 4 of the Summer League.
Taking an 8 iron off the tee and with wind blustering from right to left the 15 year old fifteen handicapper recorded his first H-I-O but his joy was somewhat short-lived and marred by the thought of the ensuing bar bill - ironic really because young Hine is not even old enough to buy a round of drinks let alone celebrate his achievement with a proper drink!!
This was just another great accomplishment for the youngster who only took up the game of golf twelve months ago and has watched his handicap tumble on a regular basis as he consistently shot himself onto the winners' podium over that short time.
4th June 2016 - Tom Jenkins carded a hole-in-one on the 151 yard, par 3 sixteenth at Ravenmeadow Golf Centre during the Martin Neath Memorial Open on June 4th. The Jenkins ace may not have been enough to give his team a win but it was most certainly the costliest round played in the Open competition as the young golfer’s wallet took a hefty hit in the heaving Clubhouse. Almost perfect golfing weather meant that the normally swirling winds on the sixteenth hole were noticeable only by their absence and finding a nicely receptive green Jenkins’ ball pitched, bounced once and found the bottom of the cup.
Although, as a team event, this was a non-qualifier Jenkins typically brushed off his success with, 'it's just agame of golf guys'!
During the Monthly Medal contested on the 22nd May 2016 Norman Vernalls had a hole in one on the annoyingly testing 162 yard, 10th hole. Vernalls hit a 7 iron, uncharacteristically with draw, over the big Ash tree and onto the green and thought it was close and probably birdie-able. Playing partners Ade Day and Steve Griffiths were both convinced that the ball was in the hole and so it proved to be. This was Norman Vernalls’ (Perdiswell Park's Rory McIlroy look-alike) first ever hole in one.
Congratulations to Norman – first of many maybe!!
Vernalls eventually finished in ninth place after finishing with net 68.
During our November Medal (25th November 2015) Adrian Burbridge managed a magnificent hole-in-one on the 157 yard, par 3, 14th hole. Burbridge said after recording his first ever hole-in-one, 'I wasn’t sure if my ball had finished right behind the hole or run well passed because the weather was appalling and visibility very poor. I knew I’d hit a good shot but it was only as I got to the green that I could start to celebrate the achievement when I saw the ball sitting halfway in the hole resting against the flag-stick. As the R&A Rules stipulate the ball has to actually be in the hole so I very carefully stood the leaning flag-stick upright and down she went – my first ever ‘ace’!'
Burbridge, three weeks short of his 65th birthday, has only been playing golf for approximately 5 years; having played indoor and outdoor bowls to County and National level since1984 and very used to being amongst the winners on the flat ‘greens’ all over the country, Burbridge decided to try his steady hand at golf and it wasn’t long before he found his golf handicap coming down on a regular basis. Now playing off a handicap of seventeen Burbridge draws on his steely nerves and competitive nature to calmly negotiate his way around the golf course and over the last couple of years has found winning still comes naturally. When the adrenalin rush from scoring a hole-in-one would adversely affect most golfers Burbridge typically held himself together and went on to finish a very creditable second in the Medal competition.