t’s a pretty remarkable day when a hole-in-one is not the highlight of a round of golf.
But that’s exactly what happened at the Mount Gambier Golf Club in last Thursday’s stableford competition.
Michael Cutting and his playing partners were thrilled when his 9-iron sailed over the flag on the par-three 8th hole, hit the green and spun back into the hole for an ace.
And while he rightly thought that would be big news when he got back to the clubhouse, his effort was over shadowed by what one of his playing partners did on the par-five 15th.
After hitting a solid drive to the right side of the fairway with about 175m to the flag, three-handicapper Richard Gosling pulled out a 4-iron and knocked the shot into the hole for an evenrarer albatross two.
While everyone in the group saw Cutting’s ace from the elevated 8th tee, Gosling said he had no idea his ball had found its way to the bottom of the cup.
“I knew I’d hit it pretty well, but you cannot see where it ends up from down on that fairway,” he said.
“One of the other boys got to the green first and could not see the ball, so he had a look in the hole and there it was.
“I was in complete shock to be honest …
“I thought it would be 10-to-15 feet from the hole at best.” While the odds of making a hole-in- one are about 12,500-1, that number is reduced to 5000-1 for low handicappers like Cutting who was playing off two on Thursday.
The chances of making an albatross, however, are variously quoted at somewhere between a million to one and six million to one.
But the chances of two players in the same group achieving a hole-in-one and an albatross in the same round …
that’s pretty much off the scale.
In fact MGGC pro John Martin said it may never have happened before.
“I spoke to a tournament director at PGA Australia and he said he had never heard of it happening, and had never seen it recorded anywhere,” Martin said.
While making an albatross is extremely rare, it was not the first time it had been done at the Attamurra layout, although possibly the first time on the 15th.
Multiple-time club champion Anthony Williams produced one several years ago thanks to a hole-in-one on the par-four 18th.
Incredibly, Richard Gosling’s brother John achieved that same result on the 18th back in 2010.
While both Cutting and Richard Gosling had an incredible story to tell on Thursday, only one of them cleaned up.
No prizes are on offer for an albatross, but Cutting collected the hole- in-one prize of a $1000 pro shop voucher which has already been converted into a new bag and buggy.
The last time he had an ace (two years ago on the same hole), Cutting received just $120 because Jeff Hodge had claimed the jackpot of more than $1200 just two days earlier.
“The best thing about this one was it ended up being exactly what I tried to do, although obviously you do not expect it to go in the hole,” Cutting said.
“It probably spun back about 15 feet…
it was like something you’d see on TV.” Despite their heroics, the pair did not play well enough to trouble the leaders.
New member Dane Handreck stole the show, and raised a few eyebrows, with 44 points off his 25 handicap.
Chris Lynch was seven shots back in second place, while Gosling came in sixth with 35 points and Cutting was back in 18th place with 33.
Meanwhile Saturday’s par round was almost a washout thanks to torrential overnight and early morning rain, not to mention gale force winds.
In the end just 43 players braved the conditions, with Mitchell Broome the only one to beat his handicap.
Playing off a 20 handicap, Broome finished on +2, two shots ahead of John Gosling and Chris Gabriel.
Amazingly, Gosling almost replicated his brother’s albatross from two days earlier, hitting his second shot on the 15th just past the pin.
He had to settle for an eagle, although his score was good enough to win A Grade by two shots from Clint Mitchell.
B Grade went to Sam Mainwaring who beat Brad Von Duve on a count-back after they finished on -3.
And Broome took the honours in C Grade from Gabriel.