Whitecraigs Golf Club, Glasgow, UK • March 2006 • Length of Read: 2 Minutes
It had turned into a sunny, albeit crisp, spring afternoon as my playing partner, Brass, and I holed out on the par-5 15th at Whitecraigs Golf Club and made our way leisurely up to the raised 16th tee box. From one of the highest points on the golf course, this short par-3 offers a lovely picturesque vista of the surrounding area; with a multitude of colours radiating from the blooming plants and bushes that guard the small, nestled, green. We were fifteen-years-old and had snuck away early from our school’s sports class so that we could squeeze in a quick round before dinner. At that point in our lives, all we did was eat, sleep, and breath golf.
With the flag located about two-thirds of the way up the green, and slightly to the right-hand-side, I estimated that it was playing about 140 yards. Throwing down my scuffed ball, I selected the seven-iron from my bag and took a few practice swings. “It’s an easy hole… as long as you hit the green,” our fellow junior club teammate, Doaky, used to say sarcastically. We all knew that it was a great scoring opportunity, but that it could equally also turn into a round wrecker. There was little room for error and a wayward shot could easily result in an unplayable or even lost, ball. Visualising my shot, I addressed the ball and took a deep breath.
Swinging down slightly off-plane, I made a rather poor connection with the ball off the toe of my club and it fired off towards the right in a big, swooping, and definitely unintentional, draw. “Get left,” I shouted, leaning my body in the same direction in a desperate hope that the ball would somehow grow ears and obey my command. Move left it did, and flirting with the rear of the two bunkers that lined the right-hand side of the green, it landed on the grassy lip and bounced left onto the putting surface about fifteen feet from the hole. “Keep going,” I said under my breath as it took the slope and continued to roll towards the target. Roll it did. Before I knew it, the ball had come to a presumed rest right against the flagstick. “Drop,” I yelled.
One, two, three, seconds passed and then the ball suddenly disappeared from view. “I don’t believe it,” laughed Brass.
“I don’t think anyone else would either if you weren’t here to witness it,” I beamed, flinging my hands up in the air in delight.
“What an absolute fluke,” chucked my playing partner.
“What absolute skill,” I retorted, making my way down the path towards the green. "Hole-in-one. Check that off the bucket list."