Posted on behalf of Senor Graham Bandito CC Loveless
I awoke on Tuesday to a beautiful sunny Spring morning and decided to take the opportunity to go to the club and practise one or two areas of my game that needed improving (those one or two areas being driving, approach shots, chipping, putting and bunker play!).
As I played two balls on each hole there was a single two ball in a buggy ahead of me and Matt Stock was giving an on course lesson behind. By the time I had reached the 3rd tee the buggy ahead had moved off and I seemingly had the course to myself.
At around 12.20pm I was on the 7th tee. Yardage was approximately 180yds so I played a Callaway with my normal 5 wood shot. For my second tee shot I switched to my 4 iron and played a Srixon. Both shots were well struck but the 4 iron was the straighter shot. Both seemed to land on the green.
Walking up to the green I could only see one ball on the putting surface. The left hand bunkers revealed no ball and the back of the green was clear. As I walked to the ball on the green I looked into the hole and peering up at me was my Srixon 4. Strangely, rather than thinking I had made a hole-in-one my initial reaction was “how did that get in there?”
I looked up to the 8th tee to see if anyone was there that had seen the ball go in the hole but of course it was empty. I stood on the green looking at the ball in the hole and raised my eyes to the heavens. I then sent a text message that I had aced the 7th to Sean, Phil and Jim and picked the Srixon out of the hole without further ceremony and walked to the 8th tee.
So, my first hole in one! Or was it?
What proof was there? A photo was hardly evidence. It was simply my word against, well, no ones.
An interesting point as to the validity of a hole is there seems to be an absence of rulings from the R&A. Likewise the USGA simply passes the decision as to whether a hole-in-one is deemed valid to the club committee but does recommend a hole-in-one is only considered valid in a round of at least 9 holes, the player is playing one ball, should be made under competition conditions and finally, is attested to by someone acceptable to the committee. An ace that does not meet these criteria should not be considered a valid hole-in-one. So there we have it under USGA rules even with someone able to attest to the event playing with two balls in a practise round invalidates the hole-in-one. However, our golf is governed by the R&A and there seems to be even less guidelines and the question is while I sunk my second tee shot straight into the hole with a different club can I actually say I have had a hole-in-one?