Saturday 10 June 2006 was bright sunny day with a moderate south-easterly breeze blowing across the green expanse of Fulford (York) Golf Club – a fine day for the 36-hole Club stroke-play Championship. The competition was the first played on the newly formed ‘Championship Course’ – new tees having been introduced on the 9th, 13th and 16th holes to extend the course to a par 72 at 6841 yds.
After a poor morning round of 84, I was determined to improve my score in the afternoon and after a reasonable start of par, birdie hopes were high. Double bogeys at 3 and 4, followed by a bogey at 5 reined in thoughts of a good score that would shoot me up the leaderboard, but pars at 6, 7 and 8 renewed my hopes, especially when a birdie was made at 9 and I made the turn at 3-over, same score as in the morning.
Hoping I would not suffer the same disastrous back 9 as the morning, I moved onto the 10th tee – 163 yds, slightly uphill, with the wind from 11 o’clock and the pin in the back centre portion of the green. A sweetly struck 5-iron set off for the left hand side of the green, and having reached the apex of its flight started to drift right towards the flag. The ball pitched on the green heading towards the flag but, due to the bright sun, I was unable to see it run across the green. My playing partners and I thought it had gone in the hole but we weren’t certain until we reached the green and couldn’t see the ball either on the green or just off the back edge. Sure enough the ball was nestling in the hole! Handshakes all round and back to 1 over par.
A good drive down 11 made the par 5 reachable in 2, but the ball kicked off the left hand side banking and into a gorse bush for a bogey 6. A par at the 12th and a bogey at the 13th put me back to 3 over as we walked over the bridge to the 14th hole. The 175 yd par 3 was playing downwind, slightly to the left. Remembering the morning round where 1 put a 6-iron into the left ditch, I decided to punch in a 5-iron, after all it served me well at the 10th hole. The shot was alright, slightly off the bottom but had a good flight shape for the hole position which was back of centre. Whilst the ball was in the air, one of my playing partners said: “Not another hole-in-one!” The ball pitched on the green and ran towards the hole. I was able to see it running towards the flag by looking through a gap between the bushes that run across the front of the green, and saw it drop in the hole. A second hole-in-one some 40 minutes after the first, with the same club and the same ball!!
What about the rest of the round? Well it took a long time, as by this stage I only had one thought – BAR!!! Celebrations were calling, so after a bogey, triple bogey, par, birdie finish, it was a 76 (4 over par) and down to serious celebration; fortunately my wife had caddied for me and was driving us home.
As we subsequently found out, this was the first instance that 2 holes-in-one in a single round had been achieved at Fulford and there are only 20 previous recorded instances elsewhere of this achievement. The RAFGA kindly contributed £200 towards my celebrations and Fulford Golf Club hole-in-one sweep presented me with 6 bottles of whisky for the bar and 2 hole-in-one ties! After buying drinks for everybody in the club, a slight profit was made on the day.
Having lost the ball that made the 2 holes-in-one when I made triple bogey on the 16th hole, I returned to the course on the Wednesday afternoon and searched for the ball. I eventually found it and have it now in a safe place for prosperity. As for the 5-iron, well I don’t think it has hit a straight shot since, although it has shanked a few!
Cheers, Mike Rudd
As reported in the RAFGA Magazine, Winter 2006