Date: August 07, 2017
Author: Tony Durkin

The Aces just keep coming

Three weeks ago when Rick Barrett aced the 12th hole at Mt Coolum Golf Club – a week after his regular playing partner Brian Cunningham had holed out on the par three eighth – he hinted that the pair was considering a form of lottery to enable fellow club members to join them in their Thursday group.

Rick was, of course, being flippant. But he should have taken himself seriously, because last Thursday the third member of their regular group, James Jansen, aced the 16th hole.

However, there is more – much more, in fact.

In the five weeks since June 22, ten holes-in-one have been scored at Mt Coolum in competition rounds, one of them by 92-year-old Roy Aiken and another to 78-year-old Judy Reilly. Others to have their names displayed on the ever-expanding honour board are Peter O’Neill, Darryl Crank, Philip Doolan, Jan Wilson and Helen Wilson.

“It is unbelievable. I cannot fathom why all of sudden people are holing out all over the course,” said a dumbfounded General Manager, Sharon Purnell.

“Obviously the fact we have six par threes on the course increases the chance, but these past six weeks have been truly remarkable. We will certainly need a new honour board soon.”

The hole under most attack has been the 16th, with four aces, with two each at the eighth, 10th and 12th.

But the trio of aces to the regular Thursday group is the most alluring statistic. And the one member to have so far missed out, Richard Churchman, actually started what James Jansen describes as a ‘fascination’ with holes in one.

“A few months ago, also on the 16th hole, Richard Churchman’s tee shot finished five centimetres from the pin,” he explained.

“We were all excited that day about him getting so close, and obviously the talk turned to who had scored a hole in one and what that experience would be like. Now, just a few months later, three of us have done it.

“It’s the kind of occurrence you might see in a movie, but certainly not at our little golf club.”

But the magical mystery tour doesn’t finish there. The seven iron used by James to ace the 16th was not exactly the latest model.

“I bought it for $10 in a bargain barrel at a golf shop on the Gold Coast three years ago,” he explained.

“It is a Titleist Muscle Back blade iron, and it works a treat. I flushed it on Thursday.”

The quartet of James Jansen, Rick Barrett, Brian Cunningham and Richard Churchman have been regular Thursday playing partners for the past two years and, according to James, are unlikely to split.

“At least not until Richard joins the Hole-in-One Club,” he said.