Date: July 19, 2017
Author: Tony Durkin

Thursday, holey Thursday

Brian Cunningham and Rick Barrett, both relatively new members of Mt Coolum Golf Club on the Sunshine Coast, have never won Lotto but they are well aware of the thrill generated by balls rolling into a specified hole.

The two mates, who have played together regularly in the Thursday competition for almost two years since they moved north, have both recently scored holes in one. And they did it on consecutive Thursdays, while marking each other’s card.

First it was 14-marker Brian, who aced the eighth hole at Mt Coolum with a wedge – the distance was 95 metres because of a temporary tee. Seven days later Rick responded to the challenge, holing out at the 12th – 117 metres – with a nine iron. Rick plays off seven.

And Brian says Rick can genuinely share in the glory of both aces.

“Rick rode mine all the way,” said Brian.

“He stood beside me on the tee, audibly admired my swing and the shot, and then urged it all the way to the hole.”

And Rick confirmed he rode his home too.

“I hit it sweetly into a slight breeze, and it covered the pin all the way. When it landed I said ‘get in there’, and it obediently obliged,” he said.

Although chuffed at his first-ever ace, Brian still considered the result a stroke of luck rather than a great stroke.

“We might all stand on the tee at a par three with the aim of hitting the ball in the hole, but in reality it’s a fluke,” said the 60-year-old who has played golf most of his life but never very seriously.

“I can never recall even being close to a hole-in-one previously, so I will take this one – fluke or not.”

But when it comes to holes in one, Rick – also 60 – is an old stager. He has previously aced the 14th hole at Armidale Golf Club twice, the last time on January 1, 2011. His hole-in-one trophy is engraved with 1-1-11.

But the thrill has not diminished, and the urge for more never dims. In fact Rick says he and Brian are considering a form of lottery to enable Mount Coolum members to join them in their Thursday group.

“Maybe our class – or luck – might rub off on someone else,” he joked.