golf shot decision

For the typical club golfer, the hole in one is something that is both revered and feared. It is revered as it is an all-too fleeting moment of golfing perfection, when you take aim at a hole 100+ yards distance and then through skill and luck in varying amounts, manage to land the ball at the bottom of the cup.

 

The elation, and sadly I am yet to experience it, when achieving a hole-in-one must be immense. Indeed my brother has said that if he ever achieves it, he will give up golf on the spot as he’s achieved perfection and the only way afterwards is down.  That elation is short-lived however as with it comes the realisation that you are facing a pretty hefty bar bill back at the 19th hole!

 

Hole-in-one

 

 

For a tour professional, holes in one are a different currency. Still beguilingly rare, however for these top golfers, they are relatively common compared to the usual golfing mortal. Yet there are times when a hole in one can still take your breath away.

Of course, when a hole in one strikes in competition, such as Paul Casey, Howard Clarke and Nick Faldo’s at the Ryder Cup or Tiger Woods at the Phoenix Open , it can be an elation filled moment.

 

 

So imagine how journeyman tour golfer Andy Sullivan felt as he stood on the 15th tee last week at the KLM Dutch Open. The Englishman, ranked 216th in the world, was in contention for the lead at the tournament, only for a bogey and a double bogey to move him off the pace behind leader (and eventual winner) Paul Casey.

 

Sullivan’s aim would have been to try and stem the flow of dropped shots not on what the prize was for a hole in one on the signature hole. The tournament sponsors, XCOR Space Expeditions had offered a prize of a $100,000 journey into space aboard their Lynx Mark I and II spaceships, starting operation at the end of 2015.

No golfer had yet managed to land an ace at the hole so with the last few groups approaching, it looked likely that no player would bag this stellar prize.

 

However, Sullivan hit a beautiful nine-iron into the green and saw his ball bounce just to the right of the flag as the camera viewed it before spin on the ball took it in the direction of the hole and then the ball dropped right into the cup.

 

 

It is hard to underestimate how important that surprise eagle was. Not only did it secure Sullivan a much needed third place finish as he attempts to secure a tour card for the 2015 season, but it earned him a prize worth an estimated £61,483, which is a sizeable chunk considering his biggest ever career win at a tournament was £132.746.

After completing his round Sillivan revealed that he will be speaking to his wife about whether he can take what he admitted is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.

 

“I’m not sure if I’ll go, I’ll check with the missus. I’m not great with heights or flying!” admitted the Englishman prior to his round.

“I might have to pluck up some serious courage, but it is a once in a lifetime experience so I ‘m going to have to do it.”

 

Of course, for the amateur golfer, there’s no trip into space awaiting a hole-in-one, just the satisfaction of knowing that you have, for once, achieved the perfect score on the hole.

And for many amateurs, that is reward enough.

 

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