It started off as just a regular ordinary friendly swindle around the fine fairways of Bury St Edmunds Golf Club — yet ended anything but that.
For Tut Hill Senior members Peter Chapman, 72, and John ‘Jockey’ Goswell, 88, etched their name into their club’s and even sport’s history books by both scoring a hole-in-one on the same hole and from the same round.
“It was not the first time Jockey or myself had had a hole-in-one and once you have done one of those you have done it, but what made it remarkable was that it was on the same round,” said Chapman of their feat on the ninth hole last Thursday.
“It just left us both very surprised. To be able to say I was part of that event is great.”
The National Hole in One Registry website in the United States rates the odds of two players, from the same fourball, acing the same hole as 17 million to one. Golfers Digest quotes the same odds.
But there are no odds given for a three-ball, with last year’s club captain Steve Finch being the odd one out, his tee shot being sandwiched between them but then having to putt out on his own for a birdie.
The club’s general manager, Mike Verhelst, said: “Two holes in one in the same group, on the same hole in amazing. Well done to them both.”
It has become customary at Bury for members to buy a bottle of whiskey from the bar on completing a hole-in-one to be put out for other members to enjoy at their leisure.
But Chapman and Goswell ended up being hit even harder in the pocket when they decided to buy their Thursday group, of around 20, separate drinks of their choice.
“It probably cost us more than if we had put a bottle of whiskey on the bar,” said Chapman, “But not many people drink that these days.”
The pair, who play off handicaps of 19 (Chapman) and 23 (Goswell) became overnight stars after last week’s event was first revealed on the Free Press website on Sunday.
Two national newspapers had run the story online within 24 hours of our exclusive, but it has since become apparent that the yardage of 125 has been mis-reported, with course works meaning it is currently reduced to 89yrds.
“It is still an amazing achievement,” said Free Press golf columnist Chris Boughton. “They are the only holes in one since last summer on this hole.”
Both feats were done with very different clubs, with Chapman’s tee shot with a wedge dropping straight into the cup, while Goswell’s seven iron hit off saw it fall short, before rolling in.