If you are still looking for your first hole-in-one, Seaton Carew Golf Club might be worth a visit after a recent hot streak saw five aces made in the space of 11 days on the Teesside links.
With the odds of a hole-in-one standing at roughly 12,500/1, the run is truly remarkable, as club secretary Roy Leonard says: “It was a staggering period. I don’t think we have ever known anything like it. Seaton celebrates its 150th year in 2024 and we have some long-standing members who can’t remember anything quite like it.”
The incredible run started on August 18, when David Goodchild holed out at the 15th hole, known as Cosy Corner, using a three-wood.
Just two days later, Carl Mason – a Seaton member for 40 years – scored his first ace at the sixth (Mashie) with a seven-iron. The 70-year-old, whose handicap peaked at seven before he started to suffer from frozen shoulders, said: “All I said to the three guys who witnessed it on the adjacent tee was ‘now I can die a happy man!’ I have been on the edge of the hole on the 15th before, waiting for it to drop, that was around 20 years ago. I just thought it would never happen. This time I decided to go out on my own for a knock before I played a competition. My shot was going towards the bunker, I didn’t see it bounce, and when I was walking towards the hole, it was blowing a gale. The ball must have been resting against the flag and as soon as the wind picked up it moved the flag and the ball dropped in. The three lads shouted hole-in-one – I’m a bit deaf so I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t believe it.”
The trend continued five days later when former Hartlepool United footballer Barry ‘Badger’ Parkes, 83, struck his ninth ace in 46 years of membership with a five-wood on the sixth hole. “All of them have been at Seaton Carew,” said Barry, who reached a five handicap at his peak. “I feel so privileged to have hit nine when a lot of people haven’t even had one, I am a lucky so-and-so because the ball just keeps dropping in! I can’t remember too many of them, but I do want to hit 10 now because double figures would be amazing. I’m also so privileged to play at Seaton, one of the best and oldest courses in the UK. I love being part of the community.”
Sean Cussons became the fourth member of the illustrious group, holing out at Mashie with a nine-iron on August 28.
The final member of the quintet is Peter Fearon, who got the fourth ace of his career and his first in a competition, on Mashie using a five-iron.
Roy added: “To say the Scotch has been flowing freely is something of an understatement as putting a bottle on the bar is the recognised way of celebrating such an achievement. Congratulations all round, and cheers!”
The five golfers still have work to do to catch former Seaton Carew club captain John Hall, who recorded his 10th hole-in-one since becoming a member in 1953 earlier this year.