Alex bags hole-in-one at 83 years young

Well, the George Sprunt Memorial Invitation Sweepstake came to a conclusion on Sunday and a full report on Who? Why and What? will be reported upon next week.

Every Tuesday the more mature golfers at Turnberry meet to play a sociable few holes of golf and every year hold a competition amongst themselves which naturally is followed by a sociable lunch in the clubhouse to give everyone a chance to moan about missed putts etc.

Last year’s winner was Bill Clare so it was down to Bill to organise this year’s competition which he did with his usual efficiency. In the 18 hole competition Jim Byers came in to win on 37 points (next year’s organizer) followed by David Gray on 34 points. For those who only manage 12 holes Jim Crawford came in to win on 22 points with a better inward half than Bill Tait also on 22 points.

However the big news of the day was that 83 years young Alex Wilson had a hole in one at the 16th hole.

It was done with a seven iron and if you have half an hour to spare Alex will give you full report, but bear in mind that Alex is quite nonchalant about his feat as this was his seventh hole in one. An excellent lunch in the clubhouse was enjoyed by all and Alex left with one of those much sought after ‘Turnberry Hole in One’ certificates which was presented to him by Colin McKellar.


Lee Trevino at the Byron Nelson Classic in 1969 ‘ My wife’s got a broken wrist, we’ve got a ten week old baby, and our dog is pregnant. I came out here to rest. Can you blame him?

‘The fourteenth hole was the turning point. When I four putted for the second time I new I was in trouble.’ Bill Erfurth on shooting an 88 in the US Open 1974. Even I( can appreciate how devastating that must be.


With Alex Wilson getting his seventh hole in one at such an advanced age, perhaps it is time to reflect on this achievement.

But don’t think that I, after only one ace in my life, am going to give you tips on how to achieve this feat, forget it, as there are too many variables to contend with. There is the flag stick, the rim of the cup which the ball can spin off, plus the wind, sun perhaps in your eyes to name but a few. All you can do is hit the ball straight at the flag with the right club. It does seem strange that you will find so many golfers of good standard unable to record an ace, whilst there are often golfers of a more moderate standard who have recorded quite a few aces. It is just luck no matter what standard of golf you play.

I can remember many years ago a top professional golfer was invited to keep shooting balls at a short hole in order to score as many holes in one as possible. Every hole in one would mean a donation to charity so the professional made every effort to score. . I do not think he actually scored a hole in one which shows that it is not down to just skill, but this was back in the days when golf balls had a very soft balata cover and every ball lying on the green was cut.

It was very interesting to note this as nowadays golf balls do not cut badly when they accept spin.

However, it is something to cherish and a Turnberry certificate to this effect hanging on your wall is very pleasing.

It is always difficult to consider how to celebrate this achievement. Too much noise and everyone will know and gather in the bar, expensive, but you do want to let the world know that you have done the near impossible? I am sure that you will find a way round it but to obtain the Turnberry certificate you have to advise the staff and rely on their discretion. The worst hole in one to ever get, is when you are playing all by your self.

Nobody to witness it, nobody to celebrate with and no certificate. Sad, sad and sad. But never mind, you know you have completed an ace, you can pat yourself on the back and give yourself a certificate if you wish, because golf is that sort of game.