Another hole in one for Tony
GOLF: THE gauntlet has been thrown down to golfers at Aldwickbury Park to claim a unique record – for the most holes-in-one.
Tony Yorath recently bagged a remarkable fourth ace over the challenging Park Course – to trump fellow member Tim Fox who, at the start of June, grabbed his third, all in the space of three months.
It was believed at the time that Tim had secured a new club record over the picturesque parkland layout, designed by former Ryder Cup player and TV commentator Ken Brown – but now that mantle has passed to 73-year-old Tony who has achieved his quality quartet over the last two decades.
Now the challenge has been laid down to Tony’s mates at the club: is there anyone out there who can usurp him and secure a quintet of aces?
The first three of Tony’s famous four were achieved on the Park Course’s par-3 17th hole with his latest being scored on the par-3 3rd hole. Now he just has two other par-3s to conquer, the 7th and 14th, although he insisted: “Those holes are slightly more difficult…”
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Remarkably, Tony doesn’t have just the four holes-in-one to his name. He actually teed off his remarkable run by bagging an ace at Stockwood Park Golf Club in Luton in 1993.
Looking back on his amazing record, 15-handicapper Tony – who has been playing golf for 40 years – said: “It all started the Monday after I retired from my job with the Health & Safety Executive. I was presented with a new set of clubs and in my very first game with them I netted my first hole-in-one!
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“I joined Aldwickbury Park that same year and scored my first two aces there, in the 1990s, both on the same hole. My course hat-trick, again on the 17th, came five years ago and now I have a fourth – it’s incredible!”
Describing the magical tee shot that secured his latest ace, this time on the 142-yard third hole during a regular Monday senior members competition, Tony said: “The green slopes from left to right and I managed to hit the ball exactly where I needed to. Because I couldn’t see the ball on the green I didn’t believe it had dropped in and actually thought it was hidden behind the flag.
“But my two playing partners, Prem Sharma and Tony Froude, who had never before witnessed a hole-in-one, told me it had gone in and were over the moon. The feeling of having scored another one was incredible.”
Tony duly celebrated in customary style in Aldwickbury Park’s clubhouse after the round. “The blow of buying all the drinks was softened by a pay-out from a special fund the Monday club actually set up after my third ace with each of the 60 players contributing �1 to a celebratory hole-in-one drinks kitty. It certainly saved me a few pounds!”
So does Tony have a special secret to bagging aces? “Not really,” he smiled. “It’s just a vast amount of luck – even more so when you realize golfing greats like the late Seve Ballesteros never achieved one.”
Tristan Hall, Aldwickbury Park general manager, said: “Many congratulations to Tony on his remarkable achievement. We believed Tim Fox held the club record for holes-in-one with three but now it appears Tony does with four. However, if anyone would like to tell us about five they have scored here we’d love to hear about it!”