Cape Gazette

The 19th Hole

It happens each spring...

By Gene Bleile | May 16, 2013

No matter if you're a novice, serious golfer or a dedicated pro, when the daffodils start to bloom you can hear your golf clubs calling from their storage area.

If you're a really serious novice, advanced golfer, dedicated pro or you just want to get out of the house, you played golf during the winter in cold weather, wind and maybe even snow flurries.

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But no matter what type of golfer you are, spring is a more inviting time of year to play. So if you think this column is about swing tips, stretching exercises, getting your clubs re-gripped and buying new golf balls, you're wrong. I'm going to remind you that each swing in the coming year can be an adventure.

With that in mind, I'm going to tell you about some golf swings that ended with some not only amazing, but wacky results.

Next time you make a bad shot, relax, take a deep breath and think of some of these golfers and the day they had on the course.

Strange but true

Golfer No. 1: Bill Morse celebrated his 51st birthday playing a round of golf with his friends back in 1997 and shot a hole-in-one (sort of) on the very first hole at the Farmington Country Club in Hartford, Conn.

Morse teed it up and let it rip! The ball hooked through a grove of large spruce trees, caromed off a tree trunk, then ricocheted off a large rock near the cart path, went airborne and rolled onto the 18th green, traveled approximately 40 feet and rolled into the cup.

It was still unclear if he had to hit a provisional ball or pay for drinks at the clubhouse.

Golfer No. 2: English golfer Nigel Denham was playing in an amateur Stroke Play Tournament, in 1974 at Leeds, England.  His approach shot to the 18th green was still airborne when it landed near the open clubhouse door and rolled to a stop on the carpet inside a room facing the green.

Since the local rule stated that the clubhouse was still in-bounds, someone opened a window and Denham chipped the ball onto the green and two-putted for a bogey five.

Golfer No 3: In 1959, another English golfer, John Remington, playing at England’s Coswald Hills Golf Club, shot a legitimate hole-in-one but the ball had an adventure before it arrived in the cup.

Remington stood on the seventh tee box - a par three -with a five iron and took his swing. He let it fly.

The ball took a wicked hook and headed for a drainage ditch, where it hit a drain pipe and ricocheted towards a greenside bunker.

Now if you remember Einstein’s theory of Relativity, a body in motion tends to stay in motion...until it hits a rake in the bunker and carries onto the green.

Part two of that theory takes place when the ball rolls toward the hole, caroms off another ball and goes into the hole. (In England, I believe this is known as bumper golf or a hole in one by any other name is still a rose.)

Golfer No. 4: Back to America! In 1952, golfer Bud Hoelscher was playing in the Los Angles Open when he launched his approach shot to the 18th green.

Standing greenside (in the wrong place at the wrong time) was a TV cameraman and the announcer. Hoelscher’s ball bounced off the cameraman’s head, opening a cut, then ricocheted off the announcer’s face and landed on the green. Hoelscher arrived at the scene then calmly two putted for a par. No follow up as to how many stitches the cameraman needed to close the cut.

Golfer No. 5: And finally, pro golfer Bernard Langer was playing in a tournament in South Africa in 1990 when his approach to a green landed on the roof of a rain shelter. He climbed to the roof, pitched his ball from the lie (10 feet in the air), to within a few feet of the hole, then made the putt to birdie the hole.

For more golf course photos, fine art photography and Bleile's blog, go to

Source: Astonishing but True Golf Facts by Allan Zullo

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