The triumphant European victory at the Solheim Cup last week created some lasting memories, not least the enduring (and endearing) image of 17 year old Charley Hull asking Paula Creamer to sign a golf ball for her friend back in the UK, having just handed her a 5&4 drubbing!
The success marked the first time a European Team has won on US soil, and it was all the more impressive for the comprehensive margin of victory. But this wasn’t the only precedent set at the Solheim Cup in 2013. Caroline Hedwall became the first player in either the Ryder Cup or Solheim Cup to take a maximum five points from five matches, and Anna Nordqvist wrote herself in to the history books with the first ever hole-in-one in the Solheim Cup. Her 7-iron on the Par 3 17th naturally won the hole, and rather conveniently the match, too!
Below, I’ve shared a video link to a few other famous hole-in-ones captured on film over the years.
Some of the greatest feats, however, have come from the amateur ranks and weren’t captured on camera. There’s a scorecard on the wall at Blackmoor Golf Club in Hampshire commemorating two hole-in-ones in a single round, and I recall reading about the two competitors who walked off with a half having both made a hole-in-one. My personal favourite was achieved by Bob Taylor at Hunstanton in 1974 – playing in The Eastern Counties Foursomes, the Leicestershire County player holed in one on three successive days at the 16th hole; firstly with a 1-iron and then consecutively with 6-iron. Greatest of all, of course, were the 11 aces scored by Kim Jong-Il playing his first and only round of golf. OK, perhaps that one is slightly less credible, but I couldn’t resist mentioning it. If there are any others I’ve missed (genuine or of the Kim Jong-Il variety), please feel free to let me know.
Tiger Woods – 1997 Phoenix Open, 16th Hole at TPC Scottsdale
It may not be the biggest event of the year, but the Phoenix Open is famed for its extraordinarily large and raucous crowds. With a purpose built stadium surrounding the 16th hole, who else, and where better to produce a crowd pleasing moment? Just listen to the roar.
Howard Clark – 1995 Ryder Cup, 11th Hole at Oak Hill
Howard Clark’s most famous hole-in-one came at the 1995 Ryder Cup, but in his role for Sky Sports, he famously made this ace whilst filming a feature on the infamous 17th hole at The TPC Sawgrass
Paul Casey – 2006 Ryder Cup, 14th Hole at The K Club
Paul Casey closed out the hole and the match with this memorable shot into the 14th whilst playing with David Howell in the Saturday Foursomes. The very next day, Scott Verplank would achieve the same feat on the same hole. It was enough to help him on his way to defeating Padraig Harrington, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a famous European victory.
Nick Faldo – 1993 Ryder Cup, 14th Hole at The Belfry
I love this hole-in-one for a couple of reasons. This was classic Ryder Cup golf – despite being dealt this hammer blow by Faldo, his opponent, the pugnacious Paul Azinger, fought his way to halving the match with birdies on the final two holes. But most of all I enjoy the iconic commentary of the late, great, Dave Marr. “I think he likes it, and he should. Hello… hello… drinks for the house?”
Ernie Els – 2006 Open Championship, 8th Hole (The Postage Stamp) at Royal Troon
Although famously short at just 128 yards long, the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon is also fiendishly difficult. In 1973, a 71 year old Gene Sarazen made an ace at this timeless hole, and the feat was repeated in The Open Championship of 2006 by Ernie Els. The Open returns to Royal Troon in two years’ time.
David Toms – 2001 PGA Championship, 15th Hole at Atlanta Athletic Club
At the end of the 2001 PGA Championship, the scoreboard showed that David Toms had beaten Phil Mickelson by a single stroke. This effort during the third round undoubtedly helped Toms secure his first Major title.