A GOLFER notched a hole-in-one with his very first shot after lockdown restrictions were lifted and English golf courses were able to open yesterday.
Ed Sandison hit his first ever ace on the 176-yard opening hole at Styal Golf Club, in Cheshire.
Playing with his father-in-law Tony Sweeney, Sandison struck a 4-hybrid and was initially simply relieved to have made decent contact.
“I hadn’t swung a club through lockdown,” he told BBC Sport.
“We haven’t got any nets in the garden so it was genuinely my first shot on the first hole for my first hole-in-one and I’ve genuinely never come close before.”
The 34-year-old from Berkhamstead, in Hertfordshire has been staying with his in-laws since Mother’s Day on March 22.
“We have a 15-month-old daughter and that helped with childcare so it made sense to stay here,” Sandison added.
“Tony speculatively tried to book a tee time last week when it seemed like things were going to open up again and the first slot we could get was Wednesday morning.”
The 18-handicapper, who normally tries to play once a week, said: “I thought that’s quite a nice shot, hopefully it’s up on the green,” said Sandison.
“I was just relieved it went in the air to be honest because I only had a few balls in my bag and I didn’t want to lose too many too early.
“I couldn’t see my ball on the green as we walked up. I looked around the fringes and I thought, ‘I’ll have a little look at the hole, just in case’ – and I could just see the top half of the ball sticking up from the inverted cup.
“Then we got the cameras out and filmed and it all went a bit crazy. It was absolutely fantastic and I spent the rest of the round just laughing because I couldn’t believe it happened.”
There was double delight for the founder of environmentally-friendly golf company Ocean Tee when fellow golfers pointed out that the fact golf clubhouses remain closed for the foreseeable future meant he didn’t have to follow tradition and buy a round of drinks for everyone afterwards!
He kept his score throughout the round and ended up playing five under his handicap. “I’m not a great golfer but I got 41 points and it was probably the best round I’ve ever had, unbelievable,” Sandison added.
In addition to being featured on the BBC’s website, his incredible feat has also seen him feature on BBC Breakfast and Sky News this morning as well as his story being covered in the national papers such as The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Daily Mail.