No one likes a show-off, but some achievements are so remarkable you have to shout about them – just ask John Russell.
Most golfers dream of making a hole in one, but for the 69-year-old the thrill of making an ace must be wearing off.
Russell is a member of the Isle of Wedmore in Somerset, a course where he has made a total of seven aces.
On his travels, though, Russell, who plays off a handicap of 11.8, has had the pleasure of marking down a ‘1’ on five other occasions.
What makes his achievement even more remarkable is that he can boast having made an ace in England, Scotland and Wales.
“I got my first hole-in-one in 1977 at Shirehampton where I’d been a member for 14 years to that point,” he told England Golf. “I didn’t think I’d ever get another one.
“Forty-two years later I was there playing for Wedmore in a friendly and when we got to the hole, I said to the two Shirehampton guys: ‘Believe it or not, I had my first hole-in-one here 40-odd years ago.’
One of the guys turned round and said: ‘I bet you can’t do it again! And guess what happened?
“The hole slopes quite a lot so we didn’t see it go in, but it was very nice to get it! It was so spooky!”
After making his first hole in one at 23, Russell went 19 years before making another, that one coming at Oake Manor – and then he made number three at Scotscraig in Scotland two years later.
Russell had turned 50 before he got his first at Wedmore, and that was followed by an ace in Wales at St Pierre where he used to play annually in a captains’ charity day.
A flurry of aces followed over the course of the next five years, before he added yet another, his tenth, back at Shirehampton Park.
Number 11, which came in a monthly seniors’ Stableford competition (an 8-iron from 153 yards) was particularly satisfying.
“Because it was a qualifying competition, part of my subscription at the club meant that they stumped up £75 for drinks, and on top of that I’m insured by an in-house insurance, so we had £125 to spend on the seniors’ drinks at the bar that day, which just about covered it!”
Nine days later, in a Wednesday roll-up, he was at it…