Spring has sprung... maybe?

May 17, 2018

It doesn't 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 to you from their storage area.

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

The spring of 2018 has been one for the record books.

It seems like every day is an adventure.

Is it going to feel like spring, summer or fall?

Well, the weather man - like a sports bookie - seems to cover all scenarios each morning.

But one thing is clear: It is time to play golf every chance you get.

So if you think this column is about swing tips, stretching exercises, getting your clubs re-gripped and buying new golf balls, you would be wrong.

I'm going to remind you that every swing in the coming year can be an adventure, even if you are a novice, serious golfer or dedicated professional.

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

So 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 #1: Bill Morse celebrated his 51st birthday playing a round of golf with his friends back in 1997 and shot a hole-in-one on (sort of) on the very first hole at the Farmington Country Club in Hartford, Connecticut.

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 is still unclear whether he had to hit a provisional ball, or pay for drinks at the clubhouse!

Golfer #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, "the clubhouse was still in-bounds," someone opened a widow and Denham chipped the ball onto the green and two putted for a bogey five.

Golfer #3: Playing at England's Coswald Hills Golf Club in 1959, John Remington, another English golfer, shot a legitimate hole-in-one, but the ball had an adventure before it arrived in the cup.

Remington stood on the 7th tee box, a par three, with a five iron, took his swing and let it fly. The ball took a wicked hook and headed for a drainage ditch, where it hit a drain pipe and ricocheted toward 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, but not Justin).

Think about it.

Golfer #4: Back to America! In 1952, golfer Bud Hoelscher was playing in the Los Angeles 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 #5: And finally, in 1990, pro golfer Bernard Langer was playing in a tournament in South Africa 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.

19th Hole Score Card

Time flies… I am now starting my seventh year as the golf writer for the Beach Paper and would like to thank my editor, Jen Ellingsworth and her staff for their continued support and journalistic license to bring you strange but true golf shots and human interest golf stories each week.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter