Maleny over the moon for ace duo
Maleny Golf Club is celebrating its very own pair of aces.
Hans van Sambeeck was the first to achieve every golfer’s Holy Grail by holing out off the tee on the 173m, Par 3 Third hole during a practice round last Tuesday.
Fast forward a week and fellow member John Oxenham went one better by acing the 135m Par 3 Fifth during competition play – earning him a place in history as the first entry on the new Terry Lee Memorial ‘Hole-in-One Club’ honour board.
Club President Dr Max Whitten said members were astonished and delighted to be celebrating two historic hole-in-ones in such quick succession.
“We were all very excited for Hans and now John’s done it as well in competition so our congratulations go out to them both. We’re still a very young golf club so historic achievements such as these are all the more memorable at this early stage of our development,” he said.
John, 74, was thrilled when playing partner Ben Haycroft called out to advise him that his ‘missing’ ball was lying in the cup.
“You can’t see the bottom of the flag from the Fifth Tee and although I knew I’d hit a good ball straight at the flag, I was convinced it had run through until Ben checked the hole,” recalled John, a retired Maleny farmer and former A Grade footballer.
On most week days Hans, 66, heads out at first light for a quick 9 holes before breakfast – often on his own. However, on Tuesday morning last week Hans was accompanied by good friend and keen golfer Bob Hawkins.
After teeing off into the early morning sun the duo could not locate Hans’ golf ball despite being confident that it should have made the green or stopped just short. Hans, who owns a market garden on acreage in Maleny where he has lived with his family for the past 33 years, began to despair when his ball could not be found.
“We then decided to check the hole just in case and incredibly there it was lying in the bottom of the cup,” Hans beamed when he arrived back at the golf shop to proudly claim the club’s first hole-in-one.
Unfortunately his ace outside of competition doesn’t warrant an entry on the club’s honour boards, however, Hans has the scorecard signed by his playing partner to serve as a proud reminder.
“I’m so glad I wasn’t on my own and that Bob was there with me – it’s such an amazing feeling,” Hans said.