Ian's incredible hole-in-one hat-trick

TO hit one hole-in-one is rare, to have two is rarer still - but to have three is quite extraordinary.

Craig Robinson

IT is widely regarded as the toughest shot in golf and an achievement that most players can only dream about.

To have a hole in one is rare, to have two is rarer still - but to have three is quite extraordinary.

Ian Joyce has only been playing the game for five years but has already chalked up a hat-trick of aces at the Ufford Park course in Melton, near Woodbridge.


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The 59-year-old from Grundisburgh carded his latest hole in one on the 140 yard 16th hole with a five iron.

“I aimed up and the ball went into the air - it looked nice and straight,” he said. “I looked beyond the flag and I saw it bounce a foot in front of the hole and it popped straight in.”

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Last February Mr Joyce used a seven iron on the 142 yard 10th hole to record his second ace, while his first came a year before that on the 138 yard 3rd.

“That time I was playing early in the morning and it was fairly misty,” Mr Joyce said. “I thought it was near enough on the green but I kept looking around and when I checked the hole there it was.”

Mr Joyce, who has been playing for five years and has a handicap of 18, would now like a fourth hole in one at the 195 yard 12th hole at Ufford - a feat that would mean he has completed all par threes on the course in a single stroke.

“I came to golf late in life, when an injury forced me to give up badminton, a sport in which I had represented Kent and Suffolk,” he said.

“As soon as I started playing golf I fell completely under its spell. It would be fantastic if I could get another hole in one on the 12th - it would make it a clean sweep.

“But if it does prove an impossible task at least I'll be spending quality time with friends, enjoying the fresh air and experiencing some fantastic views over the Deben Valley.”

Despite his achievement Mr Joyce, finance director of Stealth Electronics in Ipswich, said he was loathe to give advice to anyone still seeking their first hole in one.

“My swing is still a work in progress,” he said. “My playing partners like to remind me of the theory that if you have a sufficient number of monkeys typing at random they will eventually produce the complete works of William Shakespeare,” he joked.

n The longest hole in one was hit by Robert Mitera on October 7, 1965 at the Miracle Hills Golf Club in Omaha, Nebraska, using a driver at the 444 yard 10th hole.

n The youngest player to record an ace is Jake Paine who was just three-years-old when he teed up on a 65 yard hole in Lake Forest, California.

n The oldest player is Harold Stilson, from Boca Raton, Florida , who was 101-years-old when he aced the 108 yard 16th hole with a four iron at the Deerfield Country Club on May 16, 2001.

n Norman Manley, of California, holds the record for most hole in ones with 59 - shooting his first in 1964.

n World number one Tiger Woods has 18 holes in one - carding his first when he was just six years old.

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