Golfer Phil lands a rare albatross

PHIL Groom, a 30-year-old who stands 6ft 8in, took up golf only five years ago. Yet in the May monthly medal at Waldringfield the 21-handicapper had an albatross on the 523-yard 12th hole.

By Tony Garnett

PHIL Groom, a 30-year-old who stands 6ft 8in, took up golf only five years ago. Yet in the May monthly medal at Waldringfield the 21-handicapper had an albatross on the 523-yard 12th hole.

A straight drive of about 280 yards ended at the base of a small mound.

Then Phil produced a perfectly straight three-wood of about 235 yards. The ball landed short of the green, skirted the right edge of the new bunker and rolled straight on into the hole.


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“I'd never reached a par five in two shots before, but those were the two best shots I have ever played.

“When we reached the green and could not see the ball I thought it must have gone through the back. Then I took a look in the hole and there was the ball winking at me with my marking skywards,” said Phil.

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Groom took up the game after going to Stonham Barns with a friend and enjoyed playing the nine-hole course there. “Then I started watching golf on television and became hooked. It's like a drug,” he said.

A footballer for Old Newton United third team as a central defender or striker (Peter Crouch style), he is also a keen follower of Ipswich Town FC.

His playing partner, Roger Haugh, said: “An albatross is very rare. John Daly has had two but I don't think that Tiger Woods has ever had one. Most club golfers cannot reach a par five in two shots.”

Albatross, a very rare seabird, is a comparatively new term for completing a hole in three-under-par. In April 1935 Gene Sarazen had a two at the par-five 15th hole at Augusta but he called it a “dodo”. In the United States they sometimes refer to the feat as a “double-eagle.”

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