The 13th hole at Bundoran Golf Club proved to anything but unlucky for the Gavigan brothers recently, as both Billy and Jim recording holes-in-one at the same hole within a few weeks of each other.
It was a case of ‘what wee brother can do, I can do too’ for Jim Gavigan, when he hit his first ever ‘hole-in-one’ at his local club after 30 years playing the game.
A first hole-in-one is one thing but for Jim it was all the more unique because his younger brother, Billy, also posted a hole-in- one at the exact same hole on the same golf course a few weeks earlier.
Two days after St. Patrick’s Day, on Tuesday March 19th, Jim, who plays off a handicap of 12, was playing in the weekly seniors competition on the Bundoran links when he posted a hole in one on the long par three 13th.
John Magee, Sean Crawford and Aidan Howe and Jim made up the fourball. It was a biting cold day, with a stiff breeze blowing in his face, as Jim shaped up to his drive.
“It was very cold and there was a strong wind so I took out the driver and let fly. The 13th is the longest hole Par 3 on the course. It is 196 metres from the back tee, and we were playing off the front tee which is, I would say, about 170 metres and because of the wind I had to give it everything,” explained Jim.
“I could see it was a good shot as I followed the flight of the ball and as we walked up I could see the ball on the green and it was only when the three ball ahead of us pointed out as we got closer that the ball was right up against the pin and that in fact it was a hole-in-one.
“I’m playing golf since 1981 and it is the first hole-in-one I’ve ever had and the strange thing about it just a few days beforehand after Billy got the hole-in-one a number of people were asking me if I had ever hit a hole-in-one and I laughed at them and dismissed the idea.
“And then a couple days later I actually hit one, I suppose makes it all the more amazing and the fact that Billy hit one at the same hole is a strange coincidence.”
On Saturday morning, March 2nd, Billy Gavigan was playing in the Saturday club competition when his drive went all the way at the 13th to land a career fourth hole-in-one.
Billy, who also plays off a handicap of 12, had registered two holes-in-one at Bundoran, both at the short third. The other was at Moyola Park.
“I could tell you it was the best shot I ever hit, but being honest that was not the case at all. I hit a terrible shot and in fact it was so poor that I turned away when I hit it. But it skidded up along the fairway and onto the green and I did not realise I had holed it until I walked up to the green and looked in the hole,” said Billy.
Richard Nevin, Eamon and Dan McGloin were playing with Billy and were there to witness the wonder shot. Billy was playing from the middle markers on the tee, and the weather, with little or no wind, was more favourable.
“It wasn’t a great shot and there was no great celebration afterwards. I suppose the unique thing is that Jim scored on the same hole a few weeks later. We are probably the first members of a family to record a hole-in-one at the same hole in a matter of weeks. Especially the 13th!
While Jim had to do with a cup of tea and a few scones to celebrate back in the clubhouse, Billy is due to pick up a bottle of brandy in the clubhouse this weekend and has been promised that a small cheque is due in the post from the G.U.I.