Hundreds of thousands of golfers, including superstars Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and the late Seve Ballesteros, have taken on the world-famous 10th hole at The Belfry’s Brabazon course over the past 35 years, but not one could claim a hole-in-one – until Welsh 3-handicapper Dan O’Connor came along last Saturday (10 March).
Playing the course for the first time, 19-year-old O’Connor from Maesteg amazed his three playing companions by firing his drive straight for the middle of the green and into the cup from the white tees, some 301 yards away.
It marks the first time any golfer has aced the 10th hole since The Brabazon course was opened in 1977. Since then, the hole has figured in four Ryder Cups and 11 European Tour events, as well as being identified with numerous iconic golf shots, such as Seve Ballesteros’ drive when playing against Nick Faldo in the 1978 Hennessy Cup to get it onto the green for the first time.
“It’s my first hole-in-one and definitely the highlight of my golfing career so far,” said the assistant at Southerndown Golf Club, Bridgend. “So many amazing players have tried to reach the 10th, but no one has actually aced it before, so it’s made the feeling even more special.”
Dan had made the journey from Mid Glamorgan to take advantage of The Belfry’s brand new £99 ‘Stay and Play’ offer on The Brabazon.
“We’ve seen over one million attempts to ace the hole and are delighted that young Dan has achieved what so many great legends of the game couldn’t quite do here,” said Director of Golf, Gary Silcock, who presented Dan with a bottle of champagne to celebrate after his round of 77 (5-over par), the best of the fourball group.
Among the first to congratulate Dan was his boss, Thomas Davies, Head Professional at Southerndown GC, who was playing in the group in front.
“The whole stay at The Belfry was first class and the greens are the best I’ve ever played on, which says a lot considering it’s only March,” added O’Connor, who used his trusty Titleist 910 D3 driver with Pro V1x ball to hole out on the 10th. “Whether you’ve had a hole-in-one or not, the staff make you feel special from the moment you arrive at the resort to the moment you leave.”
More and more golfers like Dan are making trips to sample the Ryder Cup-style experience at The Belfry. The resort’s ‘Stay & Play’ deals have proved a big hit, with an 8% rise in those booking golfing breaks during the past twelve months. The Belfry also recently reported a 10% increase in the amount of golfers playing The Brabazon, PGA National andDerbycourses during 2011, as well as a similar increase in the number of people booking custom-fit sessions at itsPGANationalGolfAcademy.
The Belfry www.TheBelfry.com