Frank's gr-eight at getting holes-in-one
A hole-in-one at every par 3 at Hopeman is golfer Frank Sutherland’s claim to fame.
But the 72-year-old didn’t know whether to laugh of cry when he managedthe eighth ace of his career in December.
For Frank had completed hisfull set on the day of the club’s senior Christmas outing, and had tostand his hand among a group of 40 members drinking in the clubhouse.
He had just holed his 5 wood tee shot at the tricky 191-yard 17th, theonly one of Hopeman’s par3s he hadn’t previously aced, witnessed by playing partners Davie Ashand Dave Harris.
“There’s five par 3s and I’ve managed every one,”he said. “There’s certainly none in Hopeman who have done that and I wouldn’t think there would be a lotaround the country.
“But I didn’t know whether to laugh or greet. I really timed it wellwhen there was 40 of us on the outing and they were all drinking
“They canna even drink Bells or Grouse, it had to be Highland Park!”
Hopeman bred, but now living in nearby Burghead, Frank first joined his hometown course in 1955.
He became a member at Forres Golf Club for 15 years, getting his first hole-in-one there in 1981 with a mighty3 iron strike of 245 yards at the Muiryshade course’s 10th.
Frank returned to play atHopeman soon after and began his lucky streak in 1985 by holing at the 178-yard seventh.
Incredibly he aced the same hole twice within a five-week period, scoring ones at the 132-yard 15th in 1992.
That hole has provedparticularly lucky, as he managed to ace it for a third time in 2012.
He holed-in-one at the 153-yard third in 1999, and his seventh ace came at Hopeman’s signature hole,the Prieshach (12th) which is 150 yards long and has a 100 yard dropfrom tee to green.
“The last one was atthe 17th, which would be one of the hardest holes to get the hole in one at,” he said. “But every par 3 is a hard hole.
“Something must be going right for me sometimes. I’d love to know thesecret myself.”
His single figure handicap dropped last year when he had to take timeout from golf to recover from broken ribs sustained in a fall.
Now playing off 11, Frank is Hopeman’s ace golfer in more ways than one andsetting his sights on ace number nine in the near future.