It’s hard to think of a more nerve-wracking experience for a golf newcomer than teeing off in a Stableford competition with the highest handicap.
But 36-handicapper Hilary McGrath, 47, from Maghera, in Northern Ireland, stepped up to the tee box to achieve something most of us can only dream about: a hole-in-one.
‘I’m not getting excited until I get to the pin and look in the hole to make sure it’s in’, but, as soon as we got up there and saw it, we all let out a big roar.
The retired healthcare supervisor - who only took up golf this year - achieved the feat using her driver on the 173-yard, par-three 12th at her club, Moyola Park, and, to the envy of her more experienced golfing chums, was rewarded with membership of the exclusive BOSS Watches H1Club and a specially-commissioned, commemorative timepiece.
She laughed: “It was beginner’s luck! Apparently the 12th at Moyola Park is a hard hole, but I have to say it’s one of my favourites. I can hit a good drive so I decided to go for it on this hole.
“The ball went so straight - it was in line with the pin the whole time - and the two ladies I was playing with were convinced it was going in. I said: ‘no, hold on a minute. It might have gone behind the pin’, but they were squealing and having a great time.
“I told them: ‘I’m not getting excited until I get to the pin and look in the hole to make sure it’s in’, but, as soon as we got up there and saw it, we all let out a big roar.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet and still feels like a dream. There was quite a bit of buzz in the clubhouse afterwards, but it was great. If I never get another one, at least I can say I’ve had one.”
She added: “I started playing this year and only received my handicap recently. My husband has been playing golf for about 26 years, so, now that I’m no longer working, I decided to take it up, too - I have to say I’m really enjoying it.
“My husband had a hole-in-one at a different course, but it wasn’t during a competition - he’s really pleased for me, if not a little shocked, but tells me it’s all down to his coaching!”
The luxury German brand has once again pledged to reward club golfers with an exclusive watch for every hole-in-one recorded during a club competition in 2015, after giving away more than £1.5m-worth of limited-edition timepieces since its launch in 2013 - and McGrath is among the latest to achieve the feat this year.
The scheme is open to any golfer whose club uses HowDidiDo - a free-to-use, web-based social network for golfers - and anybody playing in official club competitions is eligible. Currently, more than 1,800 clubs use the website.
Stephen Brydon, commercial director for MGS Distribution, the official licenced UK distributor for BOSS Watches, said: “Well done to Hilary for accomplishing one of golf’s most elusive feats.
“For most amateur golfers, a hole-in-one is as memorable as winning The Masters would be to a professional. We want to ensure they have something tangible by which to remember the day, other than an expensive bar bill.
“The limited-edition BOSS timepiece is exclusively available to golfers who achieve a hole-in-one; it not only immortalises a once-in-a-lifetime feat, but also serves as a memento of their achievement.
“We also hope it might lift the spirits of amateur golfers during club competitions who may not be in with a chance of winning the event, but can still feel excitement every time they play a par-three, knowing they are just one shot away from winning an exquisite timepiece.”
In addition to the limited-edition watch, McGrath joins more than 6,000 members in the BOSS Watches H1Club which offers access to exclusive benefits and merchandise.