It would be fair to say that Brian Hamilton-Smith feels some affection for the golf ball he is pictured holding. It's the one he smacked into the hole from the 9th tee at Ahipara at last month's vets' day.
The trophy was duly presented at Monday's gathering of the Kaitaia Golf Club's older players.
Funnily enough, Brian wasn't the first to know what he had done.
It hadn't been a great round," the 33-handicapper said. He could not remember what he had done off the stick, and didn't want to remember. And, as he lined up his last tee shot of the day, one of his playing partners, who hadn't fared a great deal better, suggested that he drop the ball into the hole.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"In your dreams," was his response, but his partners were impressed, one telling him that his ball was heading for the green, then it was rolling up the green, than it had disappeared into the cup.
He told her not to be silly, but finally found the ball, where she had told him it was, after scouring the green and the bunker in front of it.
It was Brian's first hole in one, after 32 years of trying. He first picked up his clubs in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, on the home course of the great Welsh player Ian Woosnan, subsequently joining the club at Whangaroa then moving on to Kaitaia. And he was grateful for the change in club policy that absolved those who sank holes in one from the obligation to shout the bar.