As a fullback who played 139 games for Wanganui, Bob Barrell was known for his unerring accuracy as a goal-kicker, and after 26 years of trying that accuracy finally translated onto the golf course.

Barrell made the first "Hole in One" of his golfing career during the men's competition at the Rangatira Golf Club last Saturday - taking out the 4-iron for the 12th hole, a Par 3 of around 170m.

"It went remarkably well - it ran up the green," he said.

"The other three said, 'that's gone in'. I said 'nah, it must have gone over the back'.


"I was pretty rapt".

"It was a pretty enlightening moment in my sporting life," Barrell added, having been an All Black triallist and represented Wanganui from 1963-1977.

"It's a bit like kicking a goal from the wrong side of halfway, which I did a bit in my old days."

Still, unlike goal kicking success which came from practice and concentration, Barrell said there just seems to be luck involved in getting a golf ace.

The week before on the same hole with the same golf club, he hit the ball out of bounds to the right-hand side of the fairway, then when he returned on Thursday after that magic drive, he made a five on the Par 3.

"It's supposedly a game of skill. Supposed to be."

Barrell was pleased one family milestone was knocked off - his wife made a hole in one around 10 years ago.

"It's always been a bit of a struggle to catch her up. I'm pretty relieved in a couple of areas to have finally got it."

Barrell took up golf as his rugby career was beginning to taper off - playing club games in Taihape on a Saturday, then going out for a round on Sunday.

"I had to do something after I played rugby. I fitted into the game and I enjoy it ... going out with friends."

It is the ninth recorded Hole in One in the wider Wanganui region this year.