SEVENTH WONDER FOR ACE BARBARA

By James Dobbin

According to American golf mathematician Francis Scheid (1920-2011), if a low-handicapper plays 1,000 rounds in their lifetime, they have a 20 per cent chance of making at least one hole-in-one.

But 18-handicapper Barbara Langdale, from Reading, has defied both Scheid and the odds an amazing seven times, with her latest ace also winning her a limited-edition BOSS watch.

Langdale, 71, achieved her most recent hole-in-one on the 94-yard, par-three fourth at Hennerton GC, taking her tally to an astonishing seven.

She said: “I didn’t think it had gone in – I thought I’d hit it through to the back – and actually walked on to the green with my eight-iron and putter, thinking I’d have to chip it back on.

“The lady I was playing with has a single-figure handicap and has never achieved a hole-in-one, so she was over the moon – I was excited, but I’ve never seen someone quite as excited as she was.

“There was a lot of celebrating in the clubhouse afterwards. When I walked in, the club professional said: ‘here she comes again, our little star’; it was really lovely and I had a big grin on my face for the rest of the day.

“The funny thing was, for the first three holes, I wasn’t playing at all well, and the lady I was playing with said: ‘oh, just hit it straight like you usually do’ – so that’s what I did.”

Langdale, now retired, has been playing golf for 25 years and actually went 15 years before achieving her first hole-in-one, meaning she’s carded all seven of her aces in the last 10 years.

She added: “I seem to get my aces in groups of two or three: my first and second were in 2005 and 2006, then I had three from 2010 to 2012, before achieving my sixth last year, followed by this one.

“I don’t really have a secret to getting a hole-in-one – I don’t tend to hit the ball very far, but my main strength is I can hit it straight. I think that’s all there is to it: don’t over hit it and try to hit it straight – it won’t go in the hole if you aim away from it!”