SOUTH AFRICA’S LONGEST ACES
AND OTHER STORIES

Published by : Stuart McLean - 12 November 2020

The Top 100 Courses website has a section where we keep all the Holes-in-Ones records for South Africa, and many unusual happenings. We welcome any stories about holes-in-one that might be out of the ordinary.

The long par-4 12th hole at Eagle Canyon is one of the most challenging on the course, yet Stephen Watson had a hole-in-one at No 12 when the course first opened.

Veteran tour pro John Bland keeps us busy updating the section, as this year he has taken his total tally of career aces from 30 to 33, having had three at each of the Fancourt courses. John made No 30 at St Francis Bay a few years back, and 2020 has so far given him holes-in-one at No 17 on Montagu, No 12 on Outeniqua, and more recently No 2 at The Links.

Steve Watson contacted us from Gauteng this month to claim the longest ace recorded in this country. He said he had holed out from the 397-metre club tees on the par-four 12th hole at Eagle Canyon. This happened more than 15 years ago, on September 14, 2005, when Eagle Canyon was first opened for play, and Watson was a younger 41-year-old who competed as an amateur on the local Long Driving Circuit.

However, a call to long-time Eagle Canyon golf director Dave Christie revealed that while Watson had indeed aced the 12th, one of the most difficult holes at Eagle Canyon, but in 2005 it was still a short par 4 of 330 metres.

“I could even drive the old green when conditions were dry,” said Christie, “but the hole was not like that for long. Due to the poor positioning of the old hole, a brand new 12th was built, and it now measures about 440 metres from the back tees. So yes, a hole in one, but won’t be repeated on the new hole.”

The current holder of the longest ace therefore remains David Melman, another long drive competitor and the Golf Manager at Huddle Park. He aced the 351m fourth hole at Oppenheimer Park in 2001.

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