Hole in one at 92

JULIAN RAETHEL
Last updated 10:29 08/11/2012
HOLE
JULIAN RAETHEL

HOLEY MOLEY: Hole in ones are a once-in-a-lifetime event. At 92, Colin Cliff has racked up a few.

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A hole in one is no big deal for 92-year-old Colin Cliff.

He's achieved four of them in his 80 years of golfing.

His latest milestone was sunk on his beloved Titirangi Golf Course on October 29.

Mr Cliff plays three times a week and hit the magic number on the club's signature par three 14th hole.

"When I teed off I saw the ball run on the green but there's a bit of a dip and when I went to look for it it was nowhere on the surface," he says.

"Then I saw the ball in the hole. The funny thing is the weather was turning in but we had to keep playing and finish the full 18 holes to make it official."

Golf Digest conducted a study in 2000 to find out the odds of hitting a hole in one.

It discovered that a player with a low handicap would have to play 1000 rounds of golf to have a one-in-five chance of achieving it.

Mr Cliff has a handicap of 29 but it has been as low as four in the 1930s.

He hit his first hole in one in New Plymouth before World War II where he served in the New Zealand Army which included tours in the Middle East and Italy.

His two other triumphs came in 1966 at the Helensville Golf Club when he moved to Auckland and at Titirangi in 2003.

"I've had a lot of things happen in my life and I used to run marathons in my early 60s to stay fit for golf," he says.

"My mates used to wind me up about it and ask why I was doing it.

"I'd just reply by saying it was to take their money off them in golf."

Mr Cliff has two sons, Basil and Peter. He is the proud grandfather of 10 grandchildren and great-grandfather of five.

His wife Barbara died three years ago but Mr Cliff's zest for life and golf hasn't wavered.

He is one of the oldest members at the club and lives just down the road.

"I tell the young people if I can get around the course in 3 hours then they should be doing it in less than four.

"I'm not a very emotional person anymore at my age and I just feel being able to play is something in itself."

Mr Cliff is a quiet achiever the club's director of golf Doug White says.

"Colin's a very humble member and is great at organising his crew for a round.

"He gets around great for his age.

"The fact he's playing golf regularly is fantastic and the hole in one is a just reward for it."

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- Western Leader

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