A 52-year-old deaf golfer from Huddersfield defied odds of around 67 million-to-one to record two holes-in-one in the same round of golf.
Beth Bates, who works part-time in a NHS maternity unit, recorded aces on both the 206-yard eighth and the 122-yard 14th holes at Outlane GC to astound golf analysts and, more importantly, to lay claim to two BOSS watches courtesy of the BOSS Watches H1 Club, which rewards club golfers for every hole-in-one recorded during qualifying club competitions between April and November this year.
Bates, who subsequently saw her handicap cut from 16 to 13.4 following her winning nett 60 in the September monthly medal, lost her hearing in 2009, and began to play golf again after calling a halt to a promising junior career to concentrate on other sports.
An impressive junior, she recorded an incredible six holes in one and was even selected to play for the Yorkshire girls team, but gave up golf to coach gymnastics and trampolining aged 19.
She said: “When I lost my hearing I thought it was a good time to take up golf again.”
Earlier this year she was selected for England’s Deaf Golf team in the Four Nations Cup – against Wales, Ireland and Scotland – played at the Vale of Glamorgan last month. However, she pulled out of the team after being told she would not be allowed to take her hearing dog, Biscuit, a two-year-old cocker spaniel, with her on to the course, unlike Outlane which allows Biscuit in the club and on the course.
“I’d waited four years for my hearing dog, and she goes everywhere with me, so I wasn’t prepared to just leave her in the hotel room, as was suggested,” she added.
Recalling her two aces, Bates, who lip-reads, said: “I honestly couldn’t believe my luck. They are the two hardest par threes on the course. I normally score five on them so I saved a lot of shots. On the 14th it can be easy to end up with a five as it’s over a small ravine to an elevated green with bunkers guarding it. On the eighth I usually get four – it has out of bounds in the trees to the right and, on the left, it has a banking all the way down from tee to green and is the longest par three in Yorkshire.
“Everyone in the clubhouse knew about the first one, because we let the two people behind us play through when it happened, as I needed to calm down. They told everyone else so when I got back to the club house everyone said ‘congratulations’ and I said ‘no I’ve got two!’. I went back in the evening to buy drinks when the afternoon and evening ladies had played.”
She added: “I’m looking forward to receiving the watches – I can have one on each wrist!”
On one previous recorded occasion when a club golfer achieved the feat, experts said the odds were in the region of 67 million-to-one – roughly the same odds as winning the lottery four times.
Karen Jennings, from Worldwide Hole ‘N One – which specialises in providing hole-in-one insurance – said the chances of an amateur golfer recording two aces in the same round were “extremely remote”.
“We know Australian Tour pro Andrew Dodt achieved it, at the Nordea Masters at Bro Hof Slott, in Sweden, earlier this year, but it would be a pretty amazing for an amateur to achieve such a feat,” she explained.
“The odds are almost impossible to add up, but it would be millions to one. It’s absolutely astonishing, and congratulations to Beth. If I was her I’d go straight out and buy a lottery ticket – it sounds like her luck is in!”
Stephen Brydon, commercial director for MGS Distribution, the official licenced UK distributor for BOSS Watches, said: “We’ve given away around 1,600 watches to golfers so far this year, but we’ve not had a story as remarkable as Beth’s. Congratulations to her.”
BOSS Watches has pledged to reward club golfers with an exclusive watch for every hole-in-one recorded during a club competition between April 15 and October 31 this year. And, with nearly 4,000 holes-in-one recorded annually, BOSS Watches could feasibly be giving away £1m-worth in 2013.
The scheme is open to any golfer whose club uses HowDidiDo – a free-to-use, web-based social network for golfers – and anybody playing in official club competitions will be eligible. Currently, more than 1,800 clubs use the website.
In addition to her two limited-edition watches, Bates is also awarded membership of the exclusive BOSS Watches H1 Club which offers its members access to exclusive benefits and merchandise.
No extra registration is required to participate in the BOSS Watches promotion as all official club competitions are recorded on the HowDidiDo system, so holes-in-one will be noted and automatically ratified by the golfer’s club.