This past week I experienced one of the most exciting shots of my golfing career. I took one of my students out to play a course in Shanghai called “Yin Tao”. The 13th Hole at Yin Tao is a 520-yard dogleg right Par 5. After hitting a nice drive down the fairway, I was left with 220 yards to the hole. Yin Tao’s 13th hole features an island green, surrounded by water on all sides. I hit my second shot toward the middle of the green, but because of my angle from the fairway and a few trees in front of me, I lost track of the ball and did not see it land.
As we began approaching the green, my caddie and I disagreed on where my ball landed. She felt I hit it short and began looking for it near the water hazard. I knew I hit the shot well and proceeded to the back of the green to begin my search for the ball. We both looked for a couple minutes before I casually strode by the hole, taking a slight glance inside. I was absolutely astonished to find my Taylormade golf ball sitting inside the hole!
I holed out my second shot from 220 yards to score a “2” on the par 5! In golf this is called an “Albatross” or “Double Eagle” and is the rarest shot in golf. Not knowing how to say this in Chinese I asked my caddie what the Chinese name is and she replied that in her six years of working at the club, she had never seen one before and also did not know what it was called. (I have since learned that albatross in Chinese is “Xin Tian Weng”).
I still have not recorded a “Hole-in-One”, but an albatross is much harder to achieve. After “googling” them both I learned that every year over 40,000 hole-in-ones are recorded every year in the US, while only a couple hundred “albatrosses” are reported each year. I’m so happy I put my camera in the bag that day, as I was able to capture a classic picture to go along with this post. My greatest shot in golf…. so far! Enjoy the picture and more to come soon!