Golf histories around the world are replete with the most improbable events – multiple holes in one in the same round, different players scoring holes in one with consecutive shots, holes in one bouncing off trees.
- A Tasmanian family achieved a unique golfing feat: three generations holed up on the same hole with the same club
- The five iron they used is worth less than $10, but for Glen O’Keefe ‘it’s priceless’
- The odds of grandfather, father and son all shooting the same hole in their lifetime is estimated at 1,000:1
But at the Tasmania Golf Club, not far from Hobart Airport, a story unfolds that might be unmatched anywhere in the world.
Our story begins in 1982 when Peter O’Keefe hit a hole-in-one on the eighth hole – a scenic 159 yards, par three.
He used an Australian made five iron – a Keith Knox DM 139.
Upon Peter’s death, his clubs passed to his son Graham.
A decade after Peter’s hole-in-one, Graham O’Keefe was playing Tasmania GC and pulled out his father’s old five iron on the eighth tee and hit the ball in the hole.
Two holes in one of a father-son combination on the same hole using the same club is a highly unlikely feat.
This writer has never heard of such an event, but although it is highly unusual, it is unlikely to be unique.
A father/son or parent/child combination over the years, if not centuries, of golf, surely had holes in one on the same hole using the same club?
But this story does not end there.
Several years after Graham’s hole-in-one, he bought himself a shiny new set of graphite-shafted clubs.
Graham then passed on his father’s clubs to his son, Glen.
In 1999, Glen O’Keefe stood on the eighth tee at Tasmania Golf Club, armed with his grandfather’s old set, and hit the ball in the hole.
After the round, he phoned his dad to celebrate.
“I told him I had my first hole-in-one. He said, ‘Congratulations, what hole?’ I told him the eighth.
“He said, ‘Oh fantastic, like grandpa and myself.’ He said, ‘what club did you use?’ I said “five iron” and there was a bit of silence.
The National Hole In One Association (which provides hole-in-one insurance for tournaments) has calculated that a good club golfer who plays 5,000 rounds in his lifetime (i.e. twice a week for 50 years) has a 50% chance of scoring a hole. in.
The O’Keefes were all good players, with single-digit handicaps. Therefore, the odds of all three scoring at least a hole-in-one at some point in their lives is around 12.5%.
Assuming they’ve played 80% of their rounds at their local club, the odds of them all hitting a hole-in-one on the same course is 6%.
And the odds of them all making a hole-in-one on the same hole in their lifetime is about 1,000:1.
But the odds of three generations of golfers hole-in-one on the same hole using the exact same golf club are incalculable.
“I haven’t even heard of two [generations]not to mention three,” Graham said.
Glen said he would be very surprised if another family on the planet had matched the feat.
“I’d love to chat with them if they did, but I’d be really surprised if it had been done before.”
A regular Keith Knox DM139 five-iron is priced at less than $10, but don’t expect to find this particular club at a yard sale anytime soon.
Glen O’Keefe plans to frame it.