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Randpark’s Wim is one in 6 million. Just like Louis Oosthuizen

by | Aug 30, 2021

BEFORE teeing off in last Wednesday’s club competition on Bushwillow, Randpark member Wim Hancke treated himself to a sleeve of new Srixon golf balls in the pro shop.

“We started on number one and I wasn’t sure whether to use an old ball or one of the new Srixons,” he said. “Then I thought why not a new one? It may bring me some good luck.” Good luck, you bet it did!

Playing from the gold markers, he teed up his new Srixon and hit a beauty up the middle of the par-5, his ball coming to rest between the two fairway bunkers. “From there I had 214 metres to the green for my second shot and I knew I could get there with my three-wood if I hit a good one.”

As we all know, the putting surface cannot be seen from so far back on the fairway at No 1. So Wim, who is pretty handy with a club in hand with a handicap that hovers between six and seven, aimed at the Northcliff Tower in the distance as a backmarker as it is more or less in line with the middle of the green. And he did hit a good one.

A very good one. Or so he thought.

“But when we got up near the green the balls of my three playing partners were there but we couldn’t see mine. We looked left and right. No golf ball. What was happening? It was as if it had just disappeared. I was mystified. Frustrated. Then I noticed a little bit of white sticking out of the cup. I walked up and there was my Srixon!

I couldn’t believe it! I had just made an albatross!

By now Wim, his betterball partner Elca Faure, and the other two other players in the group – Danie Janse van Vuuren and Uli Lubeck – were whooping and hollering and out came the mobile phones to take some shots of the man who had just achieved one of the very rarest feats in golf. Rare? You bet an albatross is. Yes, Louis Oosthuizen may have made an albatross – or double-eagle as the Americans call it – at Augusta National’s par-5 second hole in the final round of the 2012 Masters. But the odds of making one have been calculated at a staggering 6 million to one. Compare that to a hole-in-one and the odds of an ace (Wim made his one ace so far about 10 years ago) are just 12,500 to one. There’s just no comparison. So, in golf, Wim is one in a million. Actually, no. He’s one in six million.

Wim shot a 76 gross that day and he and Elca finished fourth in the prize list. Wim’s a tough, wiry 64-year-old and it’s not surprising that in his younger days he was a top-class rugby player. He attended Linden Hoerskool and was good enough to be chosen as scrumhalf for South African Schools for their 1974 UK tour, with Nick Mallett one of his teammates. He attended Free State University after school and between 1979 and 1983 played at No 9 for the Free State Cheetahs alongside such greats of the game as De Wet Ras and Gysie Pienaar.

Golf or rugby, Wim’s clearly a star performer.

Final thoughts on his albatross? “Because we couldn’t see the green from back on the fairway nobody witnessed it. Nobody saw the ball go in … except, I guess, the good Lord himself and the birds. Maybe there beside the green was an albatross up in the branches looking down!”

Written by Randpark Member, Grant Winter

2 Comments

  1. George Hauptfleisch

    Well done Wim

    Reply
  2. Wim Hancke

    Dankie George: Was absolutely pure luck.

    Reply

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