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First things first, what is it actually called? The condor is very rarely trotted out when someone has a hole-in-one on a par 5, or a two on a par 6. It has also been known as a double albatross or treble eagle but we'll stick with condor for now.
There haven't been any aces on any tours but there have been five holes-in-one, some heroic and one or two slightly questionable.
The first known condor was recorded by Larry Bruce in 1962. Bruce was playing at Hope CC in Arkansas when he cut the corner at the par-5 (sharp) dogleg 5th hole, measuring 480 yards, and was soon picking his ball out of the hole with a 1 on the card.
There is more than a shadow of doubt about the next one which took place in 1973. Scratch golfer Dick Hogan (nice surname) was playing the 456-yard 8th at Piedmont Crescent in North Carolina and there was plenty of help from the elements.
“That thing was like an interstate highway,” the North Carolina State player told the Times News 40 years later. “We were in a dry spell and the fairway was red clay. The ball just never stopped rolling.”
The doubt comes given that there were maintenance workers near the hole and nobody said a word so there might have been an assist from the sidelines?
In 2002 4-handicapper Mike Crean produced some fireworks on July 4, the same day that Hogan 'achieved' his. Helped by the altitude in Denver Crean hit driver on the 517-yard 9th at Green Valley Ranch GC and discovered his ball sitting underground minutes later.
Two years later Shaun Lynch took on the horseshoe-shaped 496-yard 17th at Teign Valley in Devon in the UK. His tee shot careered over a 20-foot high hedge and found a severe downslope, bounding on and on before finding the cup. The added beauty of this one was that he managed it with a 3-iron!
We move Down Under for the penultimate effort of excellence. Jack Bartlett also cut the corner on the sharp dogleg 17th at Royal Wentworth Falls in New South Wales and he headed to the 18th tee with a 1 on his card and possibly an awful lot of Stableford points.
For interest even if you don't receive a shot you would still pick up six Stableford points which would smarten up any scorecard.
Related: Quiz - Hole-in-one stats and facts
Finally we have Kevin Pon who did something equally as ridiculous and it involved a very rare 2. In December 2020 Pon was playing the 667-yard 18th at Lake Chabot in California which is a par 6 and plays particularly downhill. The 54-year-old's drive travelled 540 yards, helped by the cart path, to leave himself an approach of around 100 yards.
“I hit my shot, it lands, the people up there are clapping and screaming,” said Pon. “The ladies in the group behind and the marshal up on the hill are clapping. My friend says, ‘Did it go in the hole?’ We didn’t even know.”
“That day, it was really weird. The ball was rolling. The greens were faster than normal. Usually, (the course) was slow and the ball plugs. We get to the 18th hole. I’m playing better than normal. People love or hate the course. I love it. It’s quirky, different. This is two back-to-back career shots to set you up. How can someone get 4-under on one hole?”
Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.
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