5-handicapper Michael Hunt of Easthampstead GC in Berkshire tells Golf Monthly about his incredible round where he used just a Driver, 8 iron and putter...
Feature image: From left to right Downshire Golf Pro – Rhys Ap Iolo, Michael Hunt and Daughter Elise holding the three clubs Michael used in shooting 65
Congratulations on your round Michael, where was it played?
It was at Easthampstead golf club playing out of the Downshire Golf Complex in Bracknell, Berkshire. I’ve been a member for four years but I’ve probably been a member there for about 15 or 16 years in two or three separate periods. We are very privileged that we have a well run and supportive club.I am vice captain and I played with the captain Steve Cross on the day who scored 36 points, Blaise Murphy who scored 40 points and a helpful caddy my daughter Elise.
And can you confirm that you shot a gross 65?
Playing in the annual new year’s day stagger competition I shot 65 gross, 60 nett on a par 72! I used a ping G30 LS Tec driver, ping i20 8 iron and an Versa 7 odyssey putter.
Michael’s scorecard from the day, which included 8 birdies!
What were the stand out shots from the round?
It was quite an easy round, most of my drives were straight so I never had much to go into greens. It was only playing between 5,700-5,800 yards off winter tees. It was a nice calm day, it wasn’t cold so keeping it in the fairway meant I didn’t have long to go into greens. It was just like controlling 8 irons, some times I did have to hit a half 8 iron in but a lot of them were ¾ and half shots. The key was just trying to get it close to pins so you could hole the putts. The greens were good and you couldn’t really have got a better day for golf, you don’t normally get those days in the winter time! It was quite a blue moon day for golf and the score matched it. It was shocking really, normally you blow up when you get to 3 under par playing off five, you start to get excited and things start to go wrong. It didn’t though, it went the other way this time it just got better and better.
You must have hit a few drivers off the deck?
Yeah I think I hit 3 or 4 off the deck on the par 5s. I managed to get two on the green. On the second I hit driver, driver onto the green and made birdie and down the ninth I did the same. On the 18th I came up just short and failed to get up and down which was a shame. It was just nice to hit everything properly for a change. If I had to nominate a shot of the day, it would be Driver off the deck at the 2nd Hole, 240 yards for a 2 putt birdie, at 51 years old a bit reckless!!
Best round of your life?
It is round there, I’ve had 68 round there off medal tees but that was a long time ago, I was about 16 then.
Michael’s scorecard provoked a huge reaction on the Golf Monthly Facebook page
How was the 8 iron out of bunkers?
I only went in one and it was a fairway bunker about 30 yards short of the green so I took the 8 iron out of there. The pin was on the front and I came up short and it was just an easy two putt.
Why driver and 8iron?
Funnily enough I just sat there the night before and thought ‘what could I use?’ and went through different variations. Then I thought ‘well it’s a fun day’, if I hit a driver well and a hit it straight an 8 iron is going to cover me everywhere. I thought on the par 5s if I hit a driver and miss the fairway I can get home in two 8 irons from there. It seemed a logical club to take but there was no way I thought I was going to knock it round in that score. I thought if I could get near level par I’d be doing really well.
Did it help your mental game/course management?
I think what happens is that you’re not under any pressure. Because it’s not a medal, it is an unofficial you just relax and don’t worry about it. If it had been a medal and you’re trying to get under handicap, when you get to three under you start dropping shots and end a couple over par. It just kept going, it was quite surreal really. On the last three holes I had three putts inside 11 feet and didn’t nail one so it could’ve been 10 under! You thank your lucky stars when you shoot a score like that, it probably only happens to five handicappers once in your career.
What was the reaction from your fellow members like?
The 19th Hole is always full of stories of what could, what should and what did happen after every competition. The feedback from the members has been great, with most asking what will I be doing with the eleven useless clubs in my bag.
Have you played since?
The next time with 14 clubs I went out we play in the tipex tour that we have at our club and I was awful on the front nine. I had 12 points but I did have 21 coming home playing off one, I’ve been cut drastically on the tipex tour! I had a good back nine but an awful front nine, I should have only took 3 clubs out, I shouldn’t have took all 14!