Ashburton Golf Club member Peter Walker with his special hole-in-one ball.

Six months ago, Peter Walker was brooding about a summer with no golf. He had dislocated his left shoulder and broke an arm in a fall during a round of golf.

Still on steroids and seeing the physio, he hit a hole-in-one at the Ashburton Golf Club’s Brandon course last weekend.

The Ashburton man was still smiling this week at the turnaround in his fortunes.

A hole-in-one is a big highlight of any golfer’s time on the course, Peter says. He feels doubly lucky because he also scored one at Whangarei way back in 1988.

His hole-in-one at Ashburton was on the par 3, No 14 hole, some 143 metres. With a number 7 iron, he teed off just right, hooking from right to left.

The ball landed in the late-afternoon shadow of the trees. “That was close,” one of his golfing foursome said.

Peter was less optimistic, thinking it had rolled over the back of the green.

“Everyone had their shot and walked up to the green, and the ball was nowhere.”

He rushed up to the hole and there it was.

Handshakes and high-fives with his partner Paul May and fellow golfers Steve Vivian and Charlie Alexander followed. All are golfers with single-figure handicaps and appreciated the occasion.

Peter, who has a 3 handicap, said it was a turning point in their match, with he and Paul going on to beat Steve and Charlie. He shouted them a beer afterwards.

The 65-year-old started playing golf as a schoolboy, when he lived in Hamilton. No-one in his family played, but a neighbour across the road encouraged him and gave him old clubs.

He was a member of the Hamilton Golf Club until moving to Mid Canterbury in 2008, where he and wife Marilyn owned and operated the Netherby Four Square. He didn’t play much golf for eight years, working long hours at the supermarket.

Peter retired three years ago and now plays three times a week. It was devastating last September when he fell, dislocating his shoulder and breaking his arm in three places.

He was out of golf for three months, including Christmas and New Year. Then Covid-19 put paid to golf for several more months.

Peter says the accident has affected his golf swing and he is still needs physio and steroid injections as he works toward a full recovery.

Saturday’s shot was a bonus.


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