Herman 'Deco' Mutebi

Golfers and the gallery across the divide adore that once in-a-life time shot that flies right from the Tee-box straight to the pin hitherto tagged as a “Hole in One.

It is a much cherished moment in the golfing spheres, often recognised in a special way and at most, rewarded with prizes as well as cash money during championships.

It is traditional for a player who has scored a hole-in-one to buy a round of drinks for everyone at the clubhouse bar.

Uganda’s golf professional Herman Deco Mutebi, 21, has played three ‘hole in one’ successful shots in his brief career.

Mutebi, a member of Entebbe Club achieved the feat while still in the amateur ranks.

Entebbe based Golf Pro Herman Deco Mutebi swings Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Twice in 2017, Mutebi who was firing on all cylinders earned the caper during the Eskom Open in Jinja and Entebbe Open on par-3 holes 7 and 6 respectively.

The other hole in one was earned in Entebbe during the 2018 Uganda Amateur Golf Open on the par-3 hole-2.

“It feels very exciting to play an hole in one shot. It normally comes with that lucky swing and of course preparations” Mutebi attests.

Luck-vis-à-vis Expertise:

Mutebi remains cagey on whether the hole in hole shot is entirely dwelled on luck, preparations or technique of the swing execution.

“Surely, it takes a combination of factors to achieve a hole in one shot. How you have prepared yourself physically and mentally, the technique used as well as the luck are all key factors” Mutebi contends.

Herman ‘Deco’ Mutebi

Mutebi has also registered countless eagles and albatross shots in his career where he also played for the Uganda national golf team.

Most hole-in-one shots are perfected on the 3-par holes and rarely achieved on the longer par-4 and par-5 holes.

Occasionally special events host a hole in one contest, where prizes as expensive as a new car, or cash awards sometimes reaching $4 million are offered if a contestant records a hole in one.

Usually such expensive prizes are backed by an insurance company who offers prize indemnification services.

Actuaries at such companies have calculated the chance of an average golfer making a hole in one at approximately 12,500 to 1, and the odds of a tour professional at 2,500 to 1.

Herman Deco Mutebi follows his ball after swinging off

World Records:

For the record, the longest recorded straight drive hole-in-one is believed to be 517 yards or 473 metres, on the par 5 No. 9 hole at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver in 2002, aided by the thin air due to the high altitude.

A memorable hole-in-one was made in the 1973 British Open by Gene Sarazen at age 71.

Earl Dietering of Memphis, Tennessee, 78 years old at the time, is believed to hold the record for the eldest person to make a hole-in-one twice during one round.

During the second round of the 1971 Martini International tournament, held at the Royal Norwich Golf Club in England, John Hudson had two consecutive holes-in-one.

Teeing off, using a 4-iron, at the par-three, 195-yard 11th hole, Hudson holed his tee shot for a hole-in-one.

 At the next hole, the downhill 311-yard, par-four 12th, and this time using a driver, he once again holed his tee shot, for another ace.

This is believed to be the only time a player has scored holes-in-one at consecutive holes in a major professional tournament.

Herman ;Deco’ Mutebi (right) receives a prize during the Singleyon match play challenge

Despite the relative rarity of holes-in-one, there have been a total of six in Ryder Cup matches.

Peter Butler scored the first in 1973 at Muirfield followed by a 20-year gap before Nick Faldo scored a hole-in-one in 1993.

 Two years later, Costantino Rocca and Howard Clark both scored holes-in-one before an 11-year gap to 2006 saw Paul Casey and Scott Verplank both hole out in one on the 14th hole.

On August 11, 2016, Justin Rose shot a hole-in-one during the first round of the golf tournament of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which is considered to be the first in Olympic history.

 For the 189 yards 3-par hole, he used a 7-iron.

*Information from Wikipedia was used in compiling this article.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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