Plein holding a pair of aces

By Craig Silver, July 31, 2008

Hitting a hole-in-one is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for most players, but Finchley golfer Gary Plein has managed it twice in four days.

South African-born Plein, 47, took up the sport 13 years ago and has a handicap of 10. The financial planner hit the first ace at Dyrham Park, where he is a member, with a seven wood on the 14th hole.

Playing with clients, he saw his drive "curl beautifully in the air before going out of sight.

"I knew it was a good shot and had gone all the way to the green but I never would have thought, or could see for that matter, if it went in.

"My friend said he heard it hit the flag, but I was so shocked and couldn't believe it."

His second ace was at the home of the Glancy cup winners, Hartsbourne, and was achieved with a five-iron on the second.

On this occasion, he knew that his shot was threatening the flag.

"I could tell that if it had not gone in, then it was definitely close," he recalled. "But luckily for me it went in the hole."

Plein has now hit four hole-in-ones. His first ace was at the El Paraiso Golf Club in Marbella; his second was on the eighth at Dyrham Park.

His son, Jonathan, a pupil at JFS, is also a keen golfer and plays off a 17 handicap.

"The biggest thrill for me is to play golf with Jonathan," he said. "I love the fact that he hits the ball so much further than me. Our best moment was winning the father-and-son trophy at Dyrham Park in 2006."

Last updated: 4:40pm, July 31 2008