By James Dobbin
Dead-eye Roger Forster has been left with an expensive series of bar bills over the years after racking up an incredible 17 holes-in-one in 44 years.
Forster, 62, from Ramsgate, Kent – who has a handicap of nine – has been playing golf for more than 45 years, after taking up the sport at the age of 15, and started by practising once-a-week at Bromley GC.
He said: “I managed to score my first hole-in-one on the 159-yard, par-three third at Bromley during the summer of 1971, while playing in a monthly medal competition.”
After getting married, Forster moved to the Kent coast, after brief spells at North Foreland and Princes, became a member of St Augustine’s GC, where he was able to get his handicap down to four.
He reminisced: “When they appointed a new professional, I went out for a game with him to point out that the 259-yard, par-four second hole was, with a good shot and the right conditions, reachable from the tee – I think I must have proved my point when I holed my drive!”
And his lucky streak continued when, just a couple of weeks later, he played another round with the same pro and aced the 148-yard, par-three 15th.
Over a period of 20 years, the hole-in-one specialist’s tally rose to 11 at St Augustine’s alone – a course with six par-threes – including three aces on its par-four second.
He added: “I also had a hole-in-one while playing in a league match at Canterbury on the second hole, another at Golf du Sur, in Tenerife, during a golf holiday and two more on the par-three Northcliffe course at North Foreland.”
However, after a hole-in-one hiatus which lasted more than 12 years, with Forster thinking he’d spent all his luck, he left fellow club members agog when he rediscovered the magic to achieve his 17th ace on the 142-yard, par-three fifth, with a seven-iron at his home club, North Foreland.
Forster’s latest achievement left him with more than the shock of a hefty bar bill as, this time, he was also rewarded with membership of the exclusive BOSS Watches H1Club and a specially-commissioned, commemorative timepiece.
And it seems his golfing genius runs in the family: Forster’s wife, Sheila, has had eight holes-in-one; his daughter, Sara – a PGA-qualified professional – has recorded three aces; and son Joe has holed his tee shot twice.
The only family member yet to achieve an ace is the family dog …