FORGET about birdies and eagles, Matthew Heap scored an albatross on a memorable return to action after lockdown at Denton Golf Club.
The 34-year-old scored a hole-in-one at the par four 17th hole in only his second game since play was permitted again.Six-handicapper Matthew used a driver on the 17th which is 331 yards in length on the card but he reckons it was playing 315 yards on the day.
Matthew, who was playing a social game with friend Tony Morgan, described it as a “once in a lifetime” happening.
“It is hard to explain but it was an amazing feeling, crazy with adrenaline pumping when I knew it had gone in,” he explained.
Matthew added such was the distance that he was unable to see the ball disappear into the hole.
He said: “I knew it was on a good line and, because the ground was hard, I knew the ball would run if it got a good bounce.
“When I approached the green, I couldn’t see the ball so my first thought it must be in the bunker.
“But when it wasn’t in the sand, I had a feeling it must be in the hole which it was.”
Matthew took a couple of videos with his phone and they have been a hit on social media.
Though Matthew, a scaffolder from Hollinwood, was unable to play at Denton for seven weeks, he was not idle.
He said: “I have a net in my garden to hit the ball into and I also practised on a school field near my home.
“I had been struggling before lockdown so watched a lot of videos and read article about improving my game.
“It was a case of putting what I had learned into practice when we were allowed to play again.”
Matthew, who plays for the A team at Denton, is also a major winner at the club having triumphed in The Bardsley.
He has been a member for the last four years having previously been a member at Brookdale, where he was also a major winner.
Matthew’s sporting prowess extends beyond golf.
In his earlier days he was a semi-professional footballer, a right back for Chadderton, was a batsman/wicketkeeper for Hollinwood Cricket Club and starred for Lancashire at Under-14 and 15 level. He also was a junior rugby league player at Oldham St Annes.
But a serious football injury, a broken foot, prompted him to take up golf which was a safer option as he could not afford to take time off work.
Today golf – he plays three or four times a week – and the occasional spot of fishing – is the extend of Matthew’s sporting activity.