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Albatross? Of course the Butler did it!

Jack Butler
Jack Butler says the party started the minute he picked the ball out of the cup at Darwin Golf Club's sixth hole.

There’s a plate on the par-five fifth fairway at The Australian from where Greg Norman holed out for albatross during the 1990 Australian Open.

The late Roger Mackay earnt one, albeit temporarily, on Kingston Heath’s par-five 14th for his 1987 Victorian Open albatross.

And the rare bird landed again at The Lakes where Adam Scott’s six-iron produced a deuce on the par-five eighth hole during the 2011 Australian Open.

Now the Darwin Golf Club has the same quandary on its collective hands – how to commemorate a legendary shot heard around, well … the Northern Territory at least.

It was during a special Anzac Day Open that four-handicapper Kyle “Jack” Butler joined the immortals, powering home his driver on the par-four sixth hole at the club’s 306m sixth hole.

And, as often happens with such amazing shots, nobody saw the ball go into the hole and his group searched for a couple of minutes before Jack’s brother made the stunning discovery of a Titleist ProV1X nestled in the cup as he went to check for the ball through the green.

“He has gone completely off his head. Completely nuts,” Jack said of his brother.

“The two ladies we were playing with ran at me and crash tackled me. We were all just screaming – anyone nearby would have thought someone had been killed, I reckon!

“It was just a crazy few moments … such a great … and weird feeling all in one.”

One of 11 children, Jack was once clearly used to having to go the extra mile to win attention, so it probably stood to reason that he’d eventually surpass the hole-in-one he had on the short par-three fifth at Alice Springs “a few years back”.

“That was cool, but this was pretty awesome,” Jack said.

“I know it sounds a bit weird, but Anzac Day really means a lot to me and it was great to be able to do it on that day and then … the party afterwards was pretty full-on! I tried to pull my wallet out a few times, but nobody would let me.”

Jack, who’s played for the “city” team in the Ryder Cup-style Chief Minister’s Cup a couple of times, walked on to the sixth tee and immediately felt something special.

“I walked up and just this gentle breeze came up behind my back. It wasn’t too strong, but just made me think I could get there if I hit a good one.

“I’d just bought this box of ProV1Xs because they’re meant to go just that few extra metres than the ProV1s … and everything just felt sort of calm.

“I said to myself, `Just swing smooth back and through’, and that’s what I did.

“There’s a small hill in the middle of the fairway so you can’t see over it and there’s a tree on the left side. That’s the mistake that people make, they go for a draw to hit around the tree and it runs out of space down on the left toward the green.

“The secret is to take it over that tree and hit a little fade and as soon as I hit it, I thought it was exactly where I wanted it.

“The next thing is there’s a couple of mounds about 20-30m short of the green and if you hit it that far, they normally take the heat out of your drive or kick it left or right.

“This one obviously went straight through the middle of them … and while the tees were up about 5m, the pin was in the back right, so it was the full distance of the hole.

“But the wind swirls around a bit on that hole, so you never think of an albatross, even if you hit it well. I said to my group that I hit it pretty well and that I would probably have an eagle putt, but yeah …”

So how will the club commemorate the epic shot?

Captain Andrew Hullick said there were great discussions going on about how to exactly that.

“We’re still trying to decide what would be worthy of such a great feat,” Hullick said.

“They’re pretty rare and we want to do something special to commemorate it … it’s actually an agenda item at our upcoming committee meeting.”

The man of the moment doesn’t really mind.

“I think they were talking about maybe putting a plaque up on the tee somewhere,” Jack said proudly.

“Maybe they’ll just put my name up in lights somewhere, I don’t really care. I’m just happy to have had an albatross.”

Jack Butler
The sixth tee is a potential location to commemorate Jack Butler's epic albatross.


Posted by Domenic Miraglia at
04/10/2017 11:01 AM
Well done Jack you are the king COAT up there in the wild North
Posted by Brian McCarthy at
09/09/2017 03:09 PM
Wow Jack! Bloody fantastic
Posted by Robert Stevenson at
09/08/2017 10:20 PM
I did it at the Harden course about 15 years ago on the par 5 14 hole same thing didnt see it go In great feeling
Posted by Brad Bell at
08/08/2017 08:27 PM
Butlers run sounds like a great name
Posted by Brett Rankin at
08/08/2017 07:47 PM
Awesome work Jack. When I read you albatrossed a hole I assumed it was a lazy 6 iron into the 1st for a hole out, but hole in one on the 6th is bloody unreal. Well done legend....
Posted by Philip Prider at
08/08/2017 06:42 PM
This is a hole in 1 an albatross is 2 on a par 5 , I have had 2 albatrosses both on the par 5 18th at Warrnambool.
Posted by Paul Harris at
08/08/2017 05:27 PM
Great effort, a plaque would be tops. I got a course record as a 5 hcp and got nothing ( they hardly ever come along ). But they can never take it away from you !
Posted by Brian Bell at
08/08/2017 04:38 PM
If I was on the Match Committee I'd be pushing for a plaque on the tee that would also double as the holes title "Butler's Run"
Posted by Colin giblett at
08/08/2017 03:00 PM
Well done on this achievement you deserve your name up in lights.A hole in 1 is hard enough but to drive a par 4 and do congrats to you.At my club collie there has only been 1 albatross on a par5 that i know of.Enjoy your moment of glory and every member should shout you a drink

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