Maleny golfer Garth Bailo scored a rare albatross in competition last November at Maleny Golf Club in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Hinterland and then aced the par 3, 17th a few weeks later to cap a memorable 2022 golfing year!
A scratch marker, Garth, 39, is a former club champion at both Maleny and nearby Beerwah golf clubs and once helped legendary Aussie larrikin test cricketer Doug Walters try to improve his golf drive off the front foot during a local visit in 2010.
After teeing off on Saturday November 12, from the Stone markers on the 456m dogleg left par 5 second, Garth’s prodigious 320m drive left him with just an 8 iron approach shot in from about 135m which hunted down the pin with laser-like precision to find the cup.
Then, during the last Monthly Medal competition round of the year on December 31, Garth jarred his tee shot with that same 8 iron from the back markers on the tricky 147m par 3, 17th.
The albatross was a first for Garth and while he had two previous Aces up his sleeve – the first at the age of 10 with his father Rob’s old cut down 4 wood - neither was during a competition.
The odds of scoring an albatross are estimated to be as great as 6 million to 1 so it’s a rare feat indeed – one achieved by just a few hundred golfers around the world each year, compared to 128,000-odd aces.
According to former senior USGA director and Golf Digest contributing editor Dean Knuth, an albatross requires “two great shots’’ by a player with both “length and ability”, and Garth’s game ticks both boxes admirably.
“Only a small percentage of golfers, less than 10 percent, ever reach a par 5 in two,” Knuth notes in a reference post on the PGA’s web site. “That means 90 percent of golfers don't have a chance of making one."
In fact, most golfers have a better chance of being struck by lightning than making an albatross.
[By Richard Owen]
Doug Walters & Garth Bailo
Hole 2 at Maleny