BRAD Heuchan has never had a hole-in-one, but he has had “about” 100 aces.
He’s simply lost count. Confused?
Well, the 100 aces have been scored on his well-manicured short hole he designed and built in the backyard of his home, which is located 100m from Pacific Dunes golf course at Medowie, not far from Newcastle.
“I have never had a hole-in-one at Pacific Dunes golf course, but I’ve probably had 100 on my backyard course,” said Brad, who has been a member at Pacific Dunes for 16 years and play golf there once a week.
Ten years ago, Brad and his wife Emma decided to build a golf hole on a parcel of land out the back of their house.
“I love my golf and the dream was to build a real life-like golf hole, which we did bit-by-bit and now it’s my pride and joy,’ Brad said. “I go down there and just look at it every couple of nights and have a beer.
“I’m lucky enough that we get the sunset over the back of it – it just looks fantastic. I get my mates over and we have competitions – matchplay, skins and all sorts of things and if you are good enough you can hit a hole-in-one.”
The 20m golf hole is perfect for one’s short-game as there are three different tee boxes, which means you can rotate them and play nine different holes.
“It’s made of winter couch and the greens are cut at 5ml and it’s looking fantastic,” Brad said. “It also has a bunker.”
I ask Brad, who plays off a 12 handicap, to explain how he built the hole.
“Firstly, a mate who had a couple of earth movers cleared the block and we then packed it full of top-dressing, shaping in a higher green area and dug out a bunker area,” he said.
“Then a little block-wall was put in to give the tee-box area a flat elevated look. Then the winter couch grass was laid, the bunker filled with sand and before you knew it I had a basic golf hole.
“Things got a little out of hand and being totally obsessed with it we added a rock-river bed, garden areas, concrete timber-looking planks, conifers and much more. Everything was designed to be totally authentic and lifelike.”
Brad then installed LED floodlights and even has a greenkeeper’s shed to house his new Masport mower.
“The realisation comes when you end up spending hours maintaining a backyard golf hole,” he said. “You need to get some advice on what weed sprays and fertilizers and how to get the greens so low and perfect.
“Andrew Perrett, the head greenkeeper at Pacific Dunes, was awesome and gave me plenty of advice and mentoring – what to do and when to do it.
“It’s just amazing how much you learn when you have your own golf hole.
“It may look easy to play, but I can assure you it is very difficult with the huge bunker and slopes built into it. There’s out of bound areas and, heaven forbid, if you hit it over the back fence it is instant disqualification.”
Brad said the project was his pride and joy and he wouldn’t change anything.
“Everybody who has visited our place and has seen it is totally amazed,” he added.
“Now it’s time for a beverage, some music, hit some balls and watch the beautiful sunset.”