Does the name Angela Bailey ring any bells ?
Of course it does, Angela was the lead in a fairytale story last week when she hit 2 hole in ones at her home club Peninsula-Kingswood Country Club. Angela was playing a stroke round competition when all her dreams came true, most of us can only dream of a hole in one let alone two in one round “Extraordinary”.
It turns out Angela Bailey has a history of sporting prowess and a love for growing the game of Women’s Golf. I’ve loved reading Angela’s story it brought a smile to my face as she recalls her magic moments. Here’s the amazing story of Angela …
F.W.B: Hi Angela! We are so excited to have you as our ‘Fairway Birdie Golfer of the Week’. How did you first get involved in golf and why? and what golf clubs have you been a member of?
A.B: As a young woman I remember playing a few holes of golf with a right handed club. As a right handed tennis player but a left handed player of any game requiring two hands such as golf or cricket, playing with the back of the club didn’t totally appeal to me! After playing competitive (right handed) tennis for many years, a friend introduced me to golf where I played with left handed clubs. Oh the difference! My sporting activities until then had been tennis, jogging and some skiing, and anything else that was going.
My first clubs were (left handed) men’s regular, already looking for an advantage, being tall. A friend invited me to have a game (non scoring) at what was then Peninsula Country Golf Club, and somehow I put the ball into a par 5 hole in 4 shots, and thought that was normal. She started jumping up and down telling me that was a birdie and promptly decided I should take up golf at her club. So started my obsession with golf. Tennis and other sports fell by the wayside, and here I am nearly 30 years later, still captivated by the game.
I am a member at the Peninsula-Kingswood Country Golf Club currently and was also a member at Cowes on Phillip Island, where we had a beach house.
What age did you begin, and how long have you been playing for?
I was in my forties when the obsession started.
Tell us all about your recent achievement? Has this changed the way you see and play the game?
Last week, playing in a stroke medal round, I had a very interesting day. Starting on the first hole, a temporary Par 3, and one that has been defeating me lately, I hit a Hybrid club into a head wind, and thought ”that feels good” while watching it heading to the back of the green near the flag, but not able to see it finish having dark glasses on. One of my playing partners said “Ange, I think that’s in the hole”. I thought most unlikely, marched up to the green, no ball in evidence, and started to head behind the green, when a gleeful voice shouted “here it is” and we retrieved the ball out of the hole.
Many whoops and hugs later, off we went to the second hole. At this stage I was thinking, count to 5 and forget it. Pretty hard to do as it was my FIRST hole in one in a competition. The round was up and down, steady until the par 5, 8th hole, when by mistake I hit a ball that wasn’t mine, nor my playing partners, in a bunker. Two stroke penalty. Found my ball in the next bunker, pin high for 3, plugged in its own hole. Took 3 shots to get it out as it was also in the middle of a tree branch. Ended up with a 12 on one hole! Very sad.
We got to the 17th hole Par 3, where I hit a good shot, and watched it go past the flag. Again my playing partner said “I don’t believe it but I think that is also in the hole”. I thought it unlikely and was just hoping it wasn’t in the back bunker. Lo and behold, on checking the hole, there it was. This time, even longer hugs from all, and many high fives accompanied much loud verbosity.
I’m told two Holes in One one 18 hole competition is a 67 million to one chance.
It is both exciting and humbling to get two Holes in One in a round of golf. There is a lot of luck involved and a lot of practice. The best part is the way everyone I have ever played golf with around Australia, and all my friends whether they are golfers or not, are so happy for you and your club for this to happen. My 5 minutes of fame is still lasting. The comraderie and generosity of spirit amongst golfers is legendary. It is such a communal sport. All golfers are good at encouraging other players and congratulating them on good shots. It helps.
Who are your biggest inspirations/role models in the game? and why?
As a keen golfer, I read anything and everything I can get my hands on, especially the Inner Game of golf books. I watch the good gals and guys on TV, and love to especially watch Minjee Lee and Lydia Ko, plus Jason Day, the Tiger Woods of now, and Freddy Couples of years gone by.
In your opinion, what you do think the hardest part about golf is?
For me the hardest part to control in golf is the Mental game. I am a bit intense, so practice before each game and at other times, and have a lesson once a month with a really good professional, and I do go to sleep having birdies on every hole! So I expect to perform. Golf is such a game it is not possible to play well every time you pick up a club. I have to rely on deep breathing, pre shot routines and have introduced Ariya Jutanugarn’s pre shot routine smile before each shot she hits, into my game as well. It is working!
And to finish it off, do you have any words for those who are thinking about starting golf, but keep pushing it aside due to doubts, time management and lack of support?
One of the great aspects of golf is the friendships we form and the fun we have with other golfers. You can’t have an ego in golf, because as soon as you think you’ve got the game in hand, the gods take it away. But great friendships are formed and one’s character gets stronger through those less than edifying games! We all have the odd good shot and we all will play atrocious shots. But it is FUN. We are outside and getting a lot of good fresh air and exercise. I find it much more interesting than in the gym.
I hate to see women missing out on the enjoyment of golf, and would encourage them to have a go. Encourage your children as well. It is so much easier to start at a younger age. It is a game women can excel at and at worst, it is an enjoyable few hours with like-minded people.
If you are thinking about starting golf, start now, and those that are not, start thinking about golf anyway.
It is a great game, lots of fun, and who knows, the gods might smile on you and give you 3 Holes in One on any given day! I’d happily move over for that to happen to you.