KIRKCALDY man Tom Olding feared he was destined to go through life without achieving every golfers dream shot.
Despite taking up the sport 45 years ago, and getting his handicap down as low four, he had never hit a hole-in-one.
But all that changed last week when, on the eve of his 80th birthday, Tom scored his first ever ace, holing his tee shot at the 180 yard par three third hole at Dunnikier Park to the delight of his friends and family.
“It’s fantastic – I can go to rest in peace now,” Tom told the Press.
“I saw it going in, and I was dancing about like daft.
“I’ve been a member at Dunnikier Park since 1967 and this is my first hole-in-one.
“I’ve dreamt about it for so long and now it’s finally happened.”
Tom’s momentous shot was witnessed by his regular playing partners, Jim King and Jim Small.
“We play three times a week for a wee £2 sweep,” Tom explained.
“I won the sweep that day as well, which made it even better.
“It paid for my petrol for the week.”
Tom, who stays on Links Street, used a five wood to hit his hole-in-one, adding: “I’m not hitting the ball as far as I used to.
“It would have been a seven iron 20 years ago.”
Tom might have had a hole-in-one earlier in life had it not been for a remarkable stroke of bad luck.
“The nearest I came was when the flag slipped down the flag-stick and sat on top of the hole,” he explained.
“My ball landed on the hole but was lying on top of the flag so it didn’t count as a hole-in-one.
“You can’t take this one away from me though because it went right in the hole!”
Tom took up golf after retiring from ice hockey, having played for the Fife Flyers in the 1960s.
“A pal of mine suggested taking up golf when I retired form hockey,” he said.
“I started off with an old wooden set of clubs – it was the 60s after all.
“The co-ordination of eye and ball is similar to hitting the puck.
“I know a lot of guys who left hockey and took up golf.”
Tom celebrated his hole-in-one with an extra special 80th birthday party at the Dunnikier Park clubhouse.
“It was a great party,” he said. “My son brought me a wee trophy for my hole-in-one.
“It made the birthday cake taste that little bit sweeter.”