The answer—more readily conceived than executed—is to aim the ball over the tops of the trees below the tee and make it pitch in light rough up toward the right of the green. Because the 11th and 12th fairways are at an angle, the wind that had blown crosswise at the short hole was behind the drives here and the green was reachable for a long hitter. Unhesitatingly, John Hudson went for it. There was an official on the tee with binoculars advising each pair when it was safe to play. He told Hudson to go ahead, although Hugh Jackson and his partner were still putting out. The man should have known better.
Hudson took a good, but not particularly ferocious, swing with his driver, concentrating on controlling the hook that had troubled him earlier. "I didn't try to give it an extra bang. I just tried to make it smooth and I was pleased when I felt the ball go off the middle. It flew well. I picked up my tee and walked forward with Hugh Boyle. Suddenly we could see Hugh Jackson leaping and cheering. I thought he and his partner were larking about, pulling my leg, getting their own back because I had knocked the ball on the green while they were putting. It was only when I got about 70 or 80 yards from the green that I believed I had done it again. I could see the ball resting between the flag and the lip of the hole. When I got up to Hugh Jackson he said, 'Pack it in, John. That's enough of that game.' "
To the spectators Hudson appeared to remain astonishingly calm, but he admits that he completed his round in a trance. "It gradually dawned on me what I had done. At the 17th and 18th we were given ovations. At that stage I was numb, playing my shots from memory."
And memories will be about the only reward for Hudson: he finished with a 72 for the day, and eventually tied for ninth in the Martini—he has never come higher than eighth in a major tournament—and collected a meager 160 pounds sterling ($384) for his pains. He is out there on the tour now fighting to survive on the dwindling resources put up by members of the Hendon Club in North London. Half a dozen of them invested $240 each in Hudson Enterprises, a company formed with $720 of his own to stake him for a limited period. He currently has no automobile and is forced to cadge rides as he lugs his gear from course to course. At the weekend he was staying in a modest guest house while playing in the Carrolls International south of Dublin. Whenever possible he stays with relatives or friends. "It's nice to have done something no one else ever did," Hudson says, "but I don't want to be known just for one freak achievement. I came on the tour to make an impact and make money. That's still my ambition."
"Every golfer in the world must envy him," said a listener. "That record is something money can't buy."
True, but right now John Hudson needs a great many of the things money could buy.