Cameron Epp, 23, stepped onto the first hole at the Skeena Valley Golf & Country Club, lined up his drive, and made one of the rarest shots in the game on August 2.
An albatross is when a player scores three below par, either with a hole-in-one shot on a par-four, or a two on a par-five. It’s an extremely rare bird on the golf course – the Professional Golfers’ Association quotes the odds at six million to one.
“It was just a regular tee off, I put the ball behind a tree a little bit so it wasn’t the best drive, and had to hit a shot around the tree and up on to the green. It looked like a pretty good shot,” Epp said.
When Epp and his cousin walked over the top of the hill, they didn’t see the ball on the course. It was only when Epp peered into the hole did they figure out that he made the shot in two swings on a par-five.
“I was jumping up and down, making a bunch of noise. Just about shaking,” he said. “Never thought it would ever happen.”
Germain Francoeur, Skeena Valley golf course manager, said this is the first time he’s heard of an albatross in his eight years at the golf course. And while golfers who achieve a hole-in-one are usually marked on a plaque, an albatross is so uncommon that there’s no tradition to mark them at the course.
“They’re very, very rare,” Francoeur said over the phone. “I’ve only heard of two in just over fifteen years at any of the facilities that I’ve worked at. And just from watching golf on TV, the PGA tour pros, I might have seen one or two in the last five, ten years.”
After finishing up the round at men’s night, Epp and his cousin made their way down to start their celebrations. He said he’s keeping the ball and scorecard in a display case, right beside his hole-in-one ball and scorecard from nine years ago.
“If you had asked me about an albatross, I would have just shook my head and thought you were crazy,” he said. “I’m satisfied with one, I can check that off my golf bucket list.”