28 July, 2023

Hole-in-one thrill for Lowood golfer

Lowood-based golfer Oli Abakumov hasn’t looked back since moving from England to Australia five years ago, and now he has a hole-in-one to his name.

Hole-in-one thrill for Lowood golfer - feature photo

Oli achieved the special golfing feat on the 11th hole at the Lowood course, as he took part in a two-person Ambrose on Saturday July 15.

Having used his Nike Covert 2.0 8 iron for the 11th hole – a par 3 125m hole – Oli described how it all unfolded.

“It felt well struck and looked like it would go close. I thought I had a chance of it being closest to the pin, but when it dropped in I was ecstatic!

“The ball had a little fade from left to right, landed and took the break, rolled in the topside of the hole.

“(I was) pretty excited but didn’t expect it to go in! I thought it was hiding behind the flag!

“My playing partners confirmed it was in and we celebrated.”

Oli said it felt fantastic, and that “we were all cheering and whooping”.

“My group saw it go in and we celebrated for the whole back nine,” Oli said.

“We managed several more birdies and I sunk a 30-foot putt on the very next hole for birdie and we birdied the hole after too.

“Several of the club members shook my hand and congratulated me throughout the day.

“It’s a really fantastic, family club.”

Oli and his colleague Greg Sippel went on to win the event with a score of 65 off the stick while their handicap was four, so they ended up 11 under.

“This was a great day as the Wieland family put on a Memorial Shield competition for their father Herb Wieland, (who is) one of the founding members of the club,” Oli said.

“So it’s great to have done it on such a great day for the club.”

Oli said the hole-in-one was definitely the highlight of his golfing career, alongside breaking 90 last year and breaking 80 several weeks ago.

Noting that the 11th hole was over water, Oli said, “Don’t think about the water – my playing partner Dan has kindly put enough balls in the water, that it’s now fairly solid on top.

“I like the hole, although I’ve hit my fair share in the water also!”

While it was Oli’s first hole-in-one, it wasn’t the first among his golfing group.

“My friend Dan, who started (at) the same time as me, got one last year,” Oli said.

“We’ve had a running joke between our group (Charlie, Dan and Laurence) that I wasn’t on the honour board.

“Well, that’s fixed now, haha.”

Originally from the English city of Bradford, Oli came to Australia after meeting his now fiancé Gemella at a bar in Manchester.

“She was a Jägermeister shot girl travelling around the UK,” he said.

“We started dating and six months later I decided to move to Australia to give our relationship a go.

“We haven’t looked back since.”

The couple started their time in Australia with Gemella’s mum and stepdad, and Oli’s first job in Australia was working on a prawn trawling boat on the river at Broadwater.

Oli began playing golf on a casual basis when he was 10 or 11 after his grandmother bought him a putter, but he has only played more seriously since he signed up at Lowood about two-and-a-half years ago.

“Myself and some colleagues from Greenmountain started playing after work and have been playing every Saturday since,” he said.

“I play once a week or more if I can.

“During summer I come out and play 9-18 holes before I start work.”

As per custom for a hole-in-one, Oli said he would have a trophy featuring the ball.


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