As many as a dozen "perfect shots" - a hole-in-one - were struck during the 2002-03 season of the Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour, thus amounting to a new record on the Tour.
The number of aces on the Tour, considered one of the rarest achievements in golf, rose by more than 100 per cent compared to 2001-02, when only five tee shots straightaway found the cup.
Even more rare was the fact that two holes-in-one were scored in the same tournament twice this season - Shamim Khan and Gaurav Dewan in the season-opening Royal Springs Open at Royal Springs Golf Course in Srinagar, and Mohammed Islam and L Gopi at the Hyundai-MGC Open at Madras Gymkhana Club course.
The Madras Gymkhana course witnessed three holes-in-one, and all came on different par-threes. Islam aced the 17th, Gopi the fourth, and Manohar Dike got his on the second hole during the Royal Challenge GP-Chennai.
The holes-in-one, normally attributed to a stroke of luck, turned out to be a rewarding experience for the Indian professionals as Tour Sponsors, Hero Honda Motors Ltd, had offered a Passion motorcycle to the first hole-in-one scored in each tournament. They magnanimously broke the condition and offered the motorcycle to each player who made an ace, even if it was the second in the same event.
There was also the case of brothers making holes-in-one, albeit in separate tournaments. Shamim Khan set the ball rolling by his on the breathtaking fifth hole of Royal Springs Golf Course in Srinagar on the opening day of the 2002-03 season, while brother Pappan took the credit of making the first ace at the new Forest Hills Golf & Country Club, near Chandigarh.
HOLES-IN-ONE IN 2002-03: 1. Shamim Khan (Del) - Royal Springs Open, Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar, 5th hole; 2. Gaurav Dewan (Bng) - Royal Springs Open, Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar, 2nd hole; 3. Praduman Guleria (Del) - TNGF Open, TNGF-Cosmo Course, Chennai, 4th hole; 4. Basad Ali (Kol) - Hindu Open, TNGF-Cosmo Course, Chennai, 4th hole; 5. Mohd Islam (Patna) - Hyundai-MGC Open, Madras Gymkhana, Chennai, 17th hole; 6. L Gopi (Chennai) - Hyundai-MGC Open, Madras Gymkhana, Chennai, 4th hole; 7. Jumman (Lucknow) - Royal Challenge GP-Delhi, Delhi Golf Club, Delhi, 17th hole; 8. Pappan (Del) - WWICS-Forest Hill Open, Forest Hill Golf & Country Club, Chandigarh, 11th hole; 9. Ajay Gupta (Del) - Noida Open, Noida, 10th hole; 10. Manohar Dike (Mumbai) - Royal Challenge GP-Chennai, Madras Gymkhana, Chennai, 2nd hole; 11. Indrajit Bhalotia (Kolkata) - Royal Challenge GP-Mumbai, Bombay Presidency Golf Club, Mumbai, 17th hole; 12. Dinesh Raghuvanshi (Pune) - Hero Honda Open. Poona Club Golf Course, Pune, 4th hole.