Posted by: Rolf | March 3, 2008

What are the odds of a Hole-In-One?

In golf, a hole-in-one (also known as an ace) is when a player hits the ball directly from the tee into the cup with one shot. This is mainly possible on a 3-par hole, as most 4- and 5-par holes are too long for most golfers to reach in a single shot.

Holes-in-one are relatively rare, and depend largely on the golfer’s skill. Some people seem to make aces left and right. Other golfers go their whole golfing careers without one. Just how hard is it to make a hole-in-one? Exactly what are the odds? A Golf Digest study found in the September 2005 issue provided many great nuggets of information, even breaking the odds down by quality of play:

  • Tour player making an ace: 3,000 to 1
  • Low-handicapper making an ace: 5,000 to 1
  • Average player making an ace: 12,000 to 1
  • Average player acing a 200-yard hole: 150,000 to 1
  • Two players from the same foursome acing the same hole: 17 million to 1
  • One player making two holes-in-one in the same round: 67 million to 1

A Hole-in-one is not a phenomenon limited only to the best professional golfers. I’m sure in fact that the vast majority of holes-in-one are made by amateurs who’s only requirement is the ability to occasionally hit the ball long enough to go in the hole. Of course, the ability to make a hole-in-one does not make one capable of competitively playing with the pros on tour.

If you are one of the fortunate few to have had the exhilarating experience of making a hole-in-one, I finally had that same pleasure to make my first hole-in-one after 28 years of amateur golf on Friday, February 29, 2008. We were playing the Nicklaus course at the Bay Point Resort in Panama City Beach, FL. My partners, Gene and Mike, approached the 2nd hole which is a 157 yard par 3 over water. I hit my tee shot with the i/3 Ping 5 iron. The Titlist Pro V1 ball came off the club straight and high and went right for the stick. Mike said, “I think you holed it”. I said, “No way! I think it went off the back like Gene’s ball just before me.”

When we got to the green we immediately walked to the back were we found Gene’s ball which indeed had rolled off. Since we couldn’t find my ball Gene suggested I look in the cup and there it was. I was totally elated. The funny thing is that it really did not set in until the next day when I again looked at the score card and said to myself, “You shot a hole-in-one.” It really felt good. So did all the encouragements from Mike and Gene. This falls into place as another one of those blessed moments in life. Hopefully if there is a next one, it is not 28 years from now, or that it only happens every leap year!

See you at the first tee…


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