• Gerrit van Rooyen

The Infamous Hole-in-One

I can vividly remember my first hole-in-one. It was a speculator day and resulted in a lot of celebration. I talked about it for weeks. It’s not something that happens too often. Navigating those windmills is a tricky task…

Ok, getting a hole-in-one in mini golf is one thing (but still a huge deal when you are 8!) but what about real golf? It seems such an impossible thing. Getting this little white ball into a cup only slightly larger from a distance of some 300 m? That really can’t be a thing any amount of skill can achieve, is it?

Skill will get you to land the ball not only on the green but in proximity to the hole, but luck definitely helps. So hole-in-ones only really happen on easier holes (par 3). To put into perspective skill vs luck, an amateur golfer has a 1 in 12,500 chance of making a hole-in-one while a pro has a 1 in 2,500 chance.

Even with these seeming ridiculously low odds, hole-in-ones happen all the time. During a tournament with over 100 pros each playing 18 holes the odds are about 1 in 4.5 that a hole-in-one will be sunk on the day.

However, odds are made to be broken. Just look at lotto. Nearly impossible but it happens quite often. Kassandra Korma from Oakland University hit not one, but two aces in just nine holes of golf. Those odds… 1 in 64 million. If she made them on consecutive holes the odds would be 1 in 156 million.

Right here in Wellington on the Boulcott Farm Heritage golf course, a trio made news when all three hit hole-in-ones on the same morning. Now, the average course reports 10-15 hole-in-ones a year. So three in one morning? Very unusual. These two ladies and one man were not pros but regular players. It was only one of their first holes-in-one. It took Jenny Keehan 15 years of golfing to hit it. Unfortunately for her, the excitement of it threw off the rest of her game and she lost. She also wasn’t as much the centre of attention as she would have thought with the other two following right behind her! It was the combination of the three that made news though, something so rare it was likely a first on the course, maybe even in New Zealand.

So want that thrill of your first hole-in-one? My advice- keep golfing as much as possible. With the odds, it will happen eventually, but it’s going to take some time and a bit of luck.

Hope you all have a great week further and may the elusive hole-in-one make an appearance at your next game!