Spring 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 53 of 75

There's nothing in the Rules of Golf requiring a player to buy drinks for the club- house after a hole-in-one or even spring for the foursome. And yet, the custom has evolved into an enduring tradition, albeit one that can get awfully expensive. "Some of these tabs can run well over a thousand dollars," says Bill O'Brien, Vice President of Operations at Troon Golf. "Imagine explaining to your wife that you had an ace and then spent a mortgage payment at the bar." For the vast majority of golfers a hole- in-one is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. According to Philadelphia-based US Hole- In-One – which provides prize insurance for tournaments and outings – the odds of an amateur making an ace on a par-3 are approximately 12,500-to-1, or the equiva- lent of 3,125 rounds. The ability to hit a golf ball 150 yards and have it roll into a 4.25-inch cup is mostly the result of dumb luck. Skill, nonetheless, can be a factor. The odds of a PGA Tour player making an ace are a mere 2,500-to-1, or once in only 625 rounds. Yeah, those guys are good. While numbers don't lie golfers just might, either as a boast about something that didn't really happen or to deny there was an ace to avoid paying for drinks. First, golfers must understand what constitutes an ace which isn't always as obvious as one may think. For example, most players know that if you hit the first shot into the pond and then fly it into the cup with a second, it's not a hole-in-one but instead is a three. But what many don't know is if you hit out of turn in match play your opponent has the option to cancel a shot – good strat- egy if it's at kick-in distance – and have you hit again in the correct order. In this instance, if the second shot rolls in it's an official hole-in-one. Likewise, if there's a local rule that allows you to replay a shot that hit, say, a power-line, a second try that goes in is also an ace. No matter how the hole-in-one hap- pens, a celebration is in order. Dance, jump up and down and make it a show so long as the screams of joy don't bother players putting on a nearby green. Whip out the iPhone and post it on Facebook and Insta- gram.You deserve to boast. Once ready to move on, do not put the hole-in-one ball back into play because the Golf Gods will ensure you immediately lose it. Mark it with the date, have friends sign it and keep the ball in a safe place so it can later rest on a shelf. And be sure to finish at least nine holes to make the hole- in-one official. Sign your scorecard and have your playing partners do the same. Next, head to the pro shop and speak with someone who might help commem- 52 SPRING 2017 | WWW.NCGA.ORG M y friend has an outspoken self-regard for his golf game, a character trait that only grew worse after Brandel Chamblee casually asked if he'd played in college. He's also a profound cheapskate, taking the back route to the parking lot to avoid tipping a club-cleaner. Thus, if he were ever to get an ace at one of the media events we occasionally play - forcing him to choose between bragging about the shot or shut up to avoid paying for a 70-player round of drinks - my pal would spontaneously combust. F E AT U R E Aces and Consequences BY JAY STULLER ISTOCK

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of NCGA Golf - Spring 2017