Hole in one

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This article is about the golf shot. For other uses, see Hole in one (disambiguation).
A golf ball next to the hole

In golf, a hole in one or hole-in-one (also known as an ace, mostly in American English) is when a player hits the ball directly from the tee into the cup with one shot. (It is not necessary that the ball go directly into the cup. It may hit other objects, or the ground, on its way.) This is most possible on a par 3 hole. Longer hitters have accomplished this feat on shorter par 4 holes. Nearly all par 4 and par 5 holes are too long for golfers to reach in a single shot; a hole in two on a par five (or a hole in one on a par 4) is known as an albatross or double eagle, and is significantly rarer than a hole in one on a par 3.[1]

Holes in one are extremely rare, and while it depends largely on the golfer's skill, there is often also a great element of luck involved, although skill definitely increases the probability.[2] It is traditional for a player who has scored a hole in one to buy a round of drinks for everyone at the clubhouse bar.[3]

Occasionally special events host a hole in one contest, where prizes as expensive as a new car, or cash awards sometimes reaching $4 million are offered if a contestant records a hole in one.[4] Usually such expensive prizes are backed by an insurance company who offers prize indemnification services. Actuaries at such companies have calculated the chance of an average golfer making a hole in one at approximately 12,500 to 1, and the odds of a tour professional at 2,500 to 1.[2]

Among the memorable holes in one, one occurred in the 1973 British Open when at age 71, Gene Sarazen made a hole in one. Earl Dietering of Memphis, Tennessee, 78 years old at the time, is believed to hold the record for the oldest person to make a hole-in-one twice during one round.[5]

During the second round of the 1971 Martini International tournament, held at the Royal Norwich Golf Club in England, John Hudson had two consecutive holes in one. Teeing off, using a 4-iron, at the par-three, 195-yard 11th hole, Hudson holed his tee shot for a hole-in-one. At the next hole, the downhill 311-yard, par-four 12th, and this time using a driver, he once again holed his tee shot, for another ace. This is believed to be the only time a player has scored holes-in-one at consecutive holes in a major professional tournament.[6][7]

According to North Korean state media, the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes-in-one over 18 holes in his first and only round of golf.[8][9][10] Many observers have challenged or dismissed the veracity of this report.[11]

Holes-in-one ("aces") are also recorded in the sport of disc golf, in which a round plastic disc is thrown toward a metal basket-shaped target.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fields, Bill (April 2, 2004). "The Rarest Bird: The albatross took flight at the 1935 Masters, but golf's most unlikely shot isn't easy to find". Golf World. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "What Are The Odds of Making a Hole In One?". US Hole In One. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Golfers Hit Hole-In-Ones Within Seconds of Each Other". ABC News. July 19, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ Harris, Chris (February 26, 2006). "Hole-in-one insurance policies provide safety net for glitzy tournament contests". Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ Stukenborg, Phil (April 20, 2012). "It's a pair of aces for senior golfer". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  6. ^ Steel, Donald (1987). Golf: Records, Facts and Champions. Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 222. ISBN 0-85112-847-5. 
  7. ^ Alliss, Peter (1983). The Who's Who of Golf. Orbis Publishing. p. 250. ISBN 0-85613-520-8. 
  8. ^ "Mind-boggling 'facts' about Kim Jong-il". Melbourne Herald-Sun. December 19, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ Kevin Dolak (December 19, 2011). "Kim Jong Il Dead: Top 10 Crazy Facts". ABC News. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  10. ^ "50 fascinating facts: Kim Jong-il and North Korea". The Telegraph. December 19, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  11. ^ Dunsmuir, Alistair (December 20, 2011). "Kim Jong Il’s golf feat an 'urban myth'". Golf Club Management. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 

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