Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ace of #Golf Clubs - The Odds of Hitting a Hole-in-One

This guest post was written by Phil Blackwell (bio below). Let us know if you enjoy the article! If you would have your post published on Golf for Beginners blog, please email Stacy:


Most golfers will go through their entire lives without ever getting a hole-in-one. You know what people say about aces? They're good shots that got lucky.

At odds of 12,500/1, the laws of probability say you would need to play one round of golf, per week, for two hundred and forty years before you get an ace.

Which is surprising, as aces are pretty common in major tournaments. Just a few weeks ago, Louis Oosthuizen got a hole-in-one when he sunk the ball on the 14th hole on the first day of The Open. It was his second ace of the year after doing the same at the Masters, albeit by chance.

There have already been twenty-one aces on the 2015-16 PGA Tour with plenty of examples to go around. One memorable example was in March 2015, a double down as Dustin Johnson and J.B. Holmes struck it lucky on the Blue Monster's 4th hole on the same day within twenty minutes of each other.

How do the pros do it and is it possible to reduce the odds in your favor? Here are ways you can improve your "luck":

- Practice, practice, practice! While 12,500/1 is literally a long-shot for an average player, a professional’s odds can be as low as just 3,000/1. Lower your handicap and increase your chances.

- It goes without saying that it’s easier to hit a hole-in-one, whatever your level, if you play a shorter golf course. A short par-3 is much more achievable than a longer par-5, despite the appeal of an elusive condor (a double albatross/triple eagle).

A recent study over in the UK revealed that a massive 79% of Brits significantly underestimate their chances of scoring an ace, with some suggesting that the odds were actually 1,600 times longer.

They may be surprised to hear the story of Patrick Wills. An amateur golfer from Virginia who just last year hit three holes-in-one in a single round, beating seemingly impossible odds of over one trillion to one. A stroke of luck indeed!

Have you ever gotten a hole-in-one? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

About Phil Blackwell

Phil is the content editor of, overseeing original research into probability, odds and chance. He told me about how he once got a hole-in-one himself...on a crazy golf course in Dorset, but an old wrist injury keeps him sidelined from the sport.

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