February 27, 2006

Yardage Requirements for Hole In One Contests

A question we're frequently asked at US Hole In One concerns the minimum distances required for a par 3 hole to be eligible for a golf contest. Essentially there are three types of hole in one contests (grand prize, bonus prize & shootout), and each has its own requirements. In addition, there are different minimums for men and women.

For the grand prize hole (meaning the hole with the large prize determined by you), the minimum distance possible is 150 yards for the men and 135 yards for the ladies. If your preferred hole is a little less than those figures, never fear: most golf courses have approximately 10 yards of "wiggle room" on all of their par 3s. They can move the tees back a bit and move the pin back as well, in most cases. So, never rule out a par 3 just because the scorecard indicates a distance less than 150 yards. For bonus prize holes (meaning the holes with the set of Callaway Big Bertha Irons, Sharp LCD Flat-Screen Television, or the Roundtrip Plane Tickets for Two), the minimum yardage is 130 yards for the guys and 115 yards for the women.

An important rule to also remember when dealing with yardages is difference between the mens and ladies tees. While the minimums are discussed above, there can never be a difference of more than 15 yards between the two sets of tees. For example, if you have a hole where the mens tees are at 160 yards and the ladies tees are at 137, while both tee boxes are acceptable with regards to minimum distances, these distances would not qualify because the yardage difference between the two is more than 15 yards (it is in fact 23 yards). Thus, in this example, either the men would have to move up to 152 or the ladies would need to move back to 145.

Finally, for shootout contests the minimums are slightly further back. As shootout hole in one contests have much more valuable prizes, the minimum distances for men is 165 yards and the minimum for ladies is 150 yards. It is also important to remember that shootouts do not need to take place at a par 3 hole. It is perfectly acceptable to run a shootout from the middle of the fairway on a par 4 or par 5 hole. Just make sure that when doing so, you still abide by the aforementioned distance requirements.