April 10, 2007

Hole In One Record Falls to 102 Year Old Golfer

Congratulations Elsie McLean!!

At the ripe old age of 102, that's correct, one hundred and two, Elsie McLean became the oldest known person ever to record a hole in one. Ms. McLean reportedly aced the par 3 fourth hole at Bidwell Park in California from 100 yards away using her trusty driver. In doing so, Elsie broke the previous mark for oldest person to hit a hole in one that had been held since 2001 by Harold Stilson. Mr. Stilson made a hole in one at Deerfield Country Club in Florida when he was 101.

Due to the blind tee shot at the fourth hole at Bidwell Park, Ms. McLean reportedly didn't even know about her achievement at first. It wasn't until one of her playing partners checked the hole that their search for her tee shot ended and they happily realized that the shot was an ace. It was also the first hole in one of her golfing life.

Congratulations, once again, to Ms. Elsie McLean on your fine achievement.

April 06, 2007

Playing by the Rules: Witness Requirements

"Where is the best place to have the witness view the winning shot?"

Not everyone has the luxury of having network television broadcasting their golf tournament; with filmed evidence of a hole in one being made. Conseuqently, what is a golf tournament organizer to do when they're running a hole in one contest and need to abide by witness requirements?

At US Hole In One, we're frequently asked about the ideal location to place a hole in one contest witness. The easy answer: any place where the witness can see both the teeing ground and the hole. Many events place the witness either at the tee box (where they are out of harm's way and safe from incoming golf shots) or have them situated near the green (sometimes, even with a hard, construction helmet): both are acceptable. The key to proper witness placement for a hole in one contest is merely that the contest witness has a clear, unobstructed view of each golfer striking their shot from the tee box, and of the golf ball making its way all the way into the hole. As long as the witness can see these things happening for every golfer, they can be anywhere on the golf course.

If your course has a unique hole with a blind tee shot of some kind, we recommend having two witnesses for the hole to make sure that you have at least have one witness who saw the golfer tee off, and one witnessing the ball going into the cup. Remember, if a hole in one occurs without the verifiable presence of witnesses as stated in the terms and conditions of the application, your hole in one insurance provider will have no obligation to pay the prize value, or any portion thereof, to the client. One other caveat, all liability for the safety of the witnesses is usually borne by you, the Client; and not your coverage provider.

April 05, 2007

O'Meara, Toms, Sabbatini Shine at Par 3 Contest

Congratulations go out to Mark O'Meara, Rory Sabbatini and David Toms for their excellent play in yesterday's Par 3 Contest at the Masters. Sabbatini and Toms both made a hole in one during their round; Rory's coming at the 7th hole from 115 yards away, while David's was made at the 5th with a 9-iron from 130 yards. Their aces marked the 62nd and 63rd in Par 3 Contest history.

The contest itself was captured by Mark O'Meara, the 1998 green jacket winner. His winning score of 22 was only two strokes off the tournament record. Unfortunately for Mark, while victorious in this fun-filled event, he must take solace in knowing that no Par 3 Contest winner has ever gone on to seize the title at Augusta National come Sunday.

Source: "O'Meara Wins Par 3 Contest" - Art Stricklin

April 04, 2007

The Odds of a "Masters"-ful Hole In One

Ready. Set. Go!

At precisely 7:40 tomorrow morning, the Masters, the first major of the PGA Tour season, will get started when Arnold Palmer, this year's Honorary Starter, ceremoniously strikes a ball from the tee of hole number one. 97 of the best players in the world will then follow Mr. Palmer's lead, thus marking the start of the 2007 Masters. Reigning Masters Champion, Phil Mickelson begins his round at 10:56, while world #1, and four-time green jacket winner, Tiger Woods, tees off at 1:52.

For all of you Ace Weekly readers out there wondering about this tournament's hole in one opportunities, Augusta National will not disappoint. Over the years, participants have recorded 18 holes in one during tournament play beginning with Ross Somerville's ace at hole 16 in 1934. "What club did he use?" you may ask. A mashie niblick, believe it or not.

Furthermore, the Masters has witnessed an astonishing 3 double eagles, including Gene Sarazen's "Shot Heard Round the World" at number 15 in 1935 that vaulted The Squire into a share of the lead that he would not relinquish.

Augusta National's four par 3 holes (4, 6, 12, 16) have all been aced over the years. Jeff Sluman is the only golfer to hole out on number 4, while number 16 has been aced most often with 10 competitors having made an elusive hole in one there. Holes 6 and 12 have been conquered four and three times respectively.

Not surprisingly, oddsmakers in Ireland allow wagering on an hole in one being made at the Masters. One group has set the odds of an ace being made this week at 6-5, with the odds for none being set at 4-6. And if you're really ready to go out on a limb, you can even place a bet for the first hole to be aced this week. Hole 4 is set at 18-1; hole 6 is at 9-1; hole 12 is currently 8-1; and hole 16 is the favorite at 7-2. Best of luck to all of you brave souls out there betting on a hole in one being made on the PGA Tour this week!

Sources: The Official Site of the Masters Tournament
The Belfast Telegraph

April 03, 2007

Wednesday at the Masters

Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw, Vijay Singh: all of them have won at Augusta National, all of them have defied the odds and outplayed the competition on Augusta's famed 1,060 yard layout...That's right, 1,060 yards! Oh, you thought we were talking about the other course at Augusta. No, no, no. Wednesday at the Masters is all about the Par 3 Contest.

Every year since 1960, patrons have enjoyed the spectacle that takes place over and around DeSoto Springs Pond and Ike's Pond at Augusta National. Tournament participants, non-competing past champions and honorary invitees are invited to participate in the event that takes place at Augusta's own par 3 course. The course, which does in fact measure only 1,060 yards, was constructed in 1958 by architect George Cobb and Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts. And while par is only 27, each year a golfer finds a way to post birdie after birdie in their pursuit of the championship.

Past winners Art Wall (1965) and Gay Brewer (1973) hold the course record in the Par 3 Contest at a staggering seven under-par 20. Last year's champion was PGA Tour regular Ben Crane, who posted a masterful 23 en route to victory.

Of special interest to us here at US Hole In One, there have reportedly been a total of 61 aces made during the event's 47-year history, including a record 5 holes in one made in 2002 alone.

To all of those participating in tomorrow's event, we wish you the best of luck. However, it should be noted that never has the winner of the Par 3 Contest gone on to capture the coveted green jacket four days later on Sunday...birdies beware!

Source: The Official Site of the Masters Tournament

April 02, 2007

What is the Difference Between a Scramble and a Shamble?

So you're running an upcoming golf outing, and wondering what kind of scoring system to use. You're kind of familiar with the standard scramble format, but you've also heard about something called a shamble. Which do you use? Which will speed play along the course? Thankfully, we have some answers for you.

In a scramble, each and every golfer in the foursome (or threesome) takes a shot from the tee. From this point, the team decides who had the best drive, and all players advance forward to that spot to take their second shots. This process then continues, with the best shot being taken each time, until a member of the team is able to hole out. The team's score for that particular hole is recorded as the number of team "strokes" it took to get the ball in the cup (e.g. third, fourth, fifth, etc.). A shamble is slightly different in that only the best drive (or tee shot) is used for each tem member's second shot. From that point, normal stroke play ensues as each player plays his or her individual own ball, and each golfer is responsible for holing out in the fewest number of shots. Thus, whereas a scramble continuously uses the best shot from the group, in a shamble, only the best drive is used for the foursome.

The decision to use a scramble or a shamble for your golf tournament largely depends on the overall skill level of your field. If your golfers are not particularly talented, a scramble is preferable as group's aren't at the mercy of multiple shanks, skulls, tops, chunks and other poor shots that extend play on each hole for each troubled player. Instead, the continuous best shot format, hopefully, results in a lower team score, fewer shots taken, and less waiting time for groups behind.

On the other hand, shambles provide a more competitive course of play when your field is more consistent on the course. With each golfer being responsible for posting a score, your event benefits from everyone being focused on playing well, while at the same time having fun.