July 31, 2008

Top 5 Pro-Tour Aces!

This time around we at US Hole In One have decided to compile a list of our favorite hole in ones on the professional tours. The talent on these tours is abundant and choosing only five aces has not been easy at all, but here it goes.

At number five we have David Toms ace at the 2001 PGA Championship. A five wood proved to be the right club for Toms on the 243 yard beast at the Atlanta Athletic Club. A smooth and rhythmic swing ending with a signature David Tom’s finish resulted in one of the longest hole in ones that we have ever seen.

The number four spot goes to Fuzzy Zoeller’s hole in one on the 173 yard par 3, 16th hole at Glen Oaks Country Club in the Allianz Championship. His iron shot flew over the pin and into the back left where the commentator described his ball as being “hung up in the rough.” He went on to say, “It’s no good there is it? Tough chip I think.” Little did he know that he was seconds from being proven wrong. Miraculously the ball began to track backwards to the hole courtesy of the slope on that particular part of the green. The dumbfounded announcer could do nothing but repeatedly shout “no!” as the ball disappeared into the cup.

At number three we have one of the most electrifying shots in professional golf. Who but Tiger Woods would be responsible for this? The short 162-yard par three 16th at the FBR Open in Arizona is known as the loudest hole in golf. Lesser tour pros who fail to hit this green in regulation are routinely punished, not by a bunker or a water hazard, but by boos from the rowdy crowd. This stadium atmosphere was immensely energized when Tiger holed out and roars could be heard from all corners of the golf course.

This brings us to number two. This, in our opinion, was one of the biggest bounce backs in golf. The infamous island-green 17th at TPC Sawgrass has humbled many of the world’s greatest players. Fred Couples, like many others, surrendered his ball to the water in the first round of the 1999 Players Championship. He re-teed with a 9 iron and produced a thing of beauty. US Hole In One couldn’t think of a more extravagant way to make a par.

Little known James Kingston of South Africa takes our number one spot. If you ever thought that you were lucky, think again! This could be the most bizarre ace in golf. This happened in the third round of the Dunhill Championship six years ago on the 15th hole. This hole is 206meters (225 yards) long. Kingston pulled a 4iron way off line and into the left trees where his ball ricocheted off a tree onto the green and rolled into the hole. Now that’s luck!

July 29, 2008

Blind Golfer gets a Hole In One on 144-yard, par-three fourth hole at Mahoning Valley Country Club!

So far we’ve all heard numerous stories about hole in ones on par 3’s all over America. These stories range from consecutive aces on the same hole by two members of the same group to a fourth grader’s first ever hole in one, but none compare to what happened some time ago in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Sheila Drummond, who has been blind for just over 26 years as a result of diabetes, shocked the golf world when she holed out on the 144-yard, par-three fourth hole at Mahoning Valley Country Club in Lehighton, PA. A slight drizzle accompanied with the Blue Mountain views on this golf course preceded what would be the shot of a lifetime. The 53 year old used her driver to launch her pink ball over a water hazard, between two bunkers and eventually into the bottom of the cup.

“I just try to do the best I can. I get nervous. But I wasn't nervous (Sunday); I just don't like playing in the rain," is what she had to say in an interview shortly after her success. Sheila is the first female member of the United States Blind Golfers Association which has her as a 48 handicap. Even though luck was an irrefutable factor, she is an inspiration to others. She is an inspiration in the way that her achievement encourages us to overcome any obstacles that come our way. The technique required to strike a golf ball efficiently takes years to master and until now I, and probably many others, felt that it was impossible to be totally blind and play golf, let alone enjoy it. Golf is definitely a game for everyone and we at US Hole in One are firm believers of this philosophy.

July 25, 2008

Two in a Row for Harrington

As the major golf tournaments continue on, the 2008 British Open crowned a not so new winner last week. Padraig Harrington of Ireland walked away with the trophy as repeat winner after claiming the title in 2007. Harrington was the first European to win the title back to back in over 100 years, the last being James Braid from Scotland winning the championship in 1905 and 1906.

Harrington may have taken the title by four strokes over Ian Poulter however up until the back nine on Sunday it was torn who would come out on top. Greg Norman looked very promising going into Sunday leading by two strokes after a great round on Saturday however not too long into the tournament on Sunday it looked as if Norman would be unable to produce a victory with the harsh weather conditions in play. Harrington also started out rough with three bogeys on the front nine however he turned it around on the back nine with an unbelievable run of two birdies and an eagle. Harrington shot a 69 on Sunday to grasp the victory with a score of three over par overall.

Golf season is in full swing with other tournaments such as the Senior British Open and the Canadian Open currently going on and with Tiger out of the playing field the strive for championship titles is sure to be exciting!

July 22, 2008

Hole In One Odds :: Golf's Rare Feat

Each time an average golfer steps up to the tee of a par 3 hole, their probability of successfully making a hole in one is 1 in 12,500 attempts. This according to a recently completed five-year study conducted by US Hole In One, a provider of hole in one contest prize insurance. The findings suggest that previously published figures wildly exaggerate the ease or difficulty of actually completing the feat. According to US Hole In One President, Greg Esterhai, “The fallacy of other studies is that they typically rely on estimated data for the actual number of holes in one made. This study avoids such conjecture by utilizing actual par 3 scoring information.”

The conclusions of the study came from analyzing instances of a hole in one occurring over the course of six million shot attempts at par 3 holes by golfers of varying ability. Additionally, the findings point to professional golfers having a sizable advantage (1 in 2,500) when it comes to making an ace. “The PGA Tour’s slogan is ‘These Guys are Good’, and they aren’t kidding,” confesses Esterhai.

In terms of more fantastical hole in one feats, US Hole In One compiled the following list of probabilities, based on their findings, for curious observers (assuming four par 3 holes in an 18-hole round):

• Average golfer making hole in one on designated hole: 1 in 12,500
• Professional golfer making hole in one on designated hole: 1 in 2,500
• Average golfer making hole in one during single round: 1 in 3,125
• Average golfer making two holes in one during single round: 1 in 26,045,834
• Average golfer making three holes in one during single round: 1 in 488 billion
• Average golfer making four holes in one during single round: 1 in 24 quadrillion
• Two golfers, same foursome, acing same hole: 1 in 26,045,834
• Three golfers, same foursome, acing same hole: 1 in 488 billion
• Golfer making holes in one on back-to-back holes: 1 in 156,250,000
• Hole in one being made during full field (144 golfers) outing: 1 in 22

“We were finding that people was grossly misestimating the probability of certain hole in one stories occurring,” notes Esterhai, “When I read a story claiming that the odds of a father and son pair both making an ace on the same hole was a trillion to one – when the actual odds are only 156 million to one – we knew this comprehensive study would be a good start to setting the record on aces straight.”

July 16, 2008

Seeing Double in Yorktown Golf Tournament

Heads turned on July 1st when Mike Yingst hit his 7-iron off hole 15 and his ball rolled in for a hole in one but the celebration really started when Yingst knocked down another ace on the very next hole! Mike Yingst a member of the Tailgaters, played in the Night Men’s League in Yorktown for the past 25 years and has never scored a hole in one, let alone two, in the same day! Yingst’s second ace was on the longest par three on the course at 160 yards, Yingst used his 5 wood off the tee and was not positive that the ball went into the hole until he walked up to the green!

After buying a round of drinks to celebrate at the clubhouse Yingst still walked away with money in his pocket claiming the hole in one pot of about $140. Had this golf tournament insured their hole with US Hole In One, Yingst could had the potential to walk away with a grand prize valuing up to $100,000, in addition to a bonus prize like a LCD Flat Screen TV that US Hole In One insures for any other par 3 on the golf course greater than 130 yards at no extra cost. Remember with US Hole In One grand prizes of $25,000 or less restore in your golf tournament just in case you have more than one lucky golfer to score an ace on the grand prize hole.