By SAN Diego Union-Tribune
On Wednesday at the Billy Casper Pro-Member Tournament, four different golfers recorded holes-in-one, including two in the same grouping on the same hole. Whenever you see a headline like this, you immediately do a double-take.
So let me try and put this into perspective.
The National Hole In One Association has been recording holes-in-one for over thirty years, and have determined the odds of players hitting one. Golf Digest simplified the information into a nice infographic, but here's what we learned.
The odds of a professional golfer making a hole-in-one are about 2,500 to one. For low handicap amateurs, those odds rise to 5,000 to one. If you're an average amateur golfer, your odds of making an ace go up to 12,500 to one.
Here's where it really gets ridiculous. The odds of two amateurs playing in a foursome both making aces in one round skyrockets to 1,300,000 to one. But for two amateurs to each make an ace in the same foursome on the same hole? The odds on that are 26,000,000 to one, but come on, that would never happen.
Until it did, Wednesday at the Billy Casper Pro-Member Tournament in San Diego, California.
Andy Warren, an assistant pro at The Bridges Golf Club, was paired with 80-year-old Clark Gilson, a former marine helicopter pilot. Warren took a 6-iron, Gilson a driver on the 180-yard third hole. Incredibly both walked away with a one on the scorecard.
As if that wasn't crazy enough, later in the round players in the group in the two groups immediately in front of them each had a player who made an ace at the 13th hole. The odds of all of that happening on the same day have to be infinitesimal.
But aside from the unbelievable rarity of the event, the day produced some great stories as all holes-in-one do. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
“My eyes aren’t that great anymore,” Gilson said. “I knew when hit the ball it was really good, but I couldn’t see it. Then everybody is saying, ‘good shot’ and ‘that could go in.’ I thought they’d got together and said (whispering), ‘Tell him it went in.’ That was my first thought.”
The enthusiastic reaction convinced Gilson it was real.
“It was kind of stunned silence at first,” Warren said. “I don’t think any of us believed it. We were waiting for someone to tell us we were on ‘Candid Camera.’ You can’t imagine how stunned we all were.”
When they got to the green, Gilson took a picture of the two balls in the hole. He and Warren posed for a picture – with Gilson being somewhat sheepish about having used a driver.
“I tried to hide the club behind me,” Gilson said with a chuckle. “My wife said, you hid it so awkwardly it stood out.”