A Hole in One, On The Fly

Ace in the hole

On an average day, with an average golfer, the odds of hitting a hole in one is about 12,500 to 1. For professional golfers, the odds of a hole in one fall significantly to 3,000 to 1. Most hole in one shots are similar – the ball, which is 1.68″ in diameter, lands on the green, rolls towards the cup, which is 4.5″ in diameter, and then falls in, which is then followed by vigorous celebration and high fives all around. So then, what do we think the odds are of a golfer of any skill level making a hole in one on the fly? Meaning, that 1.68″ diameter ball doesn’t touch the green and literally lands right in the 4.5″ diameter hole. The odds have to be astronomical. And that is exactly what happened at this weekend’s PGA Championship when Michael Block, a golf course pro from California (not even a PGA Touring pro!!), aced the 15th hole at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY. Take a look at the video. It is a stunning shot. It even took Mr. Block several minutes for it to register that he aced it.

Tiger’s Odds

Tiger Woods is finally breaking his silence after three months in seclusion after his well publicized SUV accident and alternate life as “Fred Garvin, Male Prostitue“. What I love is that bookies actually have lines on several items related to this story:

A British bookmaker has set odds at 4-to-7 that Woods wife, Elin, will be with him. William Hill didn’t stop there, however. It offers 8-to-1 odds that Woods will announce he is getting a divorce, 12-to-1 odds that his wife is pregnant and 100-to-1 odds that he is retiring.

Can this story be delivered on a bigger silver platter to the comedians of today?

Bayonne Golf Club

This Monday, I had the opportunity to play a round of golf at the Bayonne Golf Club. For those not familiar, Bayonne GC was built in 2006 on a plot of marsh and industrial land on NY Harbor. To say that Bayonne GC is a marvel of engineering and landscaping excellence would be a gross understatement. The irony of the experience is set in your arrival to the course. The approach to the club is an industrial road lined with warehouses and 18 wheel trucks. I felt like I was driving to meet Tony Soprano for the last time at one of his meeting spots. Yet, when you pass through the gates, you are enveloped by a winding road within a valley of dune grass covered hills. Within 15 seconds, the thoughts of those warehouses and Tony Soprano were gone.

The clubhouse was spectacular, with no expense missed to ensure that it felt like a place that was 150 years old, even though it was only 3 years old. There was the proverbial dark wood paneling, the wonderful old style locker room, the high backed chairs, and the comfy chairs and couches that you could get lost in.

The course itself and the experience of playing there was just amazing. On certain holes like #16, views of NY harbor and the Manhattan skyline were breathtaking. On many of the other holes, I really felt like I was on a course in the middle of the British Isles, with the rolling hills and links course layout.

My round was interrupted twice by some spectacular lightning storms, which definitely put a damper on the day (by the second interruption before the last 6 holes, I had checked out) but made for good entertainment while waiting in the clubhouse. But we finished the round and had a wonderful day. And, I actually played good, consistent golf for the first 12 holes. I really hope I get the chance to play there again with better weather. Above all else, what playing Bayonne did that no other course I’ve played has done (with maybe the exception of Blackwolf Run in Wisconsin), was make me appreciate the fun and experience of playing a round of golf.