Tuesday September 14, 2021’s Smile of the Day: Golf’s First Hole In One
On this Day:
In 1868, Golf’s 1st recorded hole-in-one occurred, hit by Tom Morris, at Prestwick’s 8th hole, Scotland.
In golf, a hole in one or hole-in-one (also known as an ace, mostly in American English) occurs when a ball hit from a tee to start a hole finishes in the cup. A ball hit from a tee following a lost ball, out-of-bounds, or water hazard is not a hole-in-one.
Holes-in-one commonly occur on par 3 holes, the shortest distance holes on a standard size golf course. Longer hitters have also accomplished this feat on longer holes, though nearly all par 4 and par 5 holes are too long for golfers to reach in a single shot. While well known outside golf and often requiring a well hit shot and significant power, holes in one need also a significant element of luck. As such, they are more common and considered less impressive than other hole accomplishments such as completing a par 5 in two shots (an albatross). As of January 2021, a condor (four under par) hole-in-one on a par 5 hole had been recorded on five occasions, aided by thin air at high altitude, or by cutting the corner on a dog legged or horseshoe-shaped hole.
Holes-in-one (“aces”) are also recorded in disc golf. The current world record for disc golf’s longest hole in one is held by Brent Bell, who set the record at the 2002 Big Sky State Games at the Diamond X Disc Golf Course in Billings, Montana.
Holes-in-one are rare, and, although skill definitely increases the probability, there is a great element of luck involved. It is traditional for a player who has scored a hole-in-one to buy a round of drinks for everyone at the clubhouse bar.
Time magazine reported 1,200 holes in one were made by American golfers in 1922.
A memorable hole-in-one was made in the 1973 Open Championship by Gene Sarazen at age 71. Earl Dietering of Memphis, Tennessee, 78 years old at the time, is believed to hold the record for the oldest person to make a hole-in-one twice during one round.
During the second round of the 1971 Martini International tournament, held at the Royal Norwich Golf Club in England, John Hudson had two consecutive holes-in-one. Teeing off, using a 4-iron, at the par-three, 195-yard 11th hole, Hudson holed his tee shot for a hole-in-one. At the next hole, the downhill 311-yard, par-four 12th, and this time using a driver, he once again holed his tee shot, for another ace. This is believed to be the only time a player has scored holes-in-one at consecutive holes in a major professional tournament.
Despite the relative rarity of holes-in-one, there have been a total of six in Ryder Cup matches. Peter Butler scored the first in 1973 at Muirfield followed by a 20-year gap before Nick Faldo scored a hole-in-one in 1993. Two years later, Costantino Rocca and Howard Clark both scored holes-in-one before an 11-year gap to 2006 saw Paul Casey and Scott Verplank both hole out in one on the 14th hole.
On August 11, 2016, Justin Rose shot a hole-in-one during the first round of the golf tournament of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which is considered to be the first in Olympic history. For the 189 yards 3-par hole, he used a 7-iron.
Occasionally special events host a hole in one contest, where prizes as expensive as a new car, or cash awards sometimes reaching $4 million are offered if a contestant records a hole in one. Usually such expensive prizes are backed by an insurance company who offers prize indemnification services. Actuaries at such companies have calculated the chance of an average golfer making a hole in one at approximately 12,500 to 1, and the odds of a tour professional at 2,500 to 1.
As of January 2021, a condor (four under par) hole-in-one on a par-5 hole had been recorded on five occasions. A horseshoe-shaped par 5 hole once enabled a condor hole-in-one to be achieved with a 3-iron club. Another may have been achieved at the former Piedmont Crescent Golf Course in 1973 after bouncing multiple times on a very firm fairway due to unseasonably dry weather. The longest recorded straight drive hole-in-one is believed to be 517 yards or 473 metres, on the par-5 No. 9 hole at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver in 2002, aided by the thin air due to the high altitude. None of the five par-5 holes-in-one were achieved during a professional tournament. A condor is also known as a double albatross, or a triple eagle (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
There was this preacher who was an avid golfer. Every chance he could get, he could be found on the golf course swinging away. It was an obsession.
One Sunday morning was a picture perfect day for golfing. The sun was out, no clouds in the sky, and the temperature was just right. The preacher was in a quandary as to what to do, and shortly, the urge to play golf just overcame him. He called an assistant to tell him that he was sick and could not do today’s church service, packed the car up, and drove three hours to a golf course where no one would recognize him.
Happily, he began to play the course. As this was going on, an angel up above was watching the preacher and was quite perturbed. He went to God and said, “Look at this preacher. He should be punished for what he is doing.” God thought about it and then nodded in agreement.
The preacher teed up on the first hole. He swung at the ball, and it sailed effortlessly through the air and landed right in the cup three hundred and fifty yards away! A picture perfect hole-in-one. He was amazed and excited, his mouth open in shock. The angel was a little shocked as well. He turned to God and said, “Begging Your pardon, but I thought you were going to punish him?” God smiled. “Think about it… who is he going to tell?!?”
Second, a Song:
Toby Keith Covel (born July 8, 1961) is an American country singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer. Keith released his first four studio albums—1993’s Toby Keith, 1994’s Boomtown, 1996’s Blue Moon and 1997’s Dream Walkin’, plus a Greatest Hits package—for various divisions of Mercury Records before leaving Mercury in 1998. These albums all earned Gold or higher certification, and produced several Top Ten singles, including his debut “Should’ve Been a Cowboy”, which topped the country charts and was the most-played country song of the 1990s. The song has received three million spins since its release, according to Broadcast Music Incorporated.
Signed to DreamWorks Records Nashville in 1998, Keith released his breakthrough single “How Do You Like Me Now?!” in late 1999. This song, the title track to his 1999 album of the same name, was the number one country song of 2000, and one of several chart-toppers during his tenure on DreamWorks Nashville. His next three albums, Pull My Chain, Unleashed, and Shock’n Y’all, produced three more number ones each, and all of the albums were certified 4x Platinum. A second Greatest Hits package followed in 2004, and after that, he released Honkytonk University.
When DreamWorks closed in 2005, Keith founded the label Show Dog Nashville, which merged with Universal South Records to become Show Dog-Universal Music in December 2009. He has released ten studio albums through Show Dog/Show Dog-Universal: 2006’s White Trash with Money, 2007’s Big Dog Daddy, 2008’s That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy, 2009’s American Ride, 2010’s Bullets in the Gun, 2011’s Clancy’s Tavern, 2012’s Hope on the Rocks, 2013’s Drinks After Work, 2015’s 35 MPH Town, and 2017’s The Bus Songs, as well as the compilation 35 Biggest Hits in 2008. Keith also made his acting debut in 2006, starring in the film Broken Bridges, and co-starred with comedian Rodney Carrington in the 2008 film Beer for My Horses, inspired by his song of the same name.
Keith has released 19 studio albums, two Christmas albums, and five compilation albums; a total worldwide sales of over 40 million albums. He has charted 61 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including 20 number one hits and 21 additional top 10 hits. His longest-lasting number one hits are “Beer for My Horses” (a 2003 duet with Willie Nelson) and “As Good as I Once Was” (2005), at six weeks each. Keith was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Donald Trump in a closed ceremony alongside Ricky Skaggs on January 13, 2021.
In the early 1990s, Keith went to Nashville, Tennessee, where he hung out and busked on Music Row and at a place called Houndogs. He distributed copies of a demo tape the band had made to the many record companies in the city. There was no interest by any of the record labels, and Keith returned home feeling depressed. He had promised himself and God to have a recording contract by the time he was 30 years old or give up on music as a career. A flight attendant and fan of his gave a copy of Keith’s demo tape to Harold Shedd, a Mercury Records executive, while he was traveling on a flight she was working. Shedd enjoyed what he heard, went to see Keith perform live and then signed him to a recording contract with Mercury (per Wikipedia).
Here is Toby Keith’s performing his song “Shitty Golfer”. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.” – Ben Hogan
Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky