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17 million to 1 odds: 2 golfers make back-to-back holes-in-one

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Imagine watching one member of your foursome tee up his ball at a 123-yard par 3. After his usual pre-shot activities, he strikes his approach. It flies for the pin like a heat-seeking missile, lands softly, and disappears into the cup. Your whole group erupts in celebration; after the dust of enthusiasm settles, it’s your turn to hit.

Such was the situation for 33-year-old Brian Halpern at the seventh hole of Westwood Country Club in St. Louis, Sunday.

After watching his buddie, Howie Sher, ace the hole, Halpern teed his ball up and struck his approach, and the projectile did…the exact same thing.

Imagine that scene: It had to be a mix of jubilation and disbelief–“Is there a glitch in the Matrix? Are we all going to ace this hole?”

“Watching Howie’s go in was the most-exhilarating thing I’d experienced on a golf course,” said Halpern. “I’d never seen one go in before. Watching it was amazing.”

To be sure. But what was it like trying to follow up his friend’s performance?

“To be honest I was just trying to make sure I hit contact because I had so much adrenaline going from watching Howie. When I hit the ball I chunked it a little bit but had a good line. It was going a little left of the pin and landed on the left fringe, pin high. After it landed, it took a hard bounce up the hill and then ran down the hill in a beeline for the hole – just like Howie.”

Unreal. Halpern described the experience as “out-of-body,” telling Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

“What happened is not believable.”

Indeed. According to the National Hole-In-One Registry sets odds of two players in the same foursome making aces as 17 million to 1. To put that in perspective, the odds of getting struck by lightning are one in 960,000.

Thus, it’s 17 times more likely you’ll get struck by lightning than it is that you’ll experience the “lightning strikes twice” phenomenon of two aces in one group.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. larrybud

    Apr 30, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    My group got within a couple of feet of holing out for eagle in the middle of the fairway on a par 4 from about 140. That was pretty cool. The best thing was player #1 was our opponent, he hit it to 18″, then my partner holed out to win the hole. 😉

  2. Ghj@gmail.com

    Apr 30, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Proooove it!

  3. Eric Granata

    Apr 30, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    This happened at Rivers Edge Golf Club in Alpena, Mi when I was the head pro / GM of the course. It was a father and son who did it on our 14th hole, which plays about 155 yards. We have also had 2 different golfers get 2 hole in ones in the same round.

    The par 3s really aren’t that easy, just people get lucky

    • Rev G

      May 1, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      This happened a couple of months ago to two female friends of my sister, who live in the Villages down in Florida. Also, back to back. The odds of back to back are far greater than just in the same foursome.

      • Rev G

        May 1, 2018 at 1:12 pm

        I believe back to back hole in ones by amateurs is about 162 million to one.

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19th Hole

The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today: 9/20/18

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If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Aiken Golf Club, looks like y’all are good to go. All bag room and cart barn photos are 100% WRX approved.

Some puttorial handiwork from Bradley Putters, here. Acrylic + wood = nastiness.

A post that will only resonate with golfers of a certain age…

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When golf balls were golf balls….

A post shared by NCW Fine Furniture Department (@ncwfinefurniture) on

Do lambs travel in a herd? (Technically correct, according to Google)

Lovely Lincoln ball makers, indeed. Nice work here from CNC Creations.

The expected singular ferrule work from Boyd Blade & Ferrule. Very nice.

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1958

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Lovely Red Bird & Avian wand.

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Heat-stained, Stamped & Fitted. ??

A post shared by RedBird & Avian Custom Clubs (@redbird.avian) on

If you’re on Instagram, remember to hashtag your photos #GolfWRX. And if you’re not on Instagram, well, don’t.

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ICYMI: The incredible story of a golf course artist freed from jail

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Since Max Adler of Golf Digest profiled convicted killer and golf artist Valentino Dixon in 2012, the Attica inmate has been on much of the golf audience’s collective radar.

It wasn’t just that Dixon, who never so much stepped onto a golf course in his life, dedicated himself to putting beautiful golf landscapes on paper, but rather, many, including Adler, believed he was wrongfully convicted. Jimmy Roberts, too, profiled Dixon, albeit in video form, and was of the same mind.

Adler and Roberts both played a small part in what happened this week, as the publicity generated by their work alerted wrongful conviction advocates to Dixon’s case: Dixon’s murder conviction was vacated.

It’s an incredible story of both justice served (albeit woefully late), and a surprising passion. If you’re unfamiliar with Dixon’s work, you can see some of it in this YouTube video by tinad426, presumably featuring the photos of his drawings taken by Golf Digest. (Many outlets refer to Dixon’s art as “paintings.” This is incorrect as his medium in colored pencil: he wasn’t allowed to use paint and paintbrushes)

“The guys [in prison] can’t understand,” Dixon said. “They always say I don’t need to be drawing this golf stuff. I know it makes no sense, but for some reason my spirit is attuned to this game.”

A quick recap of the case: Dixon had been serving a minimum 38-year-to-life sentence since August, 1991, for the shooting of 17-year-old Torriano Jackson, allegedly following an argument about a girl.

While Dixon admitted he was at the crime scene, he claimed was in a nearby liquor store at the time of the killing. Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative found that a gunpowder test on Dixon’s clothes had come back negative and the prosecution failed to share the information with the defence.

Additionally, Lamarr Scott told local media he was in fact the shooter, and has maintained that he, not Dixon, was guilty in the years since.

He was never arrested for the crime. However, Scott, in jail for a separate crime, was given the opportunity to formally confess to the crime this week. He did so, and Dixon was exonerated hours later.

“Maybe he’ll even take up golf,” Golf Digest’s Max Adler quoted his subject of six years ago as saying.

Let’s hope he does.

 

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19th Hole

The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today

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If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

The folks at Dormie Workshop continue to outdo themselves. It’s ubearable.

The Peoples Clubs with a sick set of NCW blades they just built.

Heckuva an action by one of Jimmy Hutchings’ young pupils.

Kraken Golf is working on a deathly cool project.

Michael Martinez with a savage mock-up of some Ryder Cup Jordans

About right…

We think so too, Kevin.

If you’re on Instagram, remember to hashtag your photos #GolfWRX. And if you’re not on Instagram, well, don’t.

 

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