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"Almost" Hole in Ones -- Are you happy or frustrated? Tell your stories


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Of course we all remember our hole in ones (I have exactly zero).  But we also remember our almost hole in ones as well, and I've got several of those.  However today I had two of the closest misses I've ever had in the SAME ROUND.  

First was a 159yd par 3 playing into a slight wind  One of my playing partners hits a great shot but starts complaining about the wind knocking it down, so I put the 8 iron back in the bag and pull a 7 iron.  I hit a perfect shot.  Flush, high and maybe a 1yd fade.  One of those shots that you just know is great from the millisecond it leaves your club face.  The ball hits the green, takes a baby hop and disappears.  The hole was just over a little ridge in the green and we all thought it went in.  My buddy ran up a little hill with his rangefinder and took a look and then groaned ahhhh it's JUST short.  When we got up to the green, my ball made a divot about a foot from the hole and was sitting about 4" from the divot and another 8" from the hole.  I really thought that was the one!

Flash forward 4 holes later and we come to the easiest hole on the course.  Tee box is up, pin is front, hole is playing 108yds.  A severe slope running to water is right and a bunker and low area is left.  Wind is flat, or maybe blowing 5mph max.  I pull a 54 degree and aim right at the pin.  As soon as I hit it I thought it had a lot of spin, but I hit it square.  The ball hits less than a foot from the hole, just to the right of it, then rips back 10'.  This one did not end up super close, but I darn near holed it on the fly.  Thankfully, I made a no-doubt putt and it dripped right in the center for another bird.  But wow, two almost hole in ones on the same day, same 9.  I also birdied one of the other par 3s on the day to finish -1 on the 4 par 3s (three birds and a double) for the day.  Weird, but cool round.

I've had a few other near misses, one where I hit the flag stick low and on the fly from 170yds out (ricocheted 15' away and made par), and another couple where the ball rolled to within 18" of going in.  But still, 20+ years of golf and still haven't had one yet.  The quest continues!  

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At this point I am annoyed.

 

No holes in one, but over a half dozen lip outs, bounce of the flag and stay inside a foot, come up two inches short, etc.

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147 yd par 3: 8 iron hits the hole on the fly and pops out to about 5 feet. It left a ball mark on the side of cup which I fixed the best I could. 
The putt for birdie was a downhill breaker. It hit the hole and spun out. Ha ha. 
 

165 yard par 3: Bladed 7 iron hits a bank in front of the green but hops on to the surface.  It’s tracking like a cruise missile to the hole and stops less than a ball width from the cup. 
My friend and I just started laughing. 

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I’ve had 4 that have been within a few inches. It’s frustrating but birdies are still nice. 

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I'm not sure I'd get frustrated when getting that close. A mild feeling of "aww shucks" maybe, but frustration is absolutely the wrong concept. 😄 

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No hole in one’s.  Closest I’ve ever been was about 5 inches on a 140 yard par 3.  Looked like it went in so everyone was freaking out.  Got to the green and it pitched past and spun back directly behind the stick, such a disappointment.  That being said last year I holed out from the fairway on a par 4 for the first time.  135 9 iron that I flushed to an elevated green so I didn’t see it go in but knew it was close.  We got up to the green and couldn’t find it, someone said check the hole and boom, eagle.  That’s as good as I have gotten yet

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Day 1 of the club championship, I played extremely well and led my flight by 10 shots gross and and more than that net. As foolish young men sometimes tend to do, I (along with several friends) started to celebrate and we took it deep that night. So deep in fact that I arrived for my tee time the next day approximately 1 minute before my group was scheduled to tee off…picture Tin Cup showing up for his first round tee time after Romeo got him drunk. 1st hole is a 284 yard par 4 and I hit a perfect baby draw that bounced over the bunker fronting the green and came to rest with a quarter of the ball hanging over the cup. Easy tap in eagle, great start! However, due to my overwhelmingly stupid drunken frivolity after round 1 that caused my tardiness to the course that morning, I forgot to put my money in with the pro for the skins. That was a mistake that cost me a couple thousand bucks and is the only “almost” hole in one that has had me both frustrated and embarrassed for a little over 30 years now. Thankfully I have some good friends that playfully remind me of it from time to time.😂

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I can think of 2 off the top of my head

 

1 Diamond Caverns in park City Kentucky. #16 I careered a gap wedge from 100. It hits the lip and some how doesn't fall. The ball has so much spin on it it comes back past the hole doesn't fall again. The ball the proceeds to roll off the green and into a pond. I wasn't thrilled with that one. 

 

2. Otter Creek #8 (i think). I hit an 8 iron from 155. Hits right near the cup. Blind landing. We all thought it went in. Get up there and its 6 inches away.  

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This will be my 29th season of playing golf, and still no holes in one. My best story of a near hole-in-one is from 2021, and I was playing Pebble Beach...

 

It was the 12th hole. 180 yards, our caddie says to me "keep it left of the hole". I hit 5-iron, and as soon as it left the clubface I knew I pured it. It's going straight at the pin. IIRC, my thoughts while watching it were more wondering if it had enough distance to get there or not, not that it was going to flirt with the hole. 

Anyways, this was the end result:
image.png.6dc27063be90268fef284873e9376852.png

It was slightly right of the hole, and the caddie joked with me "I told you to keep it left of the hole" 

EDIT: I guess I forgot to answer the question of if I am happy or frustrated. I think it's a little bit of both, but probably more frustration. The fact that it nearly happened at Pebble is a cool story to have in the pocket, but at the same time it's also frustrating because if it HAD gone in, man what a story to get your only HiO at Pebble Beach. 

 

 

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It's happened a few times to me, coming so close to a Hole-In-One, but never managing to fall in the cup.  It is a bit frustrating, but I quickly move on and realize I hit a nice shot (or lucky??).

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Two years ago it was my first time playing in the member-guest tournament and me, not being a good golfer did not expect too much.  Round one of the tournament was going ok.  I had some good shots, and my partner, who was much better, was playing average (for him).  We roll up to the par 3 16th.  All par 3s have a hole in one prize and 16 is $10,000.  The other team tees off first.  One is on the green and one is just off.  My partner tees off and puts it to inside 4 feet.  At this point, he's excited because there is a CTP contest also.  I hit my ball and it has a great line but goes about 6 feet long and stops.  I pick up my tee and start to walk back to the cart when the other team shouts, "Its still rolling."  I watch as the ball rolls down the slope behind the hole tracking for the cup.  The course employee, who was there to confirm if someone holed out, gets out of her cart and has a frenzied walk to the green.  It seemed like it took forever, but it eventually went inches (maybe closer) past the left edge of the hole.  It stops about 5 inches tee box side from the hole.  The roller coaster of emotions went from good shot, to maybe hole in one, to wow that was almost a hole in one, to dang, i just missed 10 grand by inches...  the even worse part is a straight line from the ball mark to where it stopped went right through the middle of the hole.

 

 

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I’ve never had a “real” HIO for what I would consider one, for myself. I lived in an apartment temporarily for a month back in college in between moving places that had a little executive par 3 course. Every hole was between 80 and 130ish yards and I had 3 in the span of 2 weeks. 

 

“Almost HIO” though…I have a super frustrating example. In our weekly wolf game 5-some at our club last fall, came up on #16 and I was down the most so I was super wolf and I think I chose $20/$30 for the hole. Playing around 150y. Green is diagonal along the edge of the giant pond at about 45* shortest side on left and longer section as it moves to the right. Pin was technically front in relation to the long but back right section in regard to the entire green.

 

But anyways..I hit a PW right at it, tracking, hits the pin square on an inch  above the cup, leaves a big gash on the side of cup and rolls and rolls and rolls back into the water. 🤦‍♂️ had it gone in at least I would have had money to pay for some drinks. I’d go wolf and hammer but obviously they wouldn’t take the hammer but it would have been $360 hole for me.

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my near misses are better stories than most HIO stories

 

1) 200yd par 3 in a charity tournament with a 20,000$ hole in one prize. Put it to 1 inch....whole crowd was going nuts. (the par 3 was in front of the big BBQ area)...stopped just short

 

2) 160yd par 3 17th hole in a Quebec AM team event. My group was last match on the course and my team was all square with the guy i was going against. I was 1-up in our match. He went first and put it to 25 feet. I went 2nd and drilled the flag and had it rest an inch from the hole.....there were probably 500+ people watching. 

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1 hour ago, MtlJeff said:

my near misses are better stories than most HIO stories

 

1) 200yd par 3 in a charity tournament with a 20,000$ hole in one prize. Put it to 1 inch....whole crowd was going nuts. (the par 3 was in front of the big BBQ area)...stopped just short

 

2) 160yd par 3 17th hole in a Quebec AM team event. My group was last match on the course and my team was all square with the guy i was going against. I was 1-up in our match. He went first and put it to 25 feet. I went 2nd and drilled the flag and had it rest an inch from the hole.....there were probably 500+ people watching. 

 

I missed your shot. I was eating BBQ. lol

 

I holed out once from 200yds. It was in a scramble on a par4 for eagle. I went first. They other guys didn't hit. I didn't get anything for that. I even had to walk over and get my ball out of the hole. 

 

One inch should have been worth half.

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I've had exactly one hole-in-one, in 55 years of playing golf (I'm 61 now ...)

That said, I probably have 10-12 tee shots a year on par three holes that finish inside a foot, including a number that you can see from the tee that caught part of the hole.

 

My reaction - "2 is a great score on any golf hole in the world, any day of the week".

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I used to feel frustrated - until I got an actual one in 2014: Sank a 6i on a 160-yd par 3 hole.

 

Now, I'm thankful to have a tap-in birdie putt of one foot or less.

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I've been playing since I was a kid in the late 1970s but had a 30+ year hiatus until I came back in 2021.

 

For the record, I got my first hole-in-one last 01/02/22 on hole # 17 (left, twin par 3s) at Eisenhower Park - Blue course while playing a non-tournament round.

 

I must say that playing all year round including winter season in the northeast really paid off for me.

 

I also just realized that Mother Nature had also assisted me that day as it was a mild winter day in the high 50s so the green was a bit soft which allowed my ball to spin back into the hole. 

 

I've had two near misses so far since my first HIO.

 

The first happened when I was playing a late morning (11am) non-tournament round again at Christopher Morley Park Golf course, a 9 hole track, exactly 60 days (03/02/2022) after my first hole-in-one.

 

I hit a really good 7-iron shot that almost went straight in at the 152 yard semi-blind (the top half of the pin is visible) Par 3 with the front pin placement on hole # 6.

 

The ball hit the pin first, then the ground, about one inch from the edge of the hole and ricochet 4 feet back.

 

Anyway, I was still happy with my consolation prize as I holed it for birdie.

 

I also found out later on that it would not have mattered even if I made the HIO as HIOs are only officially recognized by the USGA if played as a 18 hole round. 

 

I've included the pic below showing the indented pitch mark one inch from the hole.

Screenshot_20240307_014937_KeepNotes.jpg.d65aa8a4eda63279c388fae8097cf876.jpg

 

The second near miss HIO happened last 05/29/2023 at Bethpage State Park's Black course where I had another blind shot into the Par 3, hole # 17, 178 yards away (see Google pic below) with the back right pin placement. 

Screenshot_20240307_025055_Maps.jpg.a5bb3a50bbdbbf50a16097eda17216b2.jpg

I was a bit indecisive as I initially had my Cleveland 18° Halo Launcher Hy-Wood (Utility Wood) in hand but fortunately I decided to switch it out for my 5 iron.

 

I hit a pure 5 iron and I saw the ball tracking towards hole.
       

My playing partners were the first to get to the green and were amazed to see my ball just 6 inches from the hole. 

 

I was a bit disappointed but I was also able to Birdie that hole as a consolation prize.

 

However, what was more amazing to me was shooting +5 over on the back nine en route to my best ever Bethpage Black round (see scorecard pic below) at +20 over 91 (6,227 yards combined middle and forward tees).

 

My previous best round at the Black was 102 (+31) and my goal that day was to break 100.

 

I was so happy that day to have exceeded my expectations. 

Screenshot_20240307_024820_KeepNotes.jpg.da8990624e50192756c8a4ec756eeb96.jpg

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What's with this inches from the cup almost a hole in one nonsense ? ☺  I've got 3 legit aces but according to a couple guys waiting in a cart and witnessing this I should have a 4th. 

Years ago I used to walk 9 holes after work to unwind and one night I see the sprinklers on my next hole a 145 yd par 3 shutting off, soaked green of course.

Two guys waiting on the sprinkler invited me to hit as they were in no hurry they said. I smoothed a 7 iron up there and it disappeared, all 3 of us were surprised to see my ball plugged into the one inch white painted cup perimeter directly behind the pin. One guy says " damn that's a hole in one pards" the other guy said he would count it too. I said "well its not actually in the hole guys" can't count it. Turns out the timer was messed up on the sprinkler system and it shouldn't have been going then anyway.

Took me a minute to repair the hole, they went back and hit, didn't touch the green.  I walked on and that birdie got me back to even for the round. lol

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I’ve been playing for over 30 years (I’m 36, almost 37) and have zero holes in one.  My dad who played for 50 or so years never had one.  My mom, who he taught to play and has been playing since has I think four.

 

My closest was in a tournament when I was 16.  It was about 180 to the pin and there was fog up at the green so you couldn’t see anything, other than the faint hint of the flag because it was red.  I hit a beautiful shot, but we had no idea whether I was even on the green.  We get up there and my ball is on the back edge of the hole.  The green slopes left to right, so either it came in and just missed behind the hole or went right passed and hung out on the back lip.  Easiest birdie putt I’ve ever had, but so frustrating.

 

I do have several hole outs for eagle though.

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On 3/6/2024 at 10:00 AM, Greenie said:

My most famous almost hole in one. I was playing a 138 yard par 3. You are teeing off from an elevated tee box to an elevated green over a pond that lays in the bottom. I hit my shot and it is tracking at the flag stick. On the fly it lands right in the hole. While I begin to celebrate I see a ball drop out of the air ,take a couple of bounces down the hill and roll in the pond. I didn't hear anything when my ball flew into the hole. I knew it didn't clank on the flag stick. I said where did that ball come from? When I got to the green I looked into the hole. I saw a big gouge on the rim of the cup. My ball must have hit the bottom of the stick and flew back out. I looked along the edge of the pond and found my ball. I took a drop on the other side of the pond. I had about a 60 yd shot up the hill. All I could see was the top of the flag. I hit my shot and I heard the flag stick clank. When I got to the green I had holed out for an interesting par.

Wow, this is the winner of almost hole in ones.  Crazy story.  I would FOR SURE have been frustrated with that.

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Never mad about a near HiO. Tap in birdies are fun and in my experience aces are complete flukes. I'm lucky enough to have 4 in my life (And one on a par 4!) but the only time I had anger or fear was one I got by myself a couple years back haha.

 

Thankfully there was a group on a green near the hole and I knew them. Hollered at them to get their cameras out and they were happy to oblige and post the video for fun as we walked up to the hole haha. A fair trade for their group I bought them all a couple beers. 

 

I've seen some horrible shots go in the hole for aces. Its just the luck of a bounce or catching the right contour much of the time.

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I've had one HI1, when I was 15.  Didn't see it go in but at the time I remember thinking "going to add more to that in the years to come".  30+ years later, still on 1.

 

I was playing 9 holes last month in wintery conditions here in Scotland and hit a 4-iron about 185 yards (it was a very cold day and I am not a big hitter) on the 9th hole on my home course. Here's the pitch mark - the shot must have just missed the flagstick as it came from the left as you look at the photo.

 

I was by myself so relieved that it didn't go in really - you want witnesses to these things and it would have felt like a waste, in a practice round alone.

 

PS the course is rough and ready at the moment and the pin positions hadn't been changed since last year, as you can see!

 

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I've had probably had half a dozen shots where the pitch mark is 6-8" from the hole, my closest being 2" right of the hole from dunking it. 

 

I've had a few where I've zipped a wedge or short iron back and it's gone over the hole or hit the pin and kicked out. 

 

Still to date I've had zero HIO's, it's all luck at a certain point I guess. 

 

 

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50 years of near misses of every kind- lipouts, pin poppers, in-and-outs, etc... "Happy" or "Frustrated" aren't exactly the words I would use. The word I would use is "resigned". I have stopped "trying" to get one, so to speak. If it happens, it happens, if not... well, that's nothing new. Just attempt a good swing and whatever happens, happens. 

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I am happy to be close, but I have had a few... I think that changes things a bit.  I would rather be there when somebody else had one.

 

Helped with HS girls golf a while back and there is a par 4 that is left over some water.  It is about a 210 yards to the pin and roughly a 195 carry to the green with 20 yards of bunker in front.  Most of the girls lay up and hit their second into the water - drop area is over by the green on tournament days.  I suggested that started making them try and drive the green - worst case is that they are dropping 3 instead of 4 and most can at least hit the bunker which you can putt out of (no lip).  A 15 year old aced the par 4 in a tournament - I did not get to see it, but heard the yells and screams.  This makes me happier than making one myself.

 

Got to see a dude get his first from 153 yards with a driver - he was 83.  He cried and we all kinda started to cry with him.

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One time my ball destroyed the front edge of the cup and came back out of the hole - that one had me looking at the sky in frustration, lol. But it was before I got my only two many seasons later.  Otherwise, I guess I take notice when I see a mark near the hole or it looks like one rolled pretty close or I hit a flagstick (those never end up close, lol) but it’s just a shrug of the shoulders.  I’m spoiled now, haha. 

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