The HHHole-in-One Club
Hiker Jeff Tang made a hole-in-one today during HHH training at Orchard Valley Golf Course in Aurora, IL. Jeff made his ace with a 4I Ping hybrid on the 191-yard par 3 2nd hole, into the wind and completely over water (by contrast, his two playing partners combined to send three balls to their watery grave.)
Jeff's second career ace got me thinking...what are the odds that a hiker will make a hole-in-one during one of the HHH events this summer? Assume we have 45 golfers participating, playing an average of 6 rounds (or 108 holes). That's approximately 1,080 chances at glory. Back in 2000, Golf Digest estimated the odds of a hole-in-one at 5,000:1 for a "low-handicapper", 12,000:1 for an average player. Let's assume 7,500:1 for our merry band of golf-crazed lunatics. That equates to about a 12-13% chance that one of our hikers will reached the promised land. And there's a 0.8% chance more than one person will make an ace during the event.
To generate some interest in the possibility of an ace by one of our participants, I'm introducing the HHHole-in-One Club. It's a special type of pledge where you are committing to donating a fixed amount to the cause of each hiker who makes a hole-in-one during his/her HHH event (the hiker must be in the club at $25+ in order for his ace to qualify). You can add yourself to the club simply by adding to the comment field below (something along the lines of "Jim Colton pledges $50 per HHHole-in-one") or sending an e-mail to email@example.com with 'The HHHole-in-One Club' in the subject line. If one or more aces is made, we'll automatically convert your commitment to a normal lump-sum pledge to the golfer and his/her stated cause.
I am joining the HHHole-in-One Club with a $50 pledge per ace, plus I'm adding a kicker of $1 for anybody who joins the club with a commitment of $10 or more. Although only hole-in-ones on the day of the HHH event officially count for Club purposes, I'm going to personally grandfather in Jefe's ace today with a $50+ commitment to his great cause, Els for Autism. I'll also commit to the same treatment for any other participating golfer who makes a hole-in-one during their pre-hike training. I encourage my fellow hikers to do the same.
Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, NJ is Donald Ross course built in 1929. The club is host to this year's USGA Senior Amateur.