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A hole in one is the term given to a shot in golf where the ball goes directly from the tee into the cup, or hole, without any further strokes played. These shots are quite rare but are usually achieved on par three holes where the distance is shorter.
Although stronger players with more powerful shots do have an advantage on par threes – and may even be able to make a hole in one on a par four or five – success does require a certain amount of luck at the same time.
A hole in one bet is available in most golf tournaments and is enjoyed as a long shot wager. but if the calculations were worked out on the possibility of it happening in an average competition the odds are actually lower than many would think.
Due to the large number of players in every round of a standard golf tournament – and the amount of shorter pars – the actual odds for a hole in one occurring are only about 5/4. There have been famous cases of punters using this knowledge – and the lack of knowledge on the side of the bookies – to their advantage.
Tradition dictates that a player who scores a hole in one in their game must buy a round of drinks for everyone in the clubhouse bar once they have finished.
At the 2018 US Masters Charley Hoffman became the 12th man in the last 16 years to get a hole in one at the 16th hole. He was obviously pleased – but so was the bettor who staked £5 at 125/1 on that happening at some point during the tournament.