Apr 30, 2023
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

What Are the Odds of Getting a Hole-in-One?

The odds of getting a hole-in-one are exceedingly low, which is precisely why they're such an exciting occurrence. Their rarity makes them thrilling to witness or perform yourself! 

In this post, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about the hole-in-one, including its history, the odds of making one, and what makes one valid in the eyes of the golfing association. Without further ado, let's dive right in!

History and Significance of the Hole-in-One

The prestigious hole-in-one has a long history of reverence, but it requires a lot of luck to achieve. Skill plays a part, but it isn't the sole factor. For this reason, they are considered less impressive than an albatross (completing a par 5 in two shots), which happens far less frequently. Regardless, golfers still hold this shot in high esteem - for understandable reasons. 

Hole-in-One Odds for Amateurs

The chances of making a hole-in-one as an amateur are incredibly low, but don't let that discourage you, as it isn't impossible! However, the likelihood is estimated to be 12,500 to 1 - not a promising figure. Don't feel disheartened by this, especially if you're relatively new to the game. A hole-in-one is challenging, even for the pros, simply due to the number of factors at play during every swing. 

Hole-in-One Odds for Pros

Even for the pros, achieving a hole-in-one is difficult, but it's significantly more likely than an amateur performing it. The odds are approximately 2500 to 1 for a pro to make a hole-in-one - quite a difference! While hole-in-ones usually require a significant amount of luck, skill plays a role - as you can see in these numbers. 

Rules for Hole-in-One

Although the rules of a hole-in-one may seem simple in theory, there are some specific requirements for it to be considered valid. While not referenced in golf rules, the United States Golf Registerhas some recommendations when attesting a hole-in-one validity. 

These include:

  • If a player uses one ball, a hole-in-one during a practice round where said player is using two or more balls should not be counted.
  • An acceptable witness must verify the hole-in-one.
  • It is still considered valid if the hole-in-one is achieved during a ‘scramble’ competition, such as Captain's Choice.
  • If the hole-in-one was made with a temporary tee not defined explicitly by the Committee, the length of the hole should still be recorded on any registered certificate.

There are some occasions where a hole-in-one does not count, and it's essential to understand these so that you don't celebrate too soon. Some examples include:

  • If the shot was made after a mulligan.
  • If the shot was made after a penalty shot.
  • If there have been multiple attempts made on the same hole.
  • If the shot was made in a golfing simulator.

We recommend researching before hitting the green to avoid an embarrassing celebration. Still, regardless of its validity, a hole-in-one is an exciting achievement in all settings. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Percentage of Golfers Ever Get a Hole-in-One?

If you're an amateur player, there's a 0.01% chance of scoring a hole-in-one. If you're a pro, your chances increase to 0.04%. This is using the 12,500 in 1 and 2500 in 1 chance as references. 

Is a Hole-in-One Luck or Skill?

It's a combination of both! Luck plays the more significant role, as even the most skilled golf player in the world wouldn't be able to guarantee a hole-in-one. However, it's true that the better you are at the game, the more likely you'll hit a hole-in-one. 

What are the Odds of Getting Two Hole-in-Ones in the Same Game?

Exceptionally low for obvious reasons. The approximate chance of achieving this is 67 million to one, with only 14% of golfers hitting a second hole-in-one after their first, but hey, it isn't impossible!

Final Thoughts

Although a hole-in-one has more to do with luck than skill, one thing remains true; you need the right equipment by your side to stand a chance. That's precisely what we provide at Stitch Golf, so check out our full range of golf gear and get one step closer to achieving that prestigious shot!