According to Kidzworld, shooting a hole in one is one of the hardest feats in sports. Acing a hole is a golfer's ultimate dream, which requires great skill and lots of luck. Generally speaking, the odds of hitting a making an ace are one in 15,000.
One would expect that professional golfers have the advantage over the average player, in that their skill level puts the ball nearer the hole more often. A professional golfer has a 1 in 3,000 chance of a one-shot hole. LPGA golfer Michelle Wie has six hole-in-ones in her eight-year career.
Among PGA players, Hal Sutton and Robert Allenby each have 10 career aces. Well down the list of golfers are Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, both with three hole-in-ones. Including non-PGA events, however, Nicklaus has 20 and Woods has 18.
It seems unfathomable, then, that Norman Manley from California has carded 59 aces in his lifetime. You read it correctly: 59. Making that feat even more amazing, his first ace did not happen until he was 40 years of age. If you are an avid Peanuts comic strip follower, you may have read Snoopy, with no aces to his credit, requesting that Mr. Manley send him one since he had so many.
Well Snoopy, do not give up! Elsie McClean was 102 years of age when she holed out in one shot on a 100-yard par three hole. Conversely, there is 5 year old Matthew Draper who aced a 122-yard par three.
The golf ball is 1.68 inches in diameter, and the hole is 4.25 inches in diameter. The distance from the tee box to the hole varies, as illustrated above. The longest hole in one was made by Robert Mitera from Nebraska on a 444-yard par four. Wow.
What word would you use to describe it: luck, fluke, miracle, good fortune? While I am a man of strong faith, I do believe luck happens. I have a single hole in one, and though it was a perfect shot, it was neither planned nor duplicated, and I doubt that God reached down and directed that ball into the hole for my good pleasure.
In much of life, however, luck has little to do with success or good will. In a Facebook post recently a friend commented on a picture of her brother and his wife, "You are lucky to have each other," and that may be true. However, when a person commits to live for Jesus Christ, daily seeks God's will for life, and is in the habit of praying about life decisions such as careers, relationships, health, and daily needs, I would say that person is blessed rather than lucky.
I prayed for my wife long before I ever met her; that God would lead me to someone who would fit His plan for my life and for hers. We are celebrating 40 years of marriage this year, and our mutual commitment to each other and to God has never been in question. We are not lucky, we are blessed. Personally, I would rather rely on God than on luck no matter the circumstance -- and I do.