5 ways to increase your chances of getting a hole in one

Golf – the great leveller

Very few sports can boast that their pinnacle achievement is something almost anyone can achieve. Even at Sunday League level in football, it’s rare for the goalie to have ever scored; the amateur bowler who scores a century is unheard of; and as for a gymnast achieving a perfect 10 with anything other than years of training – dream on! Yet in golf, hole in ones have been recorded by amateurs, and even one or two lucky first-time players!

Of course, this ‘it could happen to you’ prospect makes it all the more tantalising when you’ve never known the joy of hearing a ball clunk into the cup off the first shot. Particularly if you know someone in your club who has had cause to celebrate – at Rudding Park alone 10 golfers recorded hole in ones last year. There’s obviously an element of luck involved in making a hole in one, but is there anything you can do to improve the likelihood of it occurring? Let’s take a look…

  1. Observe a superstition

    Given the need for luck in that perfect score, it seems almost logical to bring superstition into play! Many professional sportsmen have rituals and talismans they put their faith in, and golfers are no exception. You’ve no doubt observed Tiger Woods’ “Victory Red” shirts which he wears on a Sunday – something that began as compulsory when his school wore red on the final day and which he continues out of superstition. Nicklaus always plays with three coins in his pocket – it’s the magic number!

    Tiger Woods holding trophy



    Those who scoff at such measures might also be interested to know there’s an argument for following a superstition anyway. Having a pre-shot routine in place can help players to concentrate and remain calm – leading into this with the observance of a ritual that doesn’t directly relate to the conditions on the course can help to generate a feeling of control. So superstition can help you not just to achieve a hole in one, but benefit your game overall. Which leads me to…

  2. Improve your game

    Whilst luck certainly plays its part, it helps a great deal if your shot is going in the right direction in the first place!

    Bookmakers’ odds for the probability of someone attaining a hole in one decrease with skill level:

    • Amateur: 12,500 to 1
    • Low handicapper: 5,000 to 1
    • Professional 2,500 to 1

    Besides regular practice on the green, you can help your game along with some analysis. Here at Rudding Park, we offer access to Swing Catalyst, a system which combines data from pressure plates, a launch monitor and club measurement to generate reports and recommendations for improvements.

    Alternatively some players prefer the intense golf tuition offered by a residential golf school. This allows them to gain instruction which will help improve their game and gives them the time to implement it, with unlimited golf rounds and use of the driving range for all golf school members allowing players to foster good practice.

    A man is lining up a shot, as his tutor is crouched beside him helping him to correct his club position.

    Whether you’re seeking help from man or machine, make sure your tee-time doesn’t throw it all out…

  3. Pick your day

    Did you realise how much of an impact the weather can have on the flight of your ball? Both temperature and humidity can have an effect on air resistance and drag: warmer, saturated air will allow your shot to travel further. Add in a tailwind and you’ll find yourself yards ahead. That first shot will just drop into the hole!

    Rudding Park Golf lake in the snow

    However one key day in your life that could make all the difference is one you had no control over…

  4. Make sure you were born in Yorkshire

    Rectifying this may involve persuading your mum to travel in both time and space to help out, but for those who had the fortune to be born in God’s own county, here’s another benefit!

    BOSS Watches, in association with HowDidiDo, present golfers with an exclusive H1 Club watch when they record an official hole in one. In 2014 (the latest year for which statistics are available), more golfers from Yorkshire than any other county achieved this!

    If you’re a little stumped on this one, our last suggestion is a really easy way to increase the likelihood of hitting a hole in one…

  5. Play the par odds

    It might seem obvious, but you’re much more likely to get a hole in one on a par 3 hole: just as scoring an eagle is much more common than scoring an albatross or condor. At Rudding Park, the Hawtree Course has a range of par 3 to par 5 holes, whilst the Repton Short Course has only par 3 holes.

    Repton Short Course Sawgrass hole

So… follow these measures and you’re almost guaranteed to get a hole in one! You’ll join an elite club. Unfortunately you might also have to pay for a round of drinks at the clubhouse which can make it a pricey kind of glory. There are insurers who offer to indemnify you against this expense, or you could make sure the zenith of your golfing occurs on the Sawgrass hole of the Repton Short Course where a hole in one could net you £5,000* – enough for a round of drinks AND a trip to the Masters! Just make sure you enter the competition… to date three people who got the hole in one didn’t enter and missed out on thousands!

*Please note, since the time of writing, the competition has been discontinued

Interested in testing our formula out? Book a tee time online!