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Rolling Balls Yield More Aces

Ace Theory  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you agree or like my friend’s theory of aces?

    • Yes
      32
    • No
      5


64 posts in this topic Last Reply

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A friend of mine has a theory that higher handicap players are almost more likely to get a hole-in-one because their ball rolls far and thus has a higher chance of striking the flagstick or running across the hole than a better player who flies the ball to the hole, hops it once or twice, and then the ball quickly comes to a stop.

He says this explains why so many poorer players have so many holes in one. That and they always aim at the hole. ;-) I think his idea has some merit. Rolling covers more ground.

What do you think?

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I voted "no" simply because if the ball is rolling across the green, there is much more that could go wrong.  Spike mark, ball mark, slope, grain of sand, etc can all throw the ball off course.  With a one or two hopper there is much less influence and much of it depends on the spin.

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Seems right because a rolling ball covers more ground. The speed factor  might be minimized by the flag.

As far as high handicappers getting more holes in one, I have no idea how true that is and would probably guess it isn’t statistically correct. I’d think someone who consistently hits closer to the pin would have a higher percentage as there is always a little roll to those high shots.

As for my experience, I’ve never gotten much roll on my normal approach shots and have never gotten a hole in one, but that’s due more to how far from the flag my shots normally land.

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10 minutes ago, Grinde6 said:

I voted "no" simply because if the ball is rolling across the green, there is much more that could go wrong.  Spike mark, ball mark, slope, grain of sand, etc can all throw the ball off course.  With a one or two hopper there is much less influence and much of it depends on the spin.

I feel like you’re not understanding the point.

A rolling ball can go in anywhere along where it’s rolling. It covers so much more area where the hole is (in the ground).

Besides a spike mark (do those even exist anymore?) can also divert a ball into the hole.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

I feel like you’re not understanding the point.

A rolling ball can go in anywhere along where it’s rolling. It covers so much more area where the hole is (in the ground).

Besides a spike mark (do those even exist anymore?) can also divert a ball into the hole.

ahhh...you're correct, I wasn't reading it the right way.  Changed the vote to "yes", now it makes sense. 

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I think I've only ever seen a single hole in one, it landed about 6" behind the hole and spun back into it. All the near misses I've seen were very similar. On the other hand, a lady friend of my dad's had a hole in one that he witnessed, she hit a driver on a par 3 and it rolled basically the entire way and went in the hole. Personally, I think it takes a heck of a lot more luck to get one on the roll like that then to have it fly most of the way with a short roll. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if, numerically, more are made via the long roll like that.

Edited by Jeremie Boop

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I agree that a rolling ball has a better chance of being an ace, but disagree that a high handicap player has a better shot than a low one.

Not all par 3s are played with clubs that will hop and stop. Everybody's shot likely rolls at some point and better players put their shots closer to the pin when they are able to. There's a reason Tiger has so many aces.

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Just now, billchao said:

I agree that a rolling ball has a better chance of being an ace, but disagree that a high handicap player has a better shot than a low one.

Not all par 3s are played with clubs that will hop and stop. Everybody's shot likely rolls at some point and better players put their shots closer to the pin when they are able to. There's a reason Tiger has so many aces.

This. 

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5 minutes ago, billchao said:

but disagree that a high handicap player has a better shot than a low one.

I didn’t say that.

They have worse odds.

Of balls near the hole I think their odds are better but they hit so many fewer balls near the hole.

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I wonder how many hole in ones on the PGA Tour are the ball rolling in versus the ones that hop in or slam dunk.

I think a ball rolling has a higher chance of going in. Its probably not moving as fast as a ball that bounced. If a ball bounces into the flag, it probably has a higher chance of being deflected versus being helped if the ball is rolling. I vote yes.

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I think a high capper is also more likely to roll in due to the fact that they (we) tend to overestimate how far they (we) hit it, so under-clubbing severely and thinning it, they (we) are prolly rolling it in.

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I think that when a ball is in the air, it has a nearly non-existent chance of going in the hole, even when it strikes the flagstick squarely.  A rolling ball almost has to have a better chance.  

Having said that, I eagled our 12th hole last spring with a hybrid (180 yards, uphill, into the wind, over a tree) that apparently flew directly into the cup.  Its a blind second shot, but we heard the ball hit the stick (loudly), and we found no ball mark, no damage to the cup, it flew directly in, so that CAN happen.

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I don't know anything about getting a hole-in-one, but then I've only been playing for about 40 years.
So maybe I'll still get a chance to test this theory.

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8 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

(180 yards, uphill, into the wind, over a tree).

In the snow, with no shoes? Don't forget about having to whittle your own shafts....

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Yes,its pretty common sense.Rolling ball is on the ground longer and that's where a hole is located.Why do you think so many kids have had aces and older people haven't because they are hitting woods into the green low.I've had 2.First was a 3 iron that hit on front of green and rolled  straight line 15 yards into cup.2nd one was 9 iron that hit right at flag rolled couple inches in.

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Yes, I think a  rolling ball is more likely to go in the hole than one in the air. I also think the probability added is pretty negligible, so it's a small effect.

My personal theory on why poorer golfers seem to have more hole in ones than good golfers is that poorer golfers tend to play shorter par 3s. If a poor golfer plays a par 3 that's 130 yards and the better golfer plays that same par 3 from 170 yards, for example, I would expect the poor golfer to make more holes in one. Poorer golfers also tend to play more executive and par 3 courses where holes in one are more likely. When I was first starting in golf, and playing shorter tees, I had a lot of shots on par 3s that came really close to holes in one. That happens a more rarely now that I'm a better player and playing longer par 3s.

Edited by DeadMan

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My hole in one was very much a roller.  I hit a worm burner that was ugly as anything, but basically rolled the last bit of fairway, onto the green, and in the hole. 

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I voted Yes and agree that a ball rolling has a better chance.
Looking back at the many Ace's I have witnessed or the stories listened to, the majority roll in.
A small portion are great shots which spin back or check up and then drop.

Great shots often happen with a slam bang in the hole, while the more thrilling shots are those which roll to the hole and disappear.
 

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