The chances of an average golfer making a hole-in-one are rather large: 12,000 to 1, in fact, according to the National Hole-In-One Registry. The odds of two people making back-to-back holes-in-one? A whopping 17 million to one.
But that’s just what happened on July 17th at Portland Country Club in Falmouth Forside, Maine, when Matt Parker and Travis Ferrante made consecutive aces on the 128-yard 4th. Of course, they had witnesses: their two playing partners, fellow members Greg Pirone and Dave Hanson.
Parker, a 34-year-old 18-handicap who has been playing golf off and on for about 20 years, was in a groove the first few holes thanks to a quick, slice-fixing video he watched online right before the round. He and Pirone were three up after three holes. With a gap wedge in his hand, Parker was the first to hit on the short but water-guarded 4th (pictured above).
"I hit this ball perfect, right off the right edge of the green,” he recalls. “The pin was about eight yards from the right side. It landed about three yards past the pin and rolled back and right in.”
Everyone went nuts, of course, and tackled Parker to the ground before Ferrante, a 31-year-old 10-handicap who’s been playing for most his life, stepped up to the tee. The odds of avoiding going four down weren't looking good. Using pitching wedge, he made a smooth swing and watched the ball fly straight at the flagstick. "It landed ten feet past the pin and rolled right into the back of the cup,” he says. No one could believe it. Everyone screamed and cheered out of utter disbelief. Nice halve!
Pirone missed a third hole-in-one by just two feet, while Hanson hit his ball on the left fringe.
Ferrante went on to shoot a 79 and Parker an 82—a career low—after shooting 36 on the front. “My game went back to normal on the back nine,” says Parker, on the right below.
With severe weather right off the coast, the foursome played quickly to make sure they finished their round and make if official. They saw a double rainbow later in the day. Says Ferrante: "It was a weird day.”
Lucky, really lucky, seems like a much better description.