Most holes-in-one come on par-3 holes, obviously. A few have even been scored on longer par-4 holes (making them double-eagles as well as aces). But has anyone ever aced a par-5 hole?
Yes, it’s happened at least several times – once even with a 3-iron! We’ll go over each of them below, but first let’s answer another question:
What Is a Par-5 Ace Called?
Hey, I’d just call it “a par-5 ace,” as in, “I just aced that par-5!” Because your golf buddies will freak out.
But, technically speaking, a hole-in-one on a par-5 is a score of 4-under par, so it could be called a “double albatross” or a “triple eagle.” Those just sound goofy, though.
So, sticking with the avian theme of golf’s scoring terms (birdie, eagle, and albatross), a par-5 ace is called a condor.
The Longest-Known Hole-in-One
Sixty-percent of the par-5 aces we know about happened on holes with severe doglegs, or even horseshoe-shaped holes, that allow a golfer to cut the corner. But not the longest-known hole-in-one. It happened on a mostly straight par-5 hole.
On July 4, 2002, a golfer named Mike Crean teed off with a driver on the 517-yard No. 9 hole at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver, Colo. And not only – in the high, thin air of the “Mile High City” – did he drive the green, but when he and his playing companions reached the green, his ball was in the hole.
We said the hole was “mostly” straight: It did have a slight dogleg, but not the type that could remotely explain an ace on a par-5.
It should be noted that nobody actually saw the ball roll into the hole. They discovered the ball in the hole when they got to the green. Crean was a 4-handicapper at the time, he was using a Callaway Big Bertha driver, and he and his three playing partners swore affidavits attesting to the hole-in-one.
It is recognized by the U.S. Golf Register, a hole-in-one clearinghouse.
Another Straight Par-5 Ace
On July 4, 1973*, Dick Hogan (no relation to Ben) aced the par-5, 456-yard No. 8 hole at Piedmont Crescent Golf Course in Burlington, N.C. At the time, Hogan was a scratch golfer playing college golf at North Carolina State. One of his playing partners later became a golf professional at Southern Pines Golf Club in Pinehurst, N.C.
However, Hogan, he told a newspaper in 2013, has never been 100-percent convinced it was a legitimate ace. There is no evidence it wasn’t, he just always wondered if someone could have played a practical joke on him. (If they did, it’s never been admitted.)
‘Cut the Corner’ Aces on Par-5s
Since almost nobody – even with today’s supercharged equipment – can hit a 500-yard drive (at least not without help – high tailwind, at altitude, etc.), the best place to look for par-5 aces are on those par-5 holes that are severe doglegs, or are even a bit horseshoe-shaped. On such holes, an intrepid long-hitter can attempt to cut a corner or clear trees or other hazards in order to go straight at the green, rather than playing around the dogleg in a normal fashion.
There are three holes-in-one on par-5s known to have been made by cutting the corner:
- The first-known ace of this nature occurred in 1962 by a golfer named Larry Bruce. Bruce, hitting driver, played over a stand of pine trees in order to go directly at the green, rather than playing up the hole and then around the dogleg. His ball found the green and the cup. It happened on the No. 5 hole at Hope Country Club in Arkansas. The hole was 480 yards if played around the dogleg.
- The golfer who aced a par-5 using a 3-iron was Shaun Lynch, playing at Teign Valley Golf Club in Christow, England, in 1995, on the 496-yard No. 17. According to a 2004 article in Golf World magazine, Lynch aimed straight toward the green on a horseshoe par-5, clearing a 20-foot-high hedge, then hitting a downslope on the other side. The downslope carried his ball to the green and into the cup.
- In 2007, another hole-in-one on a par-5 dogleg happened, this time in Australia. The golfer was Jack Bartlett, and on Nov. 2, 2007, he teed up on the 17th hole at Royal Wentworth Falls Country Club in New South Wales. The hole measured 511 yards around the dogleg, but Bartlett cut the corner.