What Is An Ace In Golf?

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Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

If you are new to the world of golf, then you are new to the seemingly endless terms and sayings that come with the sport.

From “eagles” to “birdies” and “bogies” to “double bogies,” you can be forgiven for thinking some of these terms are a little random. However, each term or phrase is critical in the sport of golf and all hold important meanings.

what is an ace in golf

One such term is “Ace.” Also known as a “Ace hole in one,” an Ace is considered by many to be golf’s ultimate shot. Simply speaking, an Ace is essentially the golf ball being struck straight from the tee into the hole. 

Of course, achieving an Ace shot is pretty rare, but it does happen, and some players have an incredible track record of scoring them, such as Miguel Angel Jimenez who is the DP World Tour record holder with a whopping 10 Aces!

If you want to learn more about what an Ace is and how achievable these shots are, please continue to read on. We will cover everything from how an ace is scored and some tips on how to improve your chances of getting an Ace on the course.

What Is An Ace? 

An Ace in golf is basically when a golfer hits the golf ball directly into the hole from their tee-shot. Think of an Ace in a deck of cards. It is the top of the pack and typically the most valuable card.

Well, in terms of shots, an Ace is at the top of any golfing achievement, whilst on the course.

You may have heard of an Ace being referred to as a “hole in one,” most noticeably in the UK but whatever you call it, this shot brings immense joy to any golfer.

To mark the shot, it is written down as the figure “1” on the scorecard; something every golfer would love to see at least once in their career! 

There are some exceptions to the “tee to cup” scenario, however. By this, we mean that not all single shots from the tee to the hole are classified as “holes in one.” For instance, if the shot is achieved after the ball has been lost, it is not an Ace.

The same applies following a water hazard or an out-of-bounds shot. 

When Is An Ace Most Achievable? 

Although an Ace is a remarkable shot and very rare, it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve it. In fact, there are some circumstances that can give you a better chance of scoring an Ace.

One of the best chances to score an Ace is when playing on a Par 3 hole. This is because par 3 holes are generally shorter and can therefore be completed with a single shot.

All you need is accuracy and enough power to strike the ball so it reaches the tee cup and drops in with a single shot. Of course, it sounds easier than it actually is, especially when you have to combat various hazards along the hole. 

Can You Achieve An Ace On A Par 4 Hole?

what is an ace in golf

Scoring an Ace is most likely on a par 3 hole, as mentioned above. But, if you miss out on that hole, you can still score an Ace on a par 4. But, this has only ever been done once in the full history of the PGA Tour.

This occurred on the 17th hole in TPC Scottsdale at the 2001 Phoenix Open. American golfer Andress Magee struck the ball from the tee and it traveled all 332 yards into the hole with one single blow. 

Can You Achieve An Ace On A Par 5 Hole?

You may think it is very unlikely that you will score an Ace on a par 5 hole, but, yet again, this is possible. It’s mainly down to the shape of the hole, though.

If it is in the shape of a horseshoe or a dog leg, then the cup’s disposition will be closer to the tee. 

It’s also possible with straight holes, and this has been done by a number of professional golfers, including Mike Crean in 2002 on the 9th hole at Green Valley Ranch G.C. and Dick Hogan on the 8th hole at Piedmont Crescent Golf Course in Burlington in 1973.

In 2007, Jack Bartlett scored an ace on the 17th hole at Royal Wentworth Falls C.C. in New South Wales, but the hole had a dogleg shape. 

Can You Improve Your Chances Of Scoring An Ace? 

We will come clean and admit that scoring an Ace in golf requires a fair degree of luck. However, it also demands skill and the more skilled golfer you are, the better chance you have of achieving a hole in one.

As with anything in sport, the more you practice, the better you will become, and with this, the better chances you will have of scoring an Ace. If you’re playing on horseshoe or dogleg shaped holes, then you will have to overcome hazards and obstacles more often. 

A straight hole tends to require one very powerful shot to cover the entire distance, whilst horseshoe or doglegged shaped holes typically have hazards, such as water and bunkers to make it more challenging.

Therefore, you will require more accuracy and precision to navigate the gold call from the tee to the cup. Work on this over and over again, and you will stand a better chance of that elusive Ace shot.

In Summary

An Ace in golf is a score of 1 in any hole. In other words, it is when you drop the golf ball into the cup from the tee with one, single shot.

From Tiger Woods to Phil Mickelson, Aces have been scored throughout golf’s history with some players scoring more often than others. 

Keep practicing and playing and we’re sure you’ll get an Ace before too long.

Luke Griffin

Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

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