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How to (Actually) MAKE a Hole in One

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

When the best in the world take aim on a Par 3 you better believe they are ready for a Hole in One. Ready can mean a couple things and after watching young superstar Cameron Young make and ace on Friday during the second round of the US Open, I thought what better time to discuss how to prepare for golf’s most special occasion.
There are three keys to making sure your first or next hole in one experience is your best. It sounds a little high on the expectation chart to believe one is coming soon but believe it or not the men you are watching on television at The Country Club surely know their next ace is just around the corner.
Step 1: Get a Celebration Read
The odds of an amateur making a hole in one are 1 in 12,000. That does sound steep but guess what they happen every day all over the country. Why can’t that person be you? Here’s the thing, when it does happen for you, it pays to be ready. By thinking in your mind of how you would handle the moment you are sharpening your focus. By truly believing it will occur, you start the process of reaching your goal.
Step 2: Have a Par 3 Plan
Most players don’t realize that every Par 3 hole you play is an opportunity for golfing immortality! Treat that tee box as a special place. When you get to a Par 3 tee, I want you to select the club with the thought of making it in mind.
I know that sounds obvious, but very rarely do amateurs think on their approach shots about holing out. Look at the landscape, if it were to go in, how would the ball get there. Play every detail of the ace in your mind as you select the best club. Never wing it on a Par 3 tee.
Step 3: Take Dead Aim
Recite to yourself on every Par 3 tee shot the same the same four words, “This can go in.” When you practice on the range select very specific targets and try to hit them. By learning to dial in your eye, you won’t believe how much your proximity will increase. Players seldom select small targets.
By incorporating this new mindset into your practice, you really won’t believe the results. Amateurs always swing with little thought about where they really want to go. Talk to yourself on the tee and your self-belief will increase.
I have watched more than a dozen hole in ones in my lifetime go in. I always get the group talking about it on every Par 3 tee. I love planting that thought in a player’s mind. Instantly, I see their faces brighten up and their focus intensify. I remember one example where we had three holes in during one tournament at the club. Two men in the same group made an ace on different holes. Coincidence, I don’t believe so. Once the other three saw the ball go in, they started to believe it could happen. Lo and behold it did.
If you want to increase your chances of making that hole in one board at the course, then start following these steps. Start getting prepared for that iconic moment today!