A rough estimate of an average Tour pro’s handicap is +5.4, but the hottest player in the world may very likely be a 2.5-handicap 40-year-old from southwest England.
Neil Watts is a lifelong golfer who went the first 35 years of his golf life without a single hole-in-one to speak of. However, since June of 2021, Watts has managed to find the bottom of the cup in one shot an amazing 11 times — 10 times on par-3s and once on a par-4.
“It’s unbelievable. The shock of when you do it the first couple of times is immense,” Watts told The Sun. “As it goes on, people just kept asking — have you got one today? And the answer was often yes. It got a bit embarrassing.”
According to the National Hole-in-One Registry, the odds of a Tour player hitting a hole-in-one are 3,000-to-1, while for average players they are 12,000-to-1. The odds of hitting 11 in six months is estimated to be in the billions-to-1.
British amateur golfer Neil Watts is very much the world’s go to hole-in-one guy at the moment — he’s hit 11 aces in the last six months. https://t.co/cTUx2plZiF
— Strawberry NG News (@StrawberryNG) January 21, 2022
While Watts’ first 10 aces came during his normal twice-per-week rounds, he hit his 11th during a television interview with British broadcaster ITV in December.
As any golfer knows, the euphoria of hitting an ace can be subdued by the time you check your bank statement a day or two later. Given the (absolutely ridiculous) tradition that the ace-hitting golfer buys drinks for everyone at the bar, Watts said his run of holes-in-one has changed his approach to post-round drinks, especially after his first two put a significant dent in his net worth.
“When I did it the third time, I learned I had to put the key in the car and actually get out pretty quick after I got back (to the clubhouse),” Watts said. “Otherwise, it’d cost you an absolute fortune to (keeping doing it).”
How long can the run last? Who could say, but Watts says the key to hitting holes-in-one is simply believing you can do it.
That seems simple enough, and as Watts has proven, maybe it is.