Beating the 26 million to 1 odds: Two Pocono area golfers hit back-to-back hole-in-ones
06 Oct 2015
George Litz, left, and Ed Bragger each shot a hole-in-one <br>on No. 3 at the Pocono Farms CC <br>Photo courtesy of Pocono Record
George Litz, left, and Ed Bragger each shot a hole-in-one
on No. 3 at the Pocono Farms CC
Photo courtesy of Pocono Record
Stroudsburg, Penn. (Oct. 6, 2015) -- Two area golfers showed no handicap when they rolled up to a par-3 tee and shot back-to-back hole-in-ones recently.

George Litz, of Cresco, and Ed Bragger, of Stanhope, N.J., pulled off the feat on the third hole at the Pocono Farms Country Club, a course designed by golfing legend and 1959 Masters Champion Art Wall, who recorded a record 46 aces — or hole-in-ones.

“George hit the first one. I was still at the cart and one of the players in our group said that they thought George’s ball went into the hole while the other said he thought it went behind the hole,” said Bragger, 72.

“Me, my eyesight isn’t really good so I didn’t know exactly where my ball went and when we got up to the greens we started to look for my ball,” he said.

That’s when the miracle at Pocono Farms was discovered.

“We saw both balls in the hole,” Bragger said. That the men were playing in the same foursome made the feat all the more stunning, said Pocono Farms golf professional Kyle Monahan.

“It’s unbelievable, incredible to have something like that happen here at my club and the fact that they were in the same group and immediately after one of them got a hole-in-one the other followed right away with a hole-in-one is really amazing,” Monahan said.

The third hole has a 133 yard distance and is a par 3 that runs downhill and overlooks a lake and the clubhouse.

“The same day, the same grouping and back to back, you simply cannot write that or make that up,” Monahan said.

Golf Digest, which has been tracking aces for more than six decades, described just how nearly impossible the achievement is for both professional and amateur golfers.

Golf Digest noted that there are 150,000 holes-in- ones per year from an estimated 490 million rounds of golf.

The hole-in-one odds for a pro golfer are 2,500 to 1 and 5,000 to 1 for those who play with a low handicap.

For amateur golfers, the odds of an ace are 12,500 to 1. However, what Litz and Bragger pulled off is likely never to happen again.

The odds for two amateur golfers in a foursome to strike an ace in the same hole are 26 million to 1. The odds are 1.3 million to 1 for two amateurs making an ace in the same round.

“I wish I had a buck on those odds,” Bragger said. What he and his friends did have was a pool that they’d pour money into. They’d agreed that the first person to hit an ace would receive the cash in the pool, which amounted to $400.

“George is such a magnanimous guy and he was first to get the hole-in-one because I shot after he did,” said Bragger, a retired operations manager at Verizon. “But, he split the pot with me and we bought a round of drinks for everyone.”

Monahan said the club plans to mark the historic occasion at a later date.

Bragger said he’s still speechless.

“I had just one ace back in 2009 so this was my second,” he said. “I made my wife treat me like a king for the rest of the week. It was so special and especially for George and I to do this in the twilight of our golfing is really great.”

By Stacy M. Brown For the Pocono Record
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