The National Hole-In-One Registry claims a hole-in-one is scored once every 3,500 rounds of golf played.
Wayne Lauerman, a 63-year-old Clearview resident and general contractor, plays two rounds a week as a member of Mukilteo’s Harbour Pointe Golf Club. That’s 104 rounds per year.
So accomplishing what Lauerman achieved in a one-month span last May-June would be what statisticians refer to as a statistical anomaly.
Lauerman hasn’t been playing the lottery, but he’s considering it.
Sure, the odds of claiming a fortune by hitting on six lottery numbers are longer than sinking a hole-in-one, but how about two aces in a month?
“Obviously you have to have some skill,” said Lauerman, when asked how he explains making his second- and third-career holes-in-one in a 32-day span. “But it comes down to plain, good old-fashioned luck.”
That’s right. Lauerman — a Harbour Pointe member since 1991 who has been playing golf since he was 28 years old — hit a hole-in-one last May 22 only to meet Lady Luck once again on June 22 when he made another ace.
The two memorable shots in such close proximity is especially odd given Lauerman’s first hole-in-one came more than a decade ago in 2008. Sure enough, Harbour Pointe was responsible for that one, too.
“Hole-in-ones are rare, extremely rare,” Lauerman said. “There are some people I know who have played for 50 years and don’t have one.”
Lauerman’s odds of making a hole-in-one are a bit better than your average golfer. Lauerman is no slouch with a set of clubs. He’s been playing for more than 30 years, possess a 4.0 handicap index and has won five major tournaments at Harbour Pointe. The national registry lists hole-in-one odds at: 3,000-to-1 for a tour player, 5,000-to-1 for a low-handicapper and 12,000-to-1 for an average player.
Despite the countless rounds Lauerman has played, he said there’s no feeling quite like making a hole-in-one. He still fondly remembers his first — a par 3 from 139 yards out on Harbour Pointe’s No. 12 hole.
“I was playing with the assistant pro, and we all saw it go in,” said Lauerman, laughing. “He picked me up and carried me all the way around the tee box. The first one is the best one.”
Lauerman received the hole’s flag from the greens keeper and had it signed by his playing partner. He was getting ready this year to frame it on his wall in a shadowbox, Lauerman claimed, when he sunk ace No. 2 back on May 22.
That hole-in-one delivered a more subdued reaction.
“The one on (May) 22, the guys saw it go in, but my eyes are not as good.” Lauerman said. “The ball disappeared, and I had this blank look on my face. The other guys saw it go in and started celebrating. For 2-3 seconds, I was dumbfounded.”
Then came Lauerman’s most recent hole-in-one on June 22, a shot Lauerman knew right away found the bottom of the cup.
“The last one I could clearly see,” Lauerman said. “I saw it disappear, and it was pure celebration. The ball bounced forward and went into the front side. The other two (aces) sprung back into the hole and were harder to see.”
All three of Lauerman’s holes-in-one came on different Harbour Pointe par 3s. The shot on May 22 was on No. 16 (131 yards), and the shot on June 22 came on hole No. 7 (125 yards), along with his first on No. 12. That leaves Lauerman with one more par 3 to conquer — the club’s 155-yard member distance hole No. 3.
Lauerman did claim his hole-in-one proficiency has come during a personal hot streak. On June 22, his hole-in-one occurred during a career-low round of 67, good for 5-under par at Harbour Pointe.
Lauerman’s prize for his hole-in-one and career-best round? How about a $360 bar tab. For non-golf aficionados, it’s tradition to buy drinks after sinking a hole-in-one.
News moved fast at the close-knit golf club, and Lauerman joked that members were already ordering drinks before he made his way back to the clubhouse.
“Typically, a lot of guys are in the clubhouse before I finish,” said Lauerman. “We have marshals and they hear about it, or the group in front hears the commotion and sees the ball go into the hole. Harbour Pointe is an awesome men’s club. We have such a good group there.”
Between a career-best round and two holes-in-one, 2019 has been pretty kind to Lauerman. Perhaps winning the club’s players championship, one of the few accolades Lauerman hasn’t claimed at Harbour Pointe, is next on the docket. The odds certainly seem to be in his favor.