Jun. 15—Gil Fritz watched his playing partner hit, then pulled out an old 9-iron, stepped to the tee Sunday on the sixth hole at Reading Country Club and swung.
Moments later the last player of the foursome, Tom Walker, used his gap wedge on the uphill par-3 that measured 95 yards from the shorter, silver tees.
“He hit what looked like a good-looking shot,” Walker said of Fritz, “and I hit mine and one of the guys in the group, Ernie Danneberg said: ‘I’ll bet that’s in. That’s right at it.’ “
Not a bad prediction, but what actually happened during the Silver Tee Partners event is nearly unimaginable.
When the foursome arrived greenside, they saw two white balls on the putting surface. And eventually discovered Walker’s yellow ball and another white one, which was Fritz’s, in the hole.
The odds of two golfers in the same foursome getting a hole-in-one on the same hole are approximately 17 million-to-1, according to the PGA of America.
For comparison, the odds of becoming an astronaut are 12.1 million-to-1, of becoming president 10 million-to-1, and of winning an Olympic gold medal 662,200-to-1.
“To see two balls in the hole at the same time is pretty amazing,” Fritz said. “It was a little startling to me.”
“The reaction was pretty much, ‘Well this is something I’ve never seen before,’ ” Walker said with a laugh. “I once had a hole-in-one and one of the other fellas in the group had one, but that was on a different hole. That’s pretty unusual, but two on the same hole, that’s unheard of.”
The group, which also included Bill Haas, who was paired with Fritz, determined from the ball marks that one hit about 6 feet short of the hole, the other about 8 feet short.
The ace was the third for Fritz, a 68-year-old Flying Hills resident.
“I’ve played a lot of golf,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of shots. I’ve hit a lot of bad ones lately, and it’s kind of well, you take it as it is. I wasn’t playing that great or anything. But it was fun. It was kind of amazing.
“I would’ve been a little more excited if I had played from 130 yards. Hitting a 9-iron is a lot different than me hitting a 6-iron.”
Walker, a 71-year-old Exeter Township resident, is the club historian at Reading Country Club, and his fifth career ace certainly is one that will go down in the club’s annals.
“Very cool,” Walker said of the accomplishment. “It was just a fun thing to have done. It was nice to share it with somebody.”