In 1999 Golf Digest reported that "One insurance company puts a PGA Tour player's chances of hitting a hole-in-one at 1 in 3,756 and an amateur's at 1 in 12,750."
A 2000 Golf Digest study stated the odds of two players from the same foursome acing the same hole is 17 million to one.
The study neglected to find the odds of two people from the same foursome, who are married to each other, acing the same hole four years apart. An educated guess would have the odds pretty high, but not impossible as Beth and Kevin Wroolie of Baxter proved.
On June 15 during the Camp Confidence Golf Classic at the Legacy Courses at Cragun's in East Gull Lake, Beth lined up her tee shot. The pin was tucked behind a bunker on the 78-yard, par-3, ninth hole of Bobby's Course. The shot called for a wedge over water. With an elevated tee, Beth played the hole shorter than the suggested scorecard length.
Kevin and Beth Wroolie stand by the ninth-hole sign of Bobby's Course at the Legacy Courses at Cragun's. The couple both shot their only holes-in-one on that hole with both happening during major fundraising tournaments: Kevin's during the 2003 Chamber event and Beth's at this year's Camp Confidence Classic.
"It was during a scramble and we already had two balls that were three feet away so I just wanted to get it up there," said Beth, a 46-year-old teacher at Forestview Middle School in Baxter. "It was fun because it was an elevated tee so I could watch the ball go in. It landed below the pin, I suppose about three or four feet and curved right in."
Wroolie screamed and threw her arms up. She couldn't believe her luck. It was her first hole-in-one in more than 20 years of playing golf. Wroolie coached the Brainerd Warrior girls' team for nine years. She was once a member at the Brainerd Country Club. She's played her share of golf, but her first hole-in-one came on the very hole her husband aced four years earlier for his lone career hole-in-one.
"I told her to play the hole like it was 50 yards because of the elevation difference," said Kevin. "It bounced and went right in the hole.
"It's interesting because the hole wasn't an official hole-in-one hole. The insurance company won't allow it to be because it's too short. They didn't have anything for Beth. She did end up getting a gift certificate from the Legacy clubhouse."
Four years ago Kevin won three sleeves of golf balls for his hole-in-one during the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce tournament.
It was Kevin's 40th birthday and he was playing with Pete Mogensen for Team Integra, for which Wroolie is director of sales. He said the pins for both aces were in identical spots, the front right of the green tucked behind a bunker.
"I hit the green and it rolled toward the cup and went in," said Kevin, 43. "Beth's was kind of the same except hers came in from a different angle so she didn't have to deal with the bunker as much.
"Now we have identical plaques at home."
Beth's ace is the first in the 34-year history of the Classic, the largest fundraiser Camp Confidence hosts. With more than 300 people playing in the tournament it was hard to keep the ace quiet and even harder to stick with tradition and buy everyone at the clubhouse a beverage.
"When I hit my ace it was my 40th birthday so I was telling everyone that they had to buy me a birthday drink so we just called it even," said Kevin. "Thankfully, we didn't have to buy the whole place a drink but there were a few people that held us to it.
"Another nice thing was we won a skin on that hole so that paid for the drink fund. It didn't take long for that money to go."
Beth described the ace as one of those things she'll never forget. She said the timeline of events leading up to the ball going into the hole are etched in her head.
What's hard to get around anyone's head is the probability: Exact same hole as her husband's only ace. Both holes-in-one came during a major lakes' area fundraising tournament. Beth's was the first of her career and the first of the Classic's history.
"When you think of all the golf holes in this area and what the chances are of just getting one it makes it kind of funny to get one on the same hole as your husband," said Beth. "I told him I was tired of him bragging about his."
Hole-in-one facts: So far this season there have been 32 aces on lakes area courses that have been reported to the Dispatch. Of those one other person has aced Bobby's 9th.
Denny Martin of Brainerd is believed to be the area's high amateur with 10 holes-in-one during his long golf career. None have come at the Legacy.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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