Before the 2016 golf season tees off, let's look back at some Minnesota golf stats about the game's most exciting moment: the hole-in-one.
There were 538 golfers that reported to the Star Tribune hitting a hole-in-one on Minnesota golf courses in 2015, which we tracked from April 20 until the end of October last year.
Courses send us information on golfers who hit aces, including which hole and type of club. For years, we published this information in the newspaper only, but last spring, we decided to turn it into a spreadsheet and map it with a searchable database.
More than a third of the reported aces occurred at 15 courses — and Madden's on Gull Lake in Brainerd topped the list with 20 holes in one over those six months. Some other interesting discoveries:
•The most common club used? If you guessed 7-iron, you win.
•Many aces were hit in the 125- to 149-yard sweet spot, accounting for 183 of the 583 reported aces. Another 135 of them were between 150 and 174 yards. And 18 golfers on local courses muscled up with holes-in-one that registered longer than 200 yards.
•Caveats with this data: This is not all the holes-in-one hit in Minnesota last year — just the ones we know about. (Now is a good time for a reminder: If you hit a hole-in-one this summer, have the course send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org). And it stands to reason that more popular courses would have had more aces, but we don't have data on total rounds played per course.
If you really want to take a deep dive, find more information and look up individual courses and golfers on our expanded online feature at startribune.com/sports.