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.
Five hundred and thirty-four golfers 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 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 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.
Most aces were hit in the 125- to 150-yard sweet spot.
And for the real question: Where should you go if you want a hole in one this year? Here were the most commonly-aced holes in Minnesota in 2015.
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 email to email@example.com). 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, look up individual courses and golfers here.
UPDATE: This post has been edited since original publication after we found four duplicate records in our database. All charts and maps have also been updated to reflect those changes. --CJ Sinner
Data Drop is a weekly feature that uses data analysis and visualizations to explain, surprise, inform and entertain readers on topics relevant to Minnesotans. Do you have an idea you'd like us to explore? Contact MaryJo Webster