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From Tom Brady to Paige Spiranac, here’s how the universe reacted to Jersey Jerry’s hole-in-one saga

January 04, 2024

Unless aliens just beamed you back to earth following a 36-hour abduction, you’ve no doubt witnessed the incredible hole-in-one saga of Jersey Jerry. On Wednesday, the Barstool Sports personality and hobbyist golfer stepped up into a simulator bay and started firing 87-yard darts into a virtual recreation of Pebble Beach’s 7th hole. For the rest of the day he remained there, swinging away until his body could swing no more. He slept on an air mattress in front of the screen as thousands tuned into the live YouTube stream. Then he woke up Thursday morning, shuffled to the bathroom and started swinging again.

By now everyone from Tom Brady to Max Homa to Turtle from ‘Entourage,’ we’re watching transfixed; horrified as shot after shot after buzzed the tower but refused to land. Finally, on his 2627th stroke, 37 hours, two minutes and 11 seconds after he first began, Jerry’s digitally rendered ball found the bottom of the metaphysical cup and the world exploded like it was New Year’s Eve all over again.

As you can see, the outpouring of support from the sports world (and beyond) approached Tiger-Woods-at-the-2019-Masters levels of ubiquity. But why? What made a guy in basketball shorts standing in front of projector screen repeating the same motion over and over and over again until he collapsed from exhaustion so damn captivating and, dare we say, inspiring? The answer is simple:

Because making a hole-in-one is hard. Next to impossible really. It requires patience, luck, skill and then another heaping dose of luck. When we crunched the numbers a few years back, we calculated the average golfer has 12,000-to-1 odds of making a hole-in-one, requiring approximately 54,000 holes (!) to accomplish the feat. Using our How Do You Compare? interactive data system, we further found that from 75-100 yards, a 20 handicap averages a distance of 39’1” to the pin. It doesn’t take a fancy algorithm to know that's not in the ballpark of a hole-in-one. It’s on an entirely different continent.

That’s why people—even very famous, successful people—came out in droves to cheer Jerry on. They saw a reflection of their own janky swings and gut-wrenching near misses in his journey and couldn’t help but pull for him. Say what you want about whether it counts or doesn't or blah blah blah. That's beside the point. Golf will always be a game of moments—one pure contact with the driver, one memorable birdie—and this was a hell of a moment.