NCG's Golf Glossary: What is an ace?

The Scoop

Don’t know your dormies from your doglegs? NCG’s Golf Glossary is here to help

Here at NCG we pride ourselves on being the publication for the everyday player, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to delve into the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

Sometimes the most obvious terms have the most interesting story, so you might find yourself an interesting conversation starter…

What is an ace in golf?

An ace is another term for a hole-in-one – a score of 1 on any given hole.

You are most likely to get an ace on a par 3 as they are the shortest holes and give golfers the opportunity to aim for the hole with their first shot.

However, an ace on a par 4 happens occasionally and there are a few par-5 aces on record.

How would you use it in a sentence?

“My first ace was on the par-3 10th at Golf Club Girona in 2012.”

ace in golf

What the origins of the word ace as a golf term?

It is believed the word ‘ace’ to describe a hole-in-one originates from its use in other games: The ace in a deck of cards represents ‘1’ and is the highest-ranking card, while the side of a die with one dot is an ace, and a domino with one dot is an ace.

The term is believed to have been coined in the 1920s.

Any other business?

If you get an ace, tradition stipulates that following your round you must buy a drink for everyone in the clubhouse.

This can be an expensive affair, and golf insurance companies actually offer cover for your looming bar bill, though most people are so happy with their achievement that the bar bill is little sacrifice.

In professional tournaments, it is quite often to see high-end prizes – usually a car – if a player holes out from the tee.

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