What Are the Odds of This Four of a Kind?

Left to right: Dan Gilbertson, Patty Gilbertson, Belinda Zelinger, and John Zelinger

John Zelinger

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, proved to be a historical day for four PebbleCreek residents with somewhat average golfing skills. They achieved something statistically more difficult than a hole-in-one. All four players in the same group birdied the same hole. Dan and Patty Gilbertson and John and Belinda Zelinger found the par 4, number 7 hole on Tuscany Falls West Course a bit more rewarding than usual.

While standing at the Blue Tee box after Dan smacked his drive into the desert on the left, his only thought was of salvaging par. John was next to go, and he hit a screamer right down the right center of the fairway. He was amazed as a shot like that certainly was not the norm for him. From the Red Tee box, Belinda blasted her ball just off the fairway, and short of the bunker on the right. Patty had a solid shot up the left side fairway.

Dan went first on his second shot and was able to strong-arm it from the desert to the Bermuda grass, a mere 21 yards from the pin. Belinda left her chip pin high, but about 15 feet to the right of the cup. Patty left her chip 8 feet short of the cup, and John left his about 9 feet short. Seeing Dan was still off the green, he went first on his third shot. And yes, you guessed it. After a brief moment in the air and about 20 feet of roll, Dan dropped that ball smack dab in the middle of the cup (birdie #1). You could hear “Birdie, we’re drinking” ringing throughout Maricopa County. However, they were not finished yet. They still had three more on the green all sitting 2. Belinda was up first and with nerves of steel, she knocked down her 15-foot bender (birdie #2). Like the kind you see on the golf highlights on ESPN. And the cheers started up again. Once the pandemonium subsided, John gave his putt a look, took a deep breath and gave the ball a run up and into the cup (birdie #3). Without much delay, Patty lined up her putt, saw what she liked, brought back the hammer and calmly rolled the ball into the cup for birdie #4.

Although most people would think this feat is less exciting than getting a hole-in-one, and it probably is, the odds of the average golfer getting a hole-in-one is 1 in 12,500. Four average golfers in the same group getting a birdie on the same hole is 1 in 1.68 million. It is pretty phenomenal if you look at it that way. It’s days like this that always keep them coming back.