Adam Northrop can claim something that no one else has achieved during the first two years since the opening of an Egg Harbor indoor golf facility.
Playing with friends in a competitive, 12-person, Wednesday-night men’s league, Northrop recorded a hole-in-one. Using an 8-iron, he aced the 128-yard 14th hole while his team played on a virtual version of Robert Trent Jones’ Silver Lakes course.
Leslee Perlee, owner of Golf ’n More In-Door, said it’s the first ace – whether in recreational or competition play – at her indoor golf facility.
“It’s very rare,” she said of tee shots going in the cup in indoor golf.
Northrop said he had never had a hole-in-one on an outdoor golf course and added that it was fun to get an ace during league play, with friends and fellow competitors there to witness it.
Sometimes golfers knock a tee shot in the hole but cannot see the ball go into the cup. But that wasn’t the case for Northrop. The video followed the ball in flight and zoomed to the green, where he saw the ball land, bounce twice and go into the hole.
Northrop said “it doesn’t matter to me” whether some golf purists wouldn’t think it was a genuine ace. He said if anyone asks him whether he’s ever had a hole-in-one, he would tell them yes, during indoor golf league play.
Northrop said he doesn’t play as much as he would like. He said his handicap hovers around 15, and some of the guys in his indoor league in Egg Harbor and summer league at The Orchards typically shoot par or have handicaps around 1 or 2 – like his brother, Sam.
Indoor Golf Interest Grows
Perlee said she had good crowds for morning, afternoon and evening leagues in 2021, and that continued this year. It’s also been busier with individuals and groups showing up spontaneously for a round of golf and for special occasions – bridal parties, for instance, have rented a room for drinks, games and golf while getting ready for weddings.
The crowds thin during the summer, but on rainy weekends and holidays, Perlee’s phone starts ringing at 6 am.
Yours truly found the Egg Harbor indoor facility excellent for a winter warmup prior to vacation golf in Arizona. Unlike early versions of indoor golf setups, Golf ’n More In-Door’s technologically advanced equipment doesn’t misread a draw as a push, or a fade as a dead pull. Almost-instant feedback provides valuable information on launch and clubface angles, backspin, sidespin and carry. Topped shots and flop shots fool the machine, but nobody wants the first of those, and there’s no value in the latter while hitting off a mat.
A Rare Feat Anywhere
We didn’t find stats for indoor-golf probabilities, but the odds of getting an ace on any given par-three on an indoor course may resemble the on-course likelihood. National Hole in One Registry says average golfers have a 12,000-to-1 chance of sinking their tee shot, and low-handicap players have a 5,000-to-1 chance. Only 14% of golfers who’ve recorded an ace repeat the feat during their lifetimes, according to nationalholeinoneregistry.com.