The chances of two players from the same foursome acing the same hole are 17 million to 1, according to a report in Golf Digest.
Well, the odds were in favor of two buddies, May 20, at Ryder Golf Course as they took part in a gangsome.
Mike Fradel, 74, and Lance Fragale, 62, each sank holes-in-one on the 16th hole. Their golf partners were Rafael Martinez and Ernie Reed.
Fradel went first, closing 150-yards with one accomplished swing.
“I hit the shot I wanted to with a 6-iron and I felt that I slung very good and I put it about five feet on the right side of the pin. I know it rolls left and I watched it roll towards the hole and it disappeared,” said Fradel, an Air Force veteran who has been playing golf since he was a 14-year-old teenager growing up in Detroit.
But, Fragale was not to be outdone.
Fragale, also an Air Force veteran, had pretty much given up on the game, said Fradel.
Yet, fate had other plans.
Fragale stroked a 4-hybrid and it landed on the green before rolling perfectly into the hole.
“I was pretty much stunned because Mike had just put one in and I hit right behind him,” said Fragale, who has been playing golf for nearly 20 years ago.
Over the years, his admiration for a player like Phil Mickelson and respect for non-professionals who play the game has grown, all the while, learning as much as he could about the game.
“I learned the game on my own. Some of the better players I played with taught me a few things, but I haven’t taken any actual lessons,” Fragale said.
One lesson that he could perhaps learn from Fradel is to never give up. Fradel usually scores around 77. He has had prior experience with holes-in-one — he sank two aces at Dover Air Force Base in the early 80s.
Fragale’s score normally ranges between 86 and 95, but scoring is not primary reason he plays golf.
“It’s always different. Every game, every shot to me is different,” he said. “If you like competition, golf is good for that and it can be addictive once you try it.”
Why does Fradel keep returning to the game?
“Golf is a crazy game and we’re crazy to play it,” he said.
There are choice words for the trees you hit, getting stuck in a sandtrap, hitting a brand new ball in a waterhole and bemoaning the foursome who plays the hole ahead of you, but a true golfer can’t give up the game.
Fradel said, “At the end of the day, when you put your head on the pillow and you start to think maybe if I open my stance a lil’ bit and slow that backswing down, and then you go to sleep and you see yourself hitting that perfect shot.”
For Robert Taylor, the head golf professional at Ryder, the odds of seeing two back-to-back aces may be few and far between, so he remains impressed with the feat.
He said by email, “In all of my years in and around golf, I have never heard of such a feat like this. Odds are that I will never see another feat like this one here at Ryder Golf Course in my tenure.”