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Richmond fifth-grader gets a hole-in-one, then does it again 10 days later

Richmond fifth-grader gets a hole-in-one, then does it again 10 days later

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Some golfers go their whole life without achieving a hole-in-one.

Evan Young had two in an 11-day span. Also, he’s only 10 years old.

The first came Sept. 10 during casual play, on the 144-yard seventh hole at Independence Golf Club. The second was during a Sept. 20 VSGA junior golf circuit event at First Tee of Greater Richmond, on the 138-yard fourth hole.

Young, who just started the fifth grade this fall, said the accomplishment felt “very good.”

“My favorite thing about golf is when you get a good shot, people will clap for you,” Young said.

Luck plays a significant, but not exclusive, part in getting an ace — anyone who is able to strike a golf ball off a tee for 150 yards, give or take, theoretically has a chance of making one.

“Obviously, a more skilled golfer is going to have a higher likelihood of hitting a hole-in-one,” said Greg Esterhai, the president of US Hole in One, an insurance company that offers prize payouts.

“Professionals, for instance, are said to have about a 1-in-2,500 chance on a standard hole. While an amateur, and there’s a pretty wide range of how good an amateur can be, generally there’s more of a 1-in-12,500 chance.”

Calculating the odds of Young’s holes-in-one isn’t an exact science, but at his age and practice schedule, Esterhai placed the odds at around 1-in-825,000.

For comparison, the odds of getting struck by lightning in any given year are roughly 1-in-1 million. Winning a Mega Millions payout from the Virginia Lottery, unfortunately, carries odds of 1-in-302.6 million.

Young also plays travel baseball and basketball, but golf is a favorite and — according to his parents, Amy and Rich Young — the sport offers unique lessons for its young players.

“There are life lessons in golf,” Rich said. “He understands the importance of being honest and competitive at the same time. I think it teaches those lessons in ways other sports don’t.”

Amy noted the sport has been a great source of father-son time and said its slower pace also allows Young to socialize while out on the course. While Young is attending in-person school this fall, golf courses served as a safe outlet as the pandemic rattled standard summer plans.

Golfing three or four times a week, plus education, are both building toward Young’s next target. A big fan of the Oregon football, basketball and golf teams, Young said he hopes to become a Duck someday.

“My No. 1 goal is to play golf in college,” Young said.

Amy offered a slight modification: “His goal is to play for college, but his dream is to go pro.”

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