Back From Break and the Not-So-Dreaded-Nine-Putt: What are the Chances?

TheTeeSheet is back from a brief family break in the sunshine and a few rounds of golf while escaping the snowy northeast. This was the first tee shot faced after not teeing it up for several months: first hole at the White Witch overlooking Montego Bay, Jamaica.


Photo by Douglas Han 2.12.13 Montego Bay, Jamaica
Photo by Douglas Han 2.12.13 Montego Bay, Jamaica




Of course you should check out this group putt. How many takes you may ask?



We don't know how many takes this took and the description by the uploader doesn't say. Could it be the first take? Unlikely but not impossible and surely fewer than all those ridiculous long basketball shots on YouTube by the guys that look like they drink too much Mountain Dew.  


Let's assume the balls are about 18 inches apart and each guy got to practice their putt so as to groove their swing and line. Also assume the first three guys from 18 inches, 3 feet and 4.5 feet (third guy actually looks closer) will make it virtually every time because they have this putt grooved. So, that leaves six guys left with some chance of missing. Again, because they got to practice and beacuse they have their putt grooved (and they can actually just aim at the ball of the guy in from of them 18 inches away), let's give them pretty goods odd at making their putts, eg.


6 feet - 70%

7.5 feet - 65%

9.0  feet - 60%

10.5 feet - 55%

12 feet - 50%

13.5 feet - 45%


Again, these are good odds from these distance generally. However, we are assuming they picked a flat area, put the best putters further away and each guy practiced this putt. The percentages above would give them a .0338 chance of making it -- or about 1 in 30. If you were to improve each guy's chances 5% from the above, it brings the odds down to about 1/17. If you were to improve each guys chances 10% from the above, they would make this about 1/11 times. 


Tough but not impossible. Cool viedo anyway you look at it. Maybe we'll see a bunch of people try with variations. Consider some of the possibilities:


  • 10 people in a circle around the hole each from about 6 feet.
  • 10 putters in a circle around the hole spiralling out from 2 to 15 feet
  • 5 guys on each side of the hole (10 total) going at once a split second apart so the balls alternate


Let's go YouTube!



Douglas Han