HEISER: York Township man beats astronomical odds with his single-year hole-in-one feats

  • York Township's Jon Strathmeyer has been golfing for four decades.
  • He did not get his first hole-in-one until Oct. 2, 2019, when he aced a par-4 hole.
  • Within the last few weeks, he's added two more holes-in-one on par-3 holes.
Jon Strathmeyer points to the ball in the hole after his most-recent hole-in-one at Bridgewater Golf Club.

This is a story that borders on unbelievable.

Jon Strathmeyer has been an avid golfer for about four decades. The 53-year-old York Township salesman has made himself into a pretty darned good player, too, carrying around a 4 handicap. He has a lifetime-low round of 68.

So he can hit it pretty good.

Until Oct. 2, 2019, however, he had never had a hole-in-one.

York County golfer achieves one of rarest feats in the sport — a hole-in-one on par-4 hole

When he finally earned that elusive ace, however, he did it in a very big way, using a driver to hole out on the 290-yard par-4 fourth hole at Bridgewater Golf Club.

It's estimated that the odds against getting a hole-in-one on a par 4 are 6 million to 1.

Jon Strathmeyer, center, and his wife, Karen, celebrate his most-recent hole-in-one with John Kemmerly, who also witnessed the feat at Bridgewater Golf Club.

Story gets better: That, alone, is pretty amazing stuff, but the story gets better.

Less than three weeks ago, on Sunday, Sept. 20, he got his second career ace at the Links at Gettysburg, using an 8-iron on the 155-yard par-3 third hole.

Then, less than a week ago, on Thursday, Oct. 1, Strathmeyer picked up his third career hole-in-one when he holed out on the 125-yard third hole at Bridgewater using a pitching wedge. His latest ace came just one day before the one-year anniversary of his first ace at Bridgewater, which is just a stone's throw from his residence.

Sequential ball numbers: Even more remarkable, all three aces came with a TaylorMade ball. The number on the first hole-in-one ball was No. 1. The number on the second hole-in-one ball was No. 2. And, you guessed it, the number on his third hole-in-one ball was No. 3.

Jon Strathmeyer holds the three TaylorMade balls he used for his three holes-in-one. The first ace was made with the No. 1 ball, the second ace was made with the No. 2 ball and the third ace was made with the No. 3 ball.

After he realized that number sequencing for his hole-in-one balls, Strathmeyer said: "I went out and played the lottery. I didn’t win, but what the heck."

Beating the odds: So, a better-than-average golfer didn't have a hole-in-one for the first four decades of his playing career. Then, in a 365-day span (2020 was a leap year), he got three aces, including one on a par 4.

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The odds against that happening have to be astronomical.

His wife, Karen, witnessed all three aces.

"I'm apparently his good-luck charm," said Karen, who only picked up the game in the last couple of years.

John Kemmerly also witnessed his most recent ace, while Erick Hartman and Rob Wingard witnessed his first-ever ace in 2019.

"I was stunned on getting both of (his most recent aces) in a week and a half," Jon said. "I couldn’t imagine it. Getting the opportunity to get three (aces) in one year is pretty amazing. ... Words can’t express the feeling."

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic gathering restrictions, Jon did avoid one expensive golf tradition. He didn't have to buy drinks for everyone.

Karen's turn? Now that Jon has gotten the hole-in-one monkey firmly off his back, he figures the next step in the Strathmeyers' golfing journey is pretty obvious.

It's Karen's turn.

"Jon, keeps saying to me that it’s your time next, you’re due," Karen said.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.