August 4, 2017
The Boland Bet - Should I or Shouldn't I?
TERRA ALTA, WV — As loozers flock to the website to make their annual trip selections, there is always one bet that most people agonize over, the Boland Bet. Many years ago, Boland asked aloud, "how is it possible that not everyone pars hole #1?" And he had a point, on paper, this is the easiest hole on the course. A short par 4 that only measures 282 yards; a hole that is straight down hill from the tee; a hole that has very little trouble to the right; and a green that is relatively flat. To back up his point, Boland can easily point to his own performance on this hole. Boland has managed to score par or better on the first hole at Alpine Lake an amazing 20 times out of the 28 individual times he has played the hole. That is 71.43% of the time, the best percentage of any loozer to ever play this hole, with an average score of 4.21.
However, since 2001, 60 different loozers have teed up on hole #1 for a grand total of 770 rounds. A score of par or better has only been obtained a total of 280 times, or 36.36% of the time. Now, one would think that since Boland has performed so well on the first hole, that he is also the leader when it comes to his 4.21 scoring average, but that distinction goes to Kyle Alford at 4.17. It should be noted that Alf has only played the hole 6 times, scoring par or better 4 of those times. Boland is also only 2nd with his 20 times of scoring par or better. The top spot in this category belongs to Founding Father Eric "GStan" Kaniecki, scoring par or better 21 out of 30 times, 70% of the time. This helps explain why Boland is so eager to get people to make this bet with him. Out of the 60 loozers to play the hole, only 18 have recorded par or better more than 50% of the time, but 5 of those have only played 2 rounds, including Darin Cross and Matthew Bok, who know, the guy that walked out in the middle of Day 2.
So why should anyone participate in the bet? Because everyone has captured lightning in a bottle at some point. In the history of Golfapalooza, only 11 loozers have never scored par or better on #1, but only 1 of those loozers is an active loozer. That distinction belongs to someone that has failed to score par or better in 20 tries, that man, none other than Brian "Chef" Watson.
So when you come to the Boland Bet option, choose yes. While the odds may not be in everyone's favor, just remember that everyone, except Chef, has made par before. And if you do not make par, remember that a Boland flush with cash will easily give it back to you at the poker table, on the cornhole boards or in a 20 yard dash at 3am in the morning.