The Records for Most Career Holes-in-One in Golf

Hal Sutton during the 2000 World Match Play Championship
Hal Sutton shares the PGA Tour record for most holes-in-one with 10 in official tournaments. Harry How/Getty Images

Scoring a hole-in-one is one of the biggest thrills in golf, for golfers of every skill level. It's also a feat that requires a lot of luck. But there's no question that the higher your skill level, the better your odds of making a hole-in-one. The first step in scoring an ace is putting your tee shot on the green, after all.

Would you believe that the golfer generally acknowledged as the all-time record-holder for most aces has more than 50 of them? It's true. Here is a look at that record, plus some of the records on the pro tours for career aces.

The All-Time Record for Most Holes-in-One: 51

Mancil Davis is generally recognized as the all-time record-holder with 51 career holes-in-one. We say "generally recognized" because there was an amateur golfer in California named Norman Manley who claimed to make 59 aces. Davis' 51 aces, however (unlike some of Manley's claimed aces) are almost all well-documented — one was even witnessed by Ben Crenshaw.

Davis has been a PGA of America member since 1974. Over his career, he served as director of golf at The Woodlands near Houston and at The Trophy Club near Dallas, among other stops. He briefly played on the PGA Tour. And many of his aces happened during tournament play. That includes the most recent of Davis' 51 holes-in-one, which happened during a celebrity golf tournament in 2007. Davis' first ace occurred in 1967.

In addition to his 51 career aces, Davis' record includes 10 career double eagles. (Double eagle odds are much higher than hole-in-one odds.) He has made a hole-in-one with every club except putter, sand wedge and pitching wedge. Davis has made five aces on the same hole (No. 2 at Odessa Country Club in Odessa, Texas),and has aced all four par-3 holes on one course (Trophy Club). And he made at least one hole-in-one per year from 1967-87. It's probably not a surprise that Davis' income as a golf professional included many personal appearances at tournaments and hole-in-one contests, billing himself as "The King of Aces."

Before Mancil Davis came along, the golfer usually called the hole-in-one record-holder was 1959 Masters champion Art Wall. Wall made 45 holes-in-one, a total that includes aces scored in every setting, whether official tournament rounds, friendly rounds or practice rounds. Many of the, however, were scored on one particular hole on his home course in Pocono Manor, Pa., , where he played a lot.

Tour Records for Most Holes-in-One

On the PGA Tour, the record for most career aces is 10, according to PGA Tour statisticians. That record is shared by Robert Allenby and Hal Sutton. Note that this, and the other tour records that follow, counts only those aces scored during official tournament play. These are the numbers of holes-in-one these golfers made in tour events.

Most PGA Tour Aces

Most LPGA Tour Holes-in-One

Most European Tour Aces

What About Nicklaus and Palmer?

Perhaps you noted the absence of the all-time great golfers from the PGA Tour list above. According to PGA Tour record-keepers, Jack Nicklaus made "only" three aces in official PGA Tour rounds. Nicklaus has made 20 holes-in-one overall (including all his practice and friendly rounds), according to Nicklaus' website. Arnold Palmer is also credited with three aces during official PGA Tour rounds, but Palmer had 19 holes-in-one across all settings. Other totals (among all rounds played, including friendly and practice rounds) are 19 aces for Gary Player and 18 for Tiger Woods.