TRAVERSE CITY -- Sixty-seven million to one.
Grayling's Bob Hickey became the one on Thursday, making the impossible plausible with not just one -- but two holes-in-one -- during the same round at Marsh Ridge in Gaylord.
It all began on the 10th hole when the 66-year-old Hickey aced the 167-yard hole with a 7-iron. It was the first hole-in-one for Hickey, who has been playing the game of nearly 50 years.
Hickey didn't have to wait long for the second, acing the 147-yard No. 17 with an 8-iron.
According to Golf Digest, the odds of getting one hole-in-one is 5,000 to 1. For two in a round, it's 67 million to one.
"It was something," said Hickey, a long-haul trucker. "I think it was just pure luck, what else can you say.
"I told my grandsons it was practice, practice, practice because they were there and got to see it. That was kind of special."
Joining grandsons Jake, 16, Jordan, 12, and Logan Hickey, 10, was Bob's son, Mike Hickey.
Actually, there were more playing in what proved to be a lucky seven-some.
Because Marsh Ridge wasn't very busy, the large group was able to stay together while they played a scramble. Also teeing it up was Grayling's Fred Wolcott, Mike's father-in-law, and Hickey family friend Gary Goodenow.
Nobody that was in the group could believe what happened.
"He had a couple shots of his life," Mike Hickey said.
"The first one was unbelievable," Wolcott added. "Then to have him hit another one was out of this world. I've seen a lot of things, but I'd never thought I'd see that. Not only to have one hole-in-one, but to get another one on the same day, the same nine.
"We're not even that good of golfers. We're happy when we make it on the green."
Bob Hickey took that one step further, or closer as the case was on Thursday.
"It was the first time I ever, ever came close," he said. "I've had two eagles, but never a hole-in-one. I was never closer than a foot or two."
Mike Hickey, who grew up in Grayling and now resides in Butler, Pa., said his dad worked the ball back into the hole on the 10th.
"There was a little shadow behind the hole," Mike Hickey said. "It hit to the right and it just kept funneling back to the left. I had hit it about 10 feet away and thought, 'Hey, I've got this hole.'
"It kept going and going and then it disappeared. I said, 'Dad, I think you just got a hole-in-one' and he said, 'No, it's just in the shadow.' "
Upon arriving at the green, it turned out that Bob Hickey's golf ball was in the shadow ... of the cup.
"I looked at my son and said, 'Now I can die,' " Bob Hickey recalled. "I never thought I'd get another one."
While the 10th hole features an elevated tee, the 17th has an elevated green. So going down -- or up -- made no difference to Bob Hickey. Like his first ace a few holes earlier, he was unable to see the ball go in the hole with just one shot.
"The second one, we didn't see go into the hole," Bob said. "When we get up to the green, we're looking for my ball because I knew I hit the green. My grandson (Logan) went up to the hole and started jumping up and down, saying 'Grandpa, grandpa, you did it AGAIN.' "
After an uneventful final hole, the golfers retreated to the clubhouse to settle up. As golfing tradition dictates, the one player who records an ace has to but a round of drinks. But did Bob Hickey have to take out a loan for two free rounds?
"I offered everybody whatever they wanted," Bob Hickey said. "There wasn't many people in the bar, so that was cheap."
After the second ace, Mike Hickey called his wife to tell her the news.
"I called my wife and said, 'Grandpa's got two holes-in-one' and she said, 'When are you going to be home for dinner?' " Mike Hickey said. "I said, 'You don't understand. This NEVER happens.' "
For the round, Bob Hickey and Goodenow finished at 2-over 74. Despite the two aces, the team wasn't able to win the scramble. Mike, Jordan and Logan Hickey were able to take home first place.
"Two holes-in-one and Mike beats me," Bob Hickey said with a laugh. "He's a good golfer. He golfs all the time with his job."
Bob Hickey said he was first introduced to golf while attending Citrus College in California. And the reason he first played golf was because a physical education class was required and he wasn't interested in the tennis class he was enrolled in.
"I took (golf) so I didn't have to sweat at gym," he said. "They put me in tennis and you sweat all day doing that. Besides, golf is a great sport."
Despite the rarity that Bob Hickey posted, he doesn't plan to abandon the sport any time soon.
"Everybody tells me I ought to quit, but I don't know," Bob Hickey said. "I don't know. I'll play tomorrow if I can."
Bob Hickey might not lack for playing partners given the way he beat the odds once. At the same time, his good fortune might not be contagious.
"My wife went to the casino (on Thursday)," Bob Hickey said.
"It didn't do any good."