In GOLF’s all-new series That’s Debatable, sponsored by Cisco WebEx, we’re settling some of golf’s most heated disputes. Our writers and editors have been seeded 1-16, battling head-to-head to determine whose takes are most on point.
We’re on to Round 2 in That’s Debatable and the topics are starting to heat up! Stepping into the ring for our first matchup, it’s our No. 1 overall seed Alan Shipnuck, who narrowly avoided an upset in Round 1, up against our No. 3 seed, Josh Sens. The senior writers are here to debate the merits of a pair of golf’s greatest achievements: the hole-in-one and the albatross.
You can watch Shipnuck and Sens battle it out in the video above and read their arguments below.
1. Aces are fluky and easy to come by — blind old ladies make them all the time. So do little kids just learning the game.
2. Just because I haven’t made an ace doesn’t change the fact they’re fluky and easy to come by.
3. To make an albatross requires two long, perfectly executed shots.
4. An ace is just an eagle, and lots of golfers make eagles. The so-called “double-eagle” is clearly twice as nice.
5. Sens’ askew cap is offensive and therefore he should not be allowed to advance.
1. An albatross is cool. It’s a curiosity. But a hole-in-one is a legitimate cause for celebration. You’re buying drinks. You’re passing out cigars. If someone didn’t know better, they might think you were commemorating the birth of a child. It’s THAT big a deal. That same kind of festive mood does not erupt when you hole out a hybrid from the fairway. OK. Nice shot. High fives all around. But no more.
2. There is no such thing as albatross insurance. Why? Because the hole-in-one is the only shot in golf that has inspired an entire industry, with cash prize and luxury car giveaways. It happens at Tour events. It happens at charity outings. On par-3s. Not reachable par-5s. Why? Because a hole-in-one is golf’s most exciting shot.
3. A hole-in-one is an exceptional feat. But it’s also egalitarian. Tour pros make them. But so do nonagenarians hitting 11-woods from 100 yards. In other words, an ace is a joyous possibility that’s within reach of every golfer, not just bombers who can reach par-5s in two. Golf should be inclusive. An albatross is elitist. A hole-in-one is for all of us.
4. No one ever asks you how many albatrosses you have made.
5. The significance of a hole-in-one resonates beyond the game. Tell a non-golfer that you made an ace, and they’ll understand the magnitude and share in your sense of accomplishment. Tell them that you made an albatross, and they’ll think you just completed an origami project.
Winner (by judge’s decision)
The No. 1 seed goes down! Not only is Shipnuck aceless but now he is also empty-handed in the fight to become GOLF’s top debater! Sens moves on, thanks in part to his cap and in part to his exceptional argument. Keep it locked on GOLF.com and @GOLF_com on social media to follow along as “That’s Debatable” continues every day at noon!