Golfers put 50 cents in the pot each time they play. The next person to make an ace -- if he put money in the pot that day -- wins all the money. Until then, the pot continues to grow.
George Kingman, who has made 14 aces and plays at Aiken's Cedar Creek three times a week, thinks it would be bad luck for him to participate.
"I figure if I bet on myself, I'd never get another one," said the 77-year-old Kingman, who is an 11-handicapper. "I'd try too hard."
Why argue with success? Whatever Kingman is doing is working. He had two aces within a month's time in late 2010 at Cedar Creek -- on No. 8 and then No. 5 -- giving him four at Cedar Creek since he moved to the subdivision four years ago.
"I guess I'm luckier than most, and I've been playing a long time," he explains.
Kingman took up the game at "13 or 14," but didn't make his first ace until his late 30s. It took him 10 more years to make his second ace, then they started to follow a distinct pattern.
"They seem to come in bunches for me," he said. "I'll have two or three at a time and then nothing for two or three years."
He's made so many aces that Kingman doesn't know where the list he made of the dates and courses is located.
"It's someplace," he said. "After a while, you don't keep track of them so closely. The excitement is greater with the first ones, then it gets a little less. I still enjoy them; the guys I play with think I'm quite amazing."
He does know he's aced all four par-3 at River Hills Country Club, a course he belongs to in Lake Wylie, S.C. At Cedar Creek, he's aced three of the four par-3s. He has two aces on No. 5 and one on No. 8 and No. 16. That leaves No. 11 left to conquer for the par-3 slam at the course.
"No. 11 is not the easiest hole," Kingman said. "I sure would like to (ace it), but I don't think about it much."
He's never thought about reaching a certain number of aces until recently. He admits he'd like at least one more, which would give him 15.
"I'm running out of time," he said. "I'm trying to make 15; I hope I'm around for that, but you never know."