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The Real Odds
of Making a
Double Eagle &
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Youngest to score a DE on a Par 5...

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The Real Odds of Making a Double Eagle ~

June 10, 2015   


Looking at professional data, there are very few double eagles.  According to the PGA Tour there have been 32 double eagles (so roughly 3 per year on average) in the last 10 years.  I found a link from 2013 ( that shows about 281,000 holes of golf were played for the season with about 218,000 of them as par 4/5 (impossible to score a double eagle on a par-3).  In that particular year there were 2 double eagles (both on par 5’s) so the odds would be about 109,000 to 1.  So assuming the same number of holes played in most years, and a recent average of about 3 double eagles per year, the odds drop to about 72,000 to 1 for a PGA tour player.  I’d imagine the odds are similar for the other professional tours.  In looking at holes in one on a par-4 hole, there has only been one officially recorded on the PGA tour (Andrew Magee 2001), so you can imagine what the odds are based on decades of golf.  If the PGA tour had more short par 4’s, the odds would surely get better.  In general there are maybe 1 or 2 holes at most at a typical tour event that are legitimate chances to reach the green in one shot.  

Regarding amateurs, we would probably have to break it down by handicap, as the odds would be vastly different for a scratch amateur compared to say a 36.4 Index.  We have a fairly large database of hole by hole scores for players of various handicaps and for some, the odds are basically zero (no recorded 1’s on a par-4 or 2’s on a par-5) for players in the 25.0 and up categories, as 99% of them do not have the length to ever do it.  For players in the 5 or less Handicap Index range, the odds are not far off from the PGA Tour stats…however the distances that the PGA Tour plays compared to amateurs is significantly different, so there are more legitimate opportunities to score a double eagle for the amateur players.  For example, many of the double eagles in our amateur database are very short, right on the breakpoint for par (i.e. a 460 yard par-5 or 240 yard par-4).  Plus the database only lists the official hole length…so if tees were moved up say 30 yards for weekend play or maintenance, it wouldn’t be reflected.  When we get into the 5-25 Handicap Index range, the odds start to go up as expected from 100,000 to 1 up to 1 million+ to 1…and ultimately zero at 25+.  So there isn’t a single number that represents the odds.  If we define an amateur golfer as say a 15-20 handicap male (about the average), then the million to 1 odds are not unreasonable and may be reflected in a large set of data.  But depending on the data set and the handicap, the odds can change a lot since we are looking for rare occurrences instead of predictable patterns.

I hope this info helps.


Scott Hovde


"All Things Golf"

Welcome to “All Things Golf”. Here you will find a myriad of postings regarding “all things golf”. Since I have many favorite things pertaining to the wonderful game and sport of golf I will be posting them here to share with you. If you have some favorite things pertaining to golf that you want to share with the rest of us please send them to me via e-mail at: If they are “post worthy” I will post them for all to enjoy. Please verify all copyrights. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

There are three wonderful books that I highly recommend for your reading and one documentary for your viewing.


The first is a little gem titled, “Hole In One! The Complete Book of Fact, Legend, and Lore on Golf’s Luckiest Shot” written by Chris Rodell pictured on the left. Chris has interviewed many professional golfers and celebrities, who enjoy the game, regarding their “aces.” He also includes the “average Joe” in this fun read. You will smile and chuckle all throughout the book… I know I did! Chris is among the most widely read freelance writers in the world and the only one who’s had simultaneous articles in People, Maxim, Golf, National Enquire, and the South China Morning Post. He is the only golf writer who lives on Arnold Palmer Drive, one half mile from Latrobe Country Club and the King himself. He doesn’t know Palmer, but their dogs were once good friends.
You may reach Chris at:



The second book is a true classic. “Men on the Bag: The Caddies of Augusta National”, written by Ward Clayton is a must read for all who love the game of golf and the Masters Championship played every April in the lovely state of Georgia. The book is a wonderful historical piece beginning before Augusta National Golf Club was built to 2004. The caddies have nicknames like Stovepipe, Burnt Biscuits, Skinny and Marble Eye. They are some of the game’s most colorful characters. They’ve worked for Presidents, many of the world’s most powerful men, and every Masters champion until 1983 when the regular “Tour caddies” took most of the jobs. The stories reveal a side of golf few have seen and all will enjoy. Their lives, experiences and contributions are as varied as their nicknames. In Men on the Bag, Ward Clayton delivers a story never-before-told with passion and candor. Ward has been in and around the game of golf since growing up blocks from Hillandale Golf Course, a public facility in Durham, North Carolina. He continued to pursue the game as a competitive amateur and newspaper writer. His passion for writing and athletics began in the early 1970’s in Durham, a hotbed of collegiate sports not far from fabled Pinehurst. He covered golf for the Robesonian newspaper in Lumberton, NC, after graduating from the University of North Carolina and later for the Durham Morning Herald. Ward was the sports editor of the Augusta Chronicle from 1991 to 2000, and was responsible for what is considered “the best coverage of a golf tournament of any newspaper in the world” by Golf World magazine. Ward has been the Director of Editorial Services for the PGA Tour since 2000.



The third is a twin offering by Pete McDaniel, Golf Digest senior writer and author of "Uneven Lies: The Heroic Story of African-Americans in Golf", and "Uneven Fairways", the groundbreaking documentary which premiered on the Golf Channel beginning February 2009 celebrating Black History Month. Both the book and the documentary take a rare glimpse into the Negro Golf Leagues, and the African American men and women who were forbidden to play golf and compete at its highest level, and yet refused to take "No!" for an answer. Rather than give up on their dreams, they built their own courses, organized their own tour, and secured their own place in history. You will be introduced to such wonderful men and great golfer's as Teddy Rhodes, Pete Brown, Bill Spiller, Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder and Jim Thorpe. Both Lee and Jim are members of the Club. "Uneven Fairways", is a one-hour documentary, set to a sweet jazz score, and masterfully narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson. It was 12 years in the making, and a monumental achievement that I hope will be offered as a DVD, and should be seen by all who love the wonderful game of golf. Pete, one of the first black men to achieve prominence as a golf journalist, co-authored the best-selling book "Training A Tiger", and is a native of Arden, North Carolina. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English in 1974 from the University of North Carolina in Asheville. He has forged his career as a sports editor and sports writer working for The New York Times Company, The Hendersonville Times News, Golf World Magazine and Golf Digest where his primary responsibility is collaborating on instructional articles with Club member, Tiger Woods. Pete is a recipient of the Black Achievers in Industry Award, presented annually by the Harlem YMCA. He has played golf since 1963 and currently has a 9 handicap.

Well, these three books and one documentary are some of my favorite golf things. I will be sharing more of my favorite golf things with you in the near future. What are some of yours?

                                            Ain’t golf great!
                                                                            Michael Christensen,
                                                                          Founder & Registrar