It’s a golf shot so rare Vernon’s Dave Desnoyer has only seen one on TV.
Playing partner Len Baron has four holes-in-one to his credit but he has never seen the elusive albatross, which is a double eagle or making a 2 on a par-5 hole (or a 1 on a par-4, though that is better known as a hole-in-one).
This is exactly what Desnoyer did Sunday, July 19, at the Rise Golf Course in Vernon.
Playing the par-5 12th hole, 425 yards off uphill off the orange regular tees, Desnoyer hit his driver into the fairway. With 175 yards left to the hole, he took out his 4-hybrid and hit a decent shot toward the green.
The problem was, he, Baron, and fellow playing partners Ron Hayward and Bruce Krusel could barely see the top of the flagstick.
“We spent 20 minutes looking for the ball,” laughed Desnoyer, 65, who operates Dave’s Mobile Mechanic Service. “It went up the hill and over the crest. I was hoping it was on the green.”
It was Baron who finally meandered over to the hole to take a look. There, at the bottom of the cup, was Desnoyer’s beat-up old Titleist ball.
“None of us could believe it,” said Desnoyer. “I was like, ‘Whaaaaaa?’”
According to pga.com, the albatross is rarer than the hole-in-one.
The Double Eagle Club – “the worldwide registry for double eagles scored” – says the odds of an albatross are estimated at six million to one (though a former senior director of the handicap department at the United States Golf Association says the odds are more like a million to one.
Thus, chances of becoming one of the couple of hundred golfers a year to make double eagle (as opposed to 40,000 holes-in-one per year) are better than being killed by a shark (1 in 350 million) but worse than being struck by lightning (1 in 555,000).
“Only a small percentage of golfers, less than 10 per cent, ever reach a par-5 in two, said Dean Knuth, the former director of handicap at USGA on pga.com. “That means 90 per cent of golfers don’t have a chance of making one.”
The rarest golf shot is known as a condor, which is making a 1 on a par-5 (or a par-6, which is the longest condor ever recorded).
Desnoyer will receive cash from the course for his albatross, and, thanks to Baron, he will make a trophy out of that beat-up Titleist.
“I hit it into the bush off the tee on No. 13, and Len went and it found it for me,” laughed Desnoyer.