For the record, Darren Titus didn’t run out and purchase a bunch of lottery tickets after a golf weekend that included a double eagle and a hole-in-one in separate rounds.
“I figured after that weekend,” Titus said, “I don’t know how much luck I have left.”
Titus certainly had enough skill to pencil in two of the rarest sights on a scorecard – a “2” on a par 5 and a “1” on a par 3. How rare? Depending on which Internet search and article you choose to believe, the odds of making a double eagle range from 1-6 million to 1 and the odds of making a hole-in-one range from 12,000-40,000 to 1.
Golf Digest in 2010 noted five recorded instances of a golfer having an ace and albatross in the same round, including legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden when he was a 6-handicapper in 1947. On the PGA Tour, there were 56 double eagles compared to 631 aces from 1983 to 2003. The 2008 PGA Tour season yielded just one double eagle.
Former Nationwide Tour player Tee McCabe had two double eagles, including a hole-in-one on a par 4, while shooting a 60 in Jan. 2011 at Hammock Bay Golf and Country Club in Florida. Lindsey Murray, 14, had an ace and a double eagle in a six-hole span during a 2011 high school girls match in Springfield, Ohio.
The magical run for the 30-year-old Titus began last Saturday on the 544-yard par-5 ninth at Avondale, where his family has been members since he was a junior in high school.
His tee shot skirted the right side and ended up barely in the rough. While waiting for a group to finish on the green, playing partner Ted Watson grabbed a range-finder and informed Titus that he was 235 yards from a fellow standing near the pin. Titus selected a 5-iron, expecting the ball to release coming out of the rough.
The ball landed in front of the green, raced toward the blue flag and disappeared from his view, but not from the vision of playing partner Jeff Bengston stationed 75 yards from the green.
“I thought it ran off the back,” said Titus, who had borrowed the Srixon ball from playing partner Tom Ouren. “Jeff threw his hands up and said, ‘It went in!’ ”
After making his first double eagle, Titus wasn’t too concerned about the back nine.
“I couldn’t care less if I’d shot 62 or 102,” said Titus, a 4-handicapper who went on to shoot 77.
Sunday began with Titus fishing around in his parents’ golf cart and picking out a yellow Srixon to use in the Scott Wemple Memorial Tournament. On the 104-yard fifth, Titus hit sand wedge and liked the shot in the air, but he couldn’t see where it landed on the uphill hole.
The group stopped to pick up another ball on the way to the green and Todd Chapman asked Titus, “Hey, where’s your ball?” Todd’s wife, Stephanie, hopped out of the cart and found a yellow Srixon in the hole.
“I think two or three of them had never been in a group with a hole-in-one so we were all pretty excited, hooting and hollering,” said Titus, who had an ace eight years ago at Shoshone Golf Club. “We pretty much couldn’t wait to get back to the clubhouse and celebrate.”
The fivesome, which included Ouren and Catrina Corbeill, tied for low gross in the mixed division and a memorable weekend was in the books.
“I’d never been on a course when somebody made a double eagle. I know people that have played for more than 50 years and never had a hole-in-one,” said Titus, a real estate appraiser. “I kind of expected (a double eagle) because I hit the ball pretty long and I figured I’d get one eventually, but I never expected to make one Saturday and a hole-in-one Sunday.”
So what’s left on his golf checklist?
“Shoot, I don’t know,” he said. “I guess always trying to improve on my best round (67) at Avondale.”