A 2004 article in Golf World magazine quoted Dean Knuth, inventor of the USGA's slope rating system for golf courses and handicaps, as saying the 6-million-to-1 figure was a little too high. Knuth put the odds at 1-million-to-1. Knuth is such a smart guy, we're inclined to go with his figure. But it should be noted that Knuth's figure is a guesstimate, and that it applies to recreational golfers (the figure for touring pros would naturally be lower).
Regardless, it's clear that the double-eagle is a much rarer feat on the golf course than the ace: hole-in-one odds are in the neighborhood of 13,000-to-1 for the average golfer.
Among the facts about double-eagles and aces cited in the Golf World article are:
• Between 1983 to 2003, there were 631 aces on the PGA Tour but just 56 double-eagles - and never more than six albatrosses in one year.
• From 1971 to 2003, there were 24 double-eagles on the LPGA Tour.
• Approximately 40,000 aces a year are made in the United States, compared to just a couple hundred double-eagles.
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