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Chasing the elusive eagle...


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#1 cmdrkean

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:42 AM

I have never had an eagle. I am wondering if I am putting too much pressure on it.

Background:
I am 35 and have been golfing for about 25 years.   At my peak in my early 20's I was maybe a 7 or 8 handicap.  Now I probably would be a 10 but don't play enough to have an official one.  Although my rounds per year have dropped to maybe about 8 or 10, I usually find myself one a par 5 in two (maybe on the frindge), occasionally close on short par 4's to have a chance to chip or pitch in.

My average game these days is shooting 80-82 with a couple birdies a double bogey or two and the rest of the round par/bogey golf.  I drive the ball about 240-250, can hit fairway woods consistently off the fairway so it's not the long game.  Putting I would say I'm streaky.

The only thing I can point to is that when I have a chance, say on in two on a par 5 with a 10 foot putt, I am thinking "I've never had an eagle, I want to make this".  I don't think that's necessarily a bad thought, but maybe if I 'pretend' its for par then I'll have a better shot.

I don't track any metrics, but I would say on average from 10 feet I probably can sink them 15-20% of the time.  I think when those are eagle putts lifetime I'm 0% in about a dozen attempts.  Maybe not even statistically significant lol.

Goal:
Although shooting par for 18 holes might be what some people are after (I've been close, shot -1 for a front 9), I'd like to get the monkey off my back and get a bloody 3 on a par 5.  Anyone have any general or specific advice. thx Golf WRX nation.


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#2 andrue

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:05 AM

I nearly had one on Sunday. The 10th at my club is usually a bogey or even a double bogey for me. But on Sunday my second shot was a lovely 8i that came to a stop only a couple of cm from the hole. Unfortunately it was only a practice round and that point the group I had joined up with had stopped off in the bar for half an hour before continuing. Still - I enjoyed it :)

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#3 cardoustie

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    haha, we don't play for 5's

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:12 AM

Eagles for me are not rare on par 5's but extremely rare on 4's and 3's (once)

To be fair I have two par 5's at my course I can cut off 30 yards by going over the woods on the corner and am usually left with 180-212 in.

Last year was wild, I had 7 or 8 eagles in the first 2 months (I kept hitting 7w's inside of 10 feet) of the season and then only 1 for the last 5 months

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#4 llewol007

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:18 AM

Move up a tee box.
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#5 Neverfadeaway86

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:25 AM

Was this close last week on a par 4. Only time I've ever been close to eagle

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#6 cmdrkean

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:46 AM

View Postcardoustie, on 25 April 2017 - 09:12 AM, said:


My advice is two fold,

Putt aggressively
Take a conservative line into the green if you can, more greens = more putts

Sounds like good advice.  I definitely don't leave many putts short as it is, but always a good thought to get to the green and give yourself a chance.

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#7 AceCatKY

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:47 AM

Come and go in streaks. I made two during the same 9 hole round last year. Then went quite a while without one until last week when I holed a wedge on a par 4.
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#8 jaymayor

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:51 AM

I have two and neither of them were on a Par 5. One was my hole in one in 2015 and another was last year on a par 4 from 170 out.

I have had plenty of chances on Par 5's but like yourself my putting has got in my way. This year and on I'm just gonna pick a good line, be more aggressive, don't leave the putt short and give it a chance. That's all you can do and let gravity take over from there.

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#9 Petunia Sprinkle

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:04 AM

I've only had two eagles. After the last one, I took a 9 on the next hole, a par 3. I've had a bunch of chances, but I just end up barely missing the putt. The last chance I had for eagle was driving a short par 4. I had a super long putt which I missed into the bunker, took three to get out, ended up off the green, skulled the chip, chipped it close coming back, made the putt for my 8. Good times.

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#10 RRFireblade

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:22 AM

Well for starters you may want to actually start tracking some metrics. An average touring PGA Pro from 10 to 15 feet is not that much better than you claim you are outside of 10 feet. I expect on average your 10 foot plus percentage is far less than you may think.

So on about a dozen attempts, your percentages are probably right where they should be. :-)

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#11 Forged4ever

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:26 AM

View PostRRFireblade, on 25 April 2017 - 10:22 AM, said:

Well for starters you may want to actually start tracking some metrics. An average touring PGA Pro from 10 to 15 feet is not that much better than you claim you are outside of 10 feet. I expect on average your 10 foot plus percentage is far less than you may think.

So on about a dozen attempts, your percentages are probably right where they should be. :-)
Excellent point and as usual, spot on though that's not why I responded, lol

Great to see ya posting, I hope that you and yours had a nice Easter and I hope that all's well in your neck of the woods!!

Stay well my Friend👊
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Edited by Forged4ever, 25 April 2017 - 10:28 AM.

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#12 cmdrkean

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:26 AM

View PostRRFireblade, on 25 April 2017 - 10:22 AM, said:

Well for starters you may want to actually start tracking some metrics. An average touring PGA Pro from 10 to 15 feet is not that much better than you claim you are outside of 10 feet. I expect on average your 10 foot plus percentage is far less than you may think.

So on about a dozen attempts, your percentages are probably right where they should be. :-)

you might very well be right.  i'm probably under estimating how far my average puts are, and over estimating the % I make.  will make more of an effort to keep an accurate measure.  

on a slightly unrelated note, do you think the odds of a hole in one are about the same as getting in a 150 yard approach shot.  even down to 70-80 yards to me that seems as likely as a hole in one (give or take)...

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#13 DavePelz4

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:30 AM

You can't make any one shot in golf more important than another.  Go through your normal routine on the chip/putt and don't give it any more importance than the previous shot.  And read the chip as though you would a putt.

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#14 hammy83

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:45 AM

View Postcmdrkean, on 25 April 2017 - 08:42 AM, said:

I have never had an eagle. I am wondering if I am putting too much pressure on it.

Background:
I am 35 and have been golfing for about 25 years.   At my peak in my early 20's I was maybe a 7 or 8 handicap.  Now I probably would be a 10 but don't play enough to have an official one.  Although my rounds per year have dropped to maybe about 8 or 10, I usually find myself one a par 5 in two (maybe on the frindge), occasionally close on short par 4's to have a chance to chip or pitch in.

My average game these days is shooting 80-82 with a couple birdies a double bogey or two and the rest of the round par/bogey golf.  I drive the ball about 240-250, can hit fairway woods consistently off the fairway so it's not the long game.  Putting I would say I'm streaky.

The only thing I can point to is that when I have a chance, say on in two on a par 5 with a 10 foot putt, I am thinking "I've never had an eagle, I want to make this".  I don't think that's necessarily a bad thought, but maybe if I 'pretend' its for par then I'll have a better shot.

I don't track any metrics, but I would say on average from 10 feet I probably can sink them 15-20% of the time.  I think when those are eagle putts lifetime I'm 0% in about a dozen attempts.  Maybe not even statistically significant lol.

Goal:
Although shooting par for 18 holes might be what some people are after (I've been close, shot -1 for a front 9), I'd like to get the monkey off my back and get a bloody 3 on a par 5.  Anyone have any general or specific advice. thx Golf WRX nation.

change your thoughts.  Move up to the closest tees (its alwasy great to change them up especially when playing the same course over and over) Its still a par 5.  Get the eagle out of the way and then move to your normal tees.  This way you already have an eagle and should at least mentally take some of the pressure off of the putt.

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#15 cardoustie

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    haha, we don't play for 5's

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:52 AM

I say an ace is harder, not sure why.  Albatross crazy hard.  Had one of those 30 years ago from 240+ out with a 3 persimmon.   Though with distances lately of the clubs and ball, you can often have 7i or less into par 5's in the right conditions

I've had one ace in 36 years of golf ....  144 yarder uphill w a 9 iron

And off the top of my head at least 10-12 hole outs on par 4's that I can think of, the longest being ~ 170

I have 3 at my current home club alone on par 4's .. 100 yards + (last 10 years)

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#16 golfandfishing

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:53 AM

1) don't play the back tees

2) hit driver off the tee on every par 5 and then if you can reach, give it a go. If you can't reach put yourself in a spot with a clear look at the hole as close as you can get it. The nonsense about "getting a yardage you like" loses to getting closer in all but the rarest of circumstances.

3) might as well try to hole every approach shot, best chances are with a middle- back pin where you can release one and roll it in. High spin shots rarely go in or stay in the hole.

4) you are gonna need a lot of beer.

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#17 DavePelz4

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 11:28 AM

View Postcardoustie, on 25 April 2017 - 10:52 AM, said:

I say an ace is harder, not sure why.  Albatross crazy hard.  Had one of those 30 years ago from 240+ out with a 3 persimmon.   Though with distances lately of the clubs and ball, you can often have 7i or less into par 5's in the right conditions

I've had one ace in 36 years of golf ....  144 yarder uphill w a 9 iron

And off the top of my head at least 10-12 hole outs on par 4's that I can think of, the longest being ~ 170

I have 3 at my current home club alone on par 4's .. 100 yards + (last 10 years)

Is your last name Sarazen???

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#18 Shakester

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 02:00 PM

My favorite eagle that I got was as Palo Alto GC (when they were open).   Its usually pretty windy since its right on the coast, but there were days where the wind was just howling. I'm talking driving it into the wind and the ball just seems to hit a wall at about 200 yards and drop.  #15 is a 500 yard par 5 with the win behind us.  I'm usually at 275-280 with my total distance with my driver, but with the wind, the drive ended up to be in that 320 range.  With about about 192 left (pin was in the back), I took a 7 iron (my 165 club) and just pured it.  Probably the purest shot I've ever hit.  Playing a high cut, it started left and it was coming back right at the pin.  I just kept saying BE THE RIGHT CLUB.   I honestly didn't see where it landed or if was even on the green because from where I was, there was a bunker in front with the green slightly elevated.   I walked up and saw my divot inches from the hole and my ball came to rest about 8 inches for a tap in eagle.

Edited by Shakester, 25 April 2017 - 02:13 PM.


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#19 ablewalker

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 02:35 PM

I'm like a 28 Cap....been shooting mid nineties fairly regularly from the whites...more from the blues. Had a hole in one 2 years back and a chip in Eagle last year(hit the flag with pace and dropped) so I have those monkeys off my back!

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#20 evgolfer

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 02:36 PM

Maybe you are looking at this from the wrong angle. You say you have bogeys, and the occasional double bogeys in your round. Perhaps, you should identify what weaknesses lead to the bogeys and make more pars. I bet whatever corrects the bogeys will lead to an eagle or two.

No eagles in my rounds, so take it for what its worth.


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#21 randywildman

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 03:06 PM

Find some courses with reachable par 5's  :)

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#22 sprcoop

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 03:49 PM

Work on holing 10 foot putts until that average comes up.  Can't argue with math.

After 30 years of playing had only 2 in the last 2 years.  Same PAR 5.  Got there with a 5i on one and solid 3w the other.  Both 12 ft putts dead center.  Not usually how I role.

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#23 golfgirlrobin

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 04:09 PM

Lots of good suggestions, but in a lot of ways, it just comes down to not having enough opportunities.  Eagles are rare, most are made on par 5's, and your ten rounds a year are only giving you forty chances a year to pull it off.
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#24 Funyuns

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 11:54 AM

http://www.pgatour.c...s/stat.448.html

Right now Wesley Bryan leads the PGA in total number of eagles on par 5's, 8 in 162 attempts or a hair under 5%. Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, and Ian Poulter all have just 1 on the season. Obviously they play slightly (100-200 yards) longer par 5s but also have pristine conditions and have all played 80+ par 5s this season. That's probably 2 years worth of golf for you.

Don't think you are the only one not getting them, those are some decent golfers.

Honestly, don't try to hole the approach on a par 5. Hit the green and give yourself a putt, I don't have the stats but I would assume a 20 foot putt drops more than a 10 foot chip. After that it's just give it a good roll and accept the outcome, hopefully enjoy that birdie instead of being unsatisfied with the eagle. Flirting with par for a round proves you've got the game, just need to put yourself in that position.

Edited by Funyuns, 26 April 2017 - 11:55 AM.


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#25 larrybud

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 12:11 PM

View Postcmdrkean, on 25 April 2017 - 10:26 AM, said:

View PostRRFireblade, on 25 April 2017 - 10:22 AM, said:

Well for starters you may want to actually start tracking some metrics. An average touring PGA Pro from 10 to 15 feet is not that much better than you claim you are outside of 10 feet. I expect on average your 10 foot plus percentage is far less than you may think.

So on about a dozen attempts, your percentages are probably right where they should be. :-)

you might very well be right.  i'm probably under estimating how far my average puts are, and over estimating the % I make.  will make more of an effort to keep an accurate measure.  

on a slightly unrelated note, do you think the odds of a hole in one are about the same as getting in a 150 yard approach shot.

Probably slightly better for an ace than the approach shot since you have a perfect lie on the tee box, but you generally have 10 par 4s on a course, while you only have 4 par 3s.

I have 3 hole outs from the FW > 150 yards, but only one ace.  I have a bunch of hole outs from 50-125.


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#26 Z1ggy16

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 12:23 PM

Never had one either, but I've come close a number of times. It mostly happens for me on short par 4's, as most short par 5's around me tend to actually be quite difficult. Generally it's a driveable par 4 in the 290-310 range. I'll drive very close, if not on to the green, and then miss the eagle putt/chip by inches. I've had a few 50ft putts on par 5's for eagles, but I'm lucky to get those within 10 feet still.
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#27 cmdrkean

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 01:16 PM

Good discussion.  I think I have several takeaways:

1. Start at closer tee boxes, to give myself a better chance.
2. Golf more often, to give myself a better chance!
3. Figure out where I am losing strokes in my games eg. doubles (mostly from drive going out of play).
4. Track my game more closely including putting to help identify the above.
5. Be prepared to go awhile - even the pros score relatively few.  Take the birdie (on a side note, I probably have parred half my eagle attempts because i'm putting the put 4 or 5 feet past the hole:)).

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#28 PhillyMac

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 06:41 PM

It took me 20+ years to get my first eagle. Par 5, my pitch shot from about 40 yds rolled right in. Happy Day!
1 month later I stuck my 2nd shot to 5 ft and sank the putt! Golf is a crazy game!
I haven't had one since, but I have had several good looks at them. Just a few weeks ago I hit another great shot to about 6 ft. It was a really tough downhill right breaker. I told my buddy that I am going to firm it to get it to hold the line, but if I miss I'm gonna have a longer uphill putt for birdie. Needless to say, it lipped out and missed my 10 footer coming back for birdie. Oh well, there will be a next time.  :dntknw:

Edited by PhillyMac, 26 April 2017 - 06:43 PM.

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#29 deathbymuffin

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:19 PM

As you've noted above, you need to play more often and play up a set of tees.  If you only drive the ball 250, any par 5 over 500 yards is essentially unreachable, so throw those out.  You need some shortish par-5s in the 460-480 range to really give yourself a chance.

A few months ago I had a pretty long streak without an eagle going.  I decided to play the white tees with my Dad and I carded two of them that day, both with driver and a mid-iron.  Sure, they felt more like great birdies, but it seems that's what I needed to unlock the eagle box.  Since then, I've been carding them at a decent rate even moving back a tee box.

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#30 dave willie

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:42 PM

First of all, I don't know what moving up to shorter tees has to do with this discussion.  The OP said that he reaches  par 5s in two shots, so he's playing tees that are short enough.  If you make an eagle on a 400-yard par 5, is that really an eagle?  It kind of diminishes the accomplishment.

My advice for making eagle putts is the same as for all other putts - concentrate on the line and speed, and get the result out of your thoughts.  If you hit the putt like you wanted to, you've made a good stroke whether it goes in or not.  Eventually you'll make the putts if you keep hitting your putts on the right line.

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