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question about the magical 59....


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#1 TNReb

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:00 AM

I'm sorry if this has been discussed before.  I haven't seen it.

First let me say ... I agree ... 59 is UNBELIEVEABLE!  I'm not belittling anyone who shoots 59.


BUT...


There have been five 59's in PGA history:


Stuart Appleby, Par 70  (11 under par)
Paul Goydos, Par 71  (12 under par)
David Duval, Par 72  (13 under par)
Chip Beck, Par 72  (13 under par)
Al Geiberger, Par 72  (13 under par)


Is it really fair to say that Stuart Applebee accomplished the same thing as Duval, Beck, and Geiberger?  11 under is a great round, but it has been repeated.

Phil's 59 yesterday would have been 12 under.

Edited by TNReb, 01 February 2013 - 09:00 AM.


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#2 chri55

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:05 AM

59 is 59 is 59.  More than anything it is knocking down that wall to get there.

Edited by chri55, 01 February 2013 - 09:06 AM.


#3 Llortamaisey

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

Par is just a suggestion of what someone should shoot. A four is a birdie on a par five but a bogey on a par three yet they still are equal scores on the scorecard.

Yardage and difficulty of the course would hold more weight on the accomplishment than the Par of the course. I personally think a par 72 with four par fives is easier than a par 70 with two par fives.

#4 LouieLouie

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:21 AM

View PostTNReb, on 01 February 2013 - 09:00 AM, said:

I'm sorry if this has been discussed before.  I haven't seen it.

First let me say ... I agree ... 59 is UNBELIEVEABLE!  I'm not belittling anyone who shoots 59.


BUT...


There have been five 59's in PGA history:


Stuart Appleby, Par 70  (11 under par)
Paul Goydos, Par 71  (12 under par)
David Duval, Par 72  (13 under par)
Chip Beck, Par 72  (13 under par)
Al Geiberger, Par 72  (13 under par)


Is it really fair to say that Stuart Applebee accomplished the same thing as Duval, Beck, and Geiberger?  11 under is a great round, but it has been repeated.

Phil's 59 yesterday would have been 12 under.

Excuse me, I think you forgot my 59!

LouieLouie, Par 5, (54 over par)

Where's my trophy and spot in the recordbooks?

#5 MileHighClub

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:24 AM

View Postchri55, on 01 February 2013 - 09:05 AM, said:

59 is 59 is 59.  More than anything it is knocking down that wall to get there.

+59

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#6 larrybud

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:13 AM

59 is only "magical" because our numbering system is base 10.

If we scored in hexadecimal, then 40 would be the magic number to break ("I shot a 3F" just doesn't have the same ring to it)

#7 Willie Malay

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:25 AM

If you think about it 60 is still in the "50s". Think about it before you react.

Edited by Willie Malay, 01 February 2013 - 10:50 AM.


#8 fairways4life

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

Shooting a 59 is like throwing a perfect game as a pitcher. Does it take a ridiculous amount of talent to do it? Absolutely. But it's almost a fluke (I don't really want to use the word "fluke" to describe it but I can't think of the word I'm looking for).

Nicklaus never did it. Neither did Palmer. Nor Hogan or Seve or Trevino or Tiger or anyone else I'm leaving off. It's not like Chip Beck and Paul Goydos are the best of the best.

95% of the pitchers in the Hall of Fame never threw a perfect game and yet guys like Phillip Humber (who??) tossed one last year.

It's merely an issue of percentages and odds. At my home course, I've birdied each of the 18 holes at one time or another over the course of the several years I've been playing there. So theoretically, I could shoot a 54 because I've proven to have the capability to birdie each of the 18 holes. But what are the odds of a 6 handicap birdieing all of them on the same day? Probably too high to even calculate. For a tour pro, those odds are just a little more attainable but still astronomically high when you consider there's only been 5 59's (and never a 54) in zillions of rounds played on tour.

I guess the word I'm looking for is "anomaly." There doesn't seem to be much of a correlation between talent and the magic number. If that were the case then Jack and Arnie and Tiger and Hogan and all the rest of the best would have done it at least once.

This post was way off topic of the OP. My bad. Just rambling :golfer:

#9 Frankensteins Monster

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

#10 fairways4life

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:45 AM

A separate debate: Whose 59 is the most impressive to you?

My vote is one that is not among the 5 listed above. Harrison Frazar did it at Q-School, which many tour pro's will tell you is more of a pressure-cooker than a lot of actual tour events.


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#11 teejaywhy

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:24 PM

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM, said:

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

This was debated at length when Appleby achieved it.  It is my thought that the opinion above merely demonstrates a lack of insight into the game of golf.

Score is a real number.  Relation to par is merely an arbitrary number as par is an arbitrary concept.

Edited by teejaywhy, 01 February 2013 - 12:26 PM.


#12 imakaveli

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:27 PM

View Postlarrybud, on 01 February 2013 - 10:13 AM, said:

59 is only "magical" because our numbering system is base 10.

If we scored in hexadecimal, then 40 would be the magic number to break ("I shot a 3F" just doesn't have the same ring to it)

and your point is...?

#13 lumberman2462

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:32 PM

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM, said:

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

You got it.  13 under is more better than 11 under.
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#14 Frankensteins Monster

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:36 PM

View Postlumberman2462, on 01 February 2013 - 12:32 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM, said:

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

You got it.  13 under is more better than 11 under.

It's definitely betterer.

Edited by Frankensteins Monster, 01 February 2013 - 12:36 PM.


#15 lumberman2462

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:37 PM

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 12:36 PM, said:

View Postlumberman2462, on 01 February 2013 - 12:32 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM, said:

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

You got it.  13 under is more better than 11 under.

It's definitely betterer.

Fine.  Moahr Betterer.  

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#16 Frankensteins Monster

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:38 PM

View Postteejaywhy, on 01 February 2013 - 12:24 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM, said:

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

This was debated at length when Appleby achieved it.  It is my thought that the opinion above merely demonstrates a lack of insight into the game of golf.

Score is a real number.  Relation to par is merely an arbitrary number as par is an arbitrary concept.

How does what I wrote demonstrate a lack of insight into golf? I don't care that one course has one or two more par fives. They're more under par than someone that shot a -11 or -12. They needed more breaks and needed to make more birdies/eagles to get to 59. 59 on a 72 is more impressive than a 59 on a 70. And a 59 in the final round to win the tournament is more impressive than a 59 to start a tournament.

#17 Frankensteins Monster

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

View Postlumberman2462, on 01 February 2013 - 12:37 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 12:36 PM, said:

View Postlumberman2462, on 01 February 2013 - 12:32 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM, said:

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

You got it.  13 under is more better than 11 under.

It's definitely betterer.

Fine.  Moahr Betterer.  

Prolly the bestest.

#18 practicetee

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:41 PM

You could argue shooting 59 on a Par 70 or 71 is more impressive as the course would typically not have the conventional (4) Par 5's, which tour pros tend to rip apart.
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#19 teejaywhy

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:55 PM

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 12:38 PM, said:

View Postteejaywhy, on 01 February 2013 - 12:24 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM, said:

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

This was debated at length when Appleby achieved it.  It is my thought that the opinion above merely demonstrates a lack of insight into the game of golf.

Score is a real number.  Relation to par is merely an arbitrary number as par is an arbitrary concept.

How does what I wrote demonstrate a lack of insight into golf? I don't care that one course has one or two more par fives. They're more under par than someone that shot a -11 or -12. They needed more breaks and needed to make more birdies/eagles to get to 59. 59 on a 72 is more impressive than a 59 on a 70. And a 59 in the final round to win the tournament is more impressive than a 59 to start a tournament.

Only a guess, but your assertively expressed conviction regarding the value of par just seems to me an indication that most of your golf experience is from watching tournament golf on TV.

#20 Frankensteins Monster

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

View Postteejaywhy, on 01 February 2013 - 12:55 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 12:38 PM, said:

View Postteejaywhy, on 01 February 2013 - 12:24 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM, said:

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

This was debated at length when Appleby achieved it.  It is my thought that the opinion above merely demonstrates a lack of insight into the game of golf.

Score is a real number.  Relation to par is merely an arbitrary number as par is an arbitrary concept.

How does what I wrote demonstrate a lack of insight into golf? I don't care that one course has one or two more par fives. They're more under par than someone that shot a -11 or -12. They needed more breaks and needed to make more birdies/eagles to get to 59. 59 on a 72 is more impressive than a 59 on a 70. And a 59 in the final round to win the tournament is more impressive than a 59 to start a tournament.

Only a guess, but your assertively expressed conviction regarding the value of par just seems to me an indication that most of your golf experience is from watching tournament golf on TV.

So, to you, making more birdies means the same as making less birdies?


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#21 Golfnutgalen

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

View Postpracticetee, on 01 February 2013 - 12:41 PM, said:

You could argue shooting 59 on a Par 70 or 71 is more impressive as the course would typically not have the conventional (4) Par 5's, which tour pros tend to rip apart.

Statistically, it's easier for the pros to shoot 2-under on a par 68 course than it is to shoot 4-under on a par 72 course, usually by about half a stroke. At least if we use the course data from 2011 alone, a larger sample might give a different result.

#22 Locked

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:04 PM

View Postpracticetee, on 01 February 2013 - 12:41 PM, said:

You could argue shooting 59 on a Par 70 or 71 is more impressive as the course would typically not have the conventional (4) Par 5's, which tour pros tend to rip apart.

This argument holds up at least enough to justify not discounting Stuart's 59 as compared to the others.... I don't think you can call one better than the other.  All amazing rounds.

#23 teejaywhy

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:07 PM

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 01:01 PM, said:

View Postteejaywhy, on 01 February 2013 - 12:55 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 12:38 PM, said:

View Postteejaywhy, on 01 February 2013 - 12:24 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM, said:

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

This was debated at length when Appleby achieved it.  It is my thought that the opinion above merely demonstrates a lack of insight into the game of golf.

Score is a real number.  Relation to par is merely an arbitrary number as par is an arbitrary concept.

How does what I wrote demonstrate a lack of insight into golf? I don't care that one course has one or two more par fives. They're more under par than someone that shot a -11 or -12. They needed more breaks and needed to make more birdies/eagles to get to 59. 59 on a 72 is more impressive than a 59 on a 70. And a 59 in the final round to win the tournament is more impressive than a 59 to start a tournament.

Only a guess, but your assertively expressed conviction regarding the value of par just seems to me an indication that most of your golf experience is from watching tournament golf on TV.

So, to you, making more birdies means the same as making less birdies?

Par value is arbitrary.  If you make a four on a hole, it is still a four regardless if it is a birdie or a par or a bogey.

#24 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

View Postpracticetee, on 01 February 2013 - 12:41 PM, said:

You could argue shooting 59 on a Par 70 or 71 is more impressive as the course would typically not have the conventional (4) Par 5's, which tour pros tend to rip apart.

i'd agree that you could argue its as impressive, but not more. my thinking is that a 69 on a par 70 is as impressive as a 69 on a par 71. the 69 on the par 71 isn't any better even though its -2 instead of -1.

Often i believe this comes down to a long hole and whether its a hard par 4 or easy par 5. a 4 is a 4, whether its a birdie or par. i think this is why someone mentioned that taking the 59 relative to course rating would be better comparison.
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#25 Frankensteins Monster

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

View Postteejaywhy, on 01 February 2013 - 01:07 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 01:01 PM, said:

View Postteejaywhy, on 01 February 2013 - 12:55 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 12:38 PM, said:

View Postteejaywhy, on 01 February 2013 - 12:24 PM, said:

View PostFrankensteins Monster, on 01 February 2013 - 10:31 AM, said:

Done on a 71 and a 70 aren't the same as on a 72. Sorry.

This was debated at length when Appleby achieved it.  It is my thought that the opinion above merely demonstrates a lack of insight into the game of golf.

Score is a real number.  Relation to par is merely an arbitrary number as par is an arbitrary concept.

How does what I wrote demonstrate a lack of insight into golf? I don't care that one course has one or two more par fives. They're more under par than someone that shot a -11 or -12. They needed more breaks and needed to make more birdies/eagles to get to 59. 59 on a 72 is more impressive than a 59 on a 70. And a 59 in the final round to win the tournament is more impressive than a 59 to start a tournament.

Only a guess, but your assertively expressed conviction regarding the value of par just seems to me an indication that most of your golf experience is from watching tournament golf on TV.

So, to you, making more birdies means the same as making less birdies?

Par value is arbitrary.  If you make a four on a hole, it is still a four regardless if it is a birdie or a par or a bogey.

So, yes, to you, making less birdies is equal to making more birdies.


#26 lumberman2462

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:17 PM

Maybe Geiberger's was the best because he did it first.  Showed everyone it was possible.
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#27 FLOGMR

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

And what about all the 58's that have been shot on other pro tours and even in the US Open qualifying rounds???

#28 Frankensteins Monster

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:20 PM

View PostLocked, on 01 February 2013 - 01:04 PM, said:

View Postpracticetee, on 01 February 2013 - 12:41 PM, said:

You could argue shooting 59 on a Par 70 or 71 is more impressive as the course would typically not have the conventional (4) Par 5's, which tour pros tend to rip apart.

This argument holds up at least enough to justify not discounting Stuart's 59 as compared to the others.... I don't think you can call one better than the other.  All amazing rounds.

No doubt. The closest I got to shooting a 59 was when I was pulled off the course because of lighting on the 14th.

#29 Frankensteins Monster

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:21 PM

View PostFLOGMR, on 01 February 2013 - 01:18 PM, said:

And what about all the 58's that have been shot on other pro tours and even in the US Open qualifying rounds???

Maruyama did it right?

#30 teejaywhy

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

Work with me here Frankenstein. Not trying to be argumentative, just trying to shed some insight and provoke thought.

Suppose you have a course that is a par 72.  Joe Pro goes out and shoots a 59 (13 under par). Now suppose the course decides to change the par value of one hole from a par 5 to a par 4.  Nothing else changed but the par value.  The course is now a par 71,  Joe Pro comes out the very next day and shoots another 59.  Exact same course.  But now his score is only 12 under par.

Would you believe that one 59 is different than the other?  The -13 is a better round than the -12?   The course became easier because it is a par 71 vs. a par 72?

You know that the PGA Tour and the USGA frequently change the par value of holes for tournament play?  Doesn't make the hole any easier or harder or different in any way other than the assigned par value.

My point is par values are arbitrary and therefore not a precise or meaningful method of measure.  As others have pointed out, if one really wants to compare the 59's, it would be better to compare the differentials created when applying the score to the slope/rating of the course.  That can be hard to do because the tournaments aren't always conducted from a rated set of tees.


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