Herrmann has covered the Mets and Yankees since 1988, and has been Newsday’s national golf writer since 2002.
The odds against making, or even seeing, a double-eagle are so astronomical that no one ever has been able to calculate it. Suffice it to say it is extremely rare, which makes it extremely satisfying for the Long Island golfers who reported two more of them this week.
That makes three times in the past month that someone around here has achieved the score that is called an albatross (although no one can explain the name, either).
Mike Mazzara of Patchogue, playing with his usual Saturday morning group at Swan Lake Golf Club in Manorville, hit his 3-wood 205 yards into the cup for a 2 on the 507-yard par-5 sixth hole. That happened a day before this column reported an albatross 2 by Bay Shore High coach Chris Cascio at Cherry Creek Links.
Jack Gray of Rockville Centre did those one better. Playing with two fellow attorneys in the Little Sisters of the Poor charity outing at Hempstead Country Club, he made a hole-in-one on the 296-yard par-4 first hole.
"I'm an occasional golfer, I shoot in the 90s," Gray said. But his Big Bertha driver was working that day. He added that it helped to have warmed up: the outing employed a shotgun start and his group began on No. 6. He joked that the glass of Guinness that he had in the clubhouse between the 18th and 1st holes helped.
He didn't get to see the ball go in the hole. It did not take him long to discern what happened, though. "I play golf with my brother Bill. Whenever he can't find his ball, the first place he looks is in the cup," Gray said. "I was actually hoping to win the lottery one day. I hope I didn't use all my good luck."
The lottery might offer a better probability. The most-quoted estimate, by Dean Knuth, a former U.S. Golf Association official and founder of the Slope course rating system, says that an albatross is a 1-in-1 million shot for the average golfer.
Dobyns sets sights on Open
Fresh Meadow Country Club pro Matt Dobyns sure knows how to warm up for a big week. Heading into the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Westchester Monday and the Long Island Open at the Bridge in Bridgehampton Tuesday through Thursday, Dobyns scored a seven-stroke victory in the 36-hole Met PGA Head Pro Championship in Darien, Conn. Wednesday.
Dobyns won the 2012 national club pro title and played in the PGA Championship that year. Monday, he will be trying for one of this section's four spots in the Open, to be played next week in Pinehurst, N.C. Among those against whom he will compete are two-time Open champion Lee Janzen and 2014 NCAA individual champion Cameron Wilson of Stanford. Dobyns also is the defending Long Island Open winner. Fact of the week
Temperature matters. A shot that would travel 220 yards at 75 degrees would go only 205 at 45 degrees. It would reach 226 yards at 105 degrees. So says the official PGA Teaching manual (shared by Colonial Springs pro Bill Bresnan in his latest newsletter).