As last reported by The Virtual 19th Hole, the 2024 BMC Eagle Club inducted its first members of the season last month. On May 9, Greg Hasper, playing in the season’s inaugural Tuesday League competition, made his first-ever eagle on number 8 and, on May 16, yours truly eagled the same hole, playing for our Over-70 traveling team (with an 18-inch tap-in).  As predicted in that post, more eagles were expected in short order.  And that’s just what has happened. 

While The Virtual 19th Hole is lacking details on several of these, statistics compiled by Golf Genius confirm that at least eight BMC members have made eagles so far this year.  They are Tom Klassen, Drew Cripps, Jayme Nelson, Paul Conley, Timothy Boys, Timothy Clark, Wayne Voland and yours truly (with two).  Here are the stories for which details have surfaced. 

Drew Cripps on number 6 

On May 23, in regular Thursday League competition, Drew Cripps, playing from the D tees, had a solid front nine going when he arrived at the sixth tee.  With an assist from a steady tailwind, Drew bombed his drive down the middle, leaving only 180 yards to the green.  Selecting his trusty 5-iron, Drew made solid contact on his second shot and rifled the ball right at the hole.  Although he didn’t match his albatross from last year (on number 4 with his two hybrid), the shot was a beauty, rolling out to within 18 feet of the hole.  Drew rolled the right-to-left curler into the middle of the hole and so, just like that, he had his first eagle of the year.  Which would have been reason enough to make his round memorable, but by following up with a birdie on number 7, Drew’s back-to-back sub-par holes combined for a particularly impressive one-two punch. 

Jayme Nelson at Highland National 

On May 31, playing with brother Cory in a BMC Four Ball Match at Highland National, first year member Jayme Nelson needed only three strokes on the par five fifth hole.  Conditions were challenging, as most of the round was played in the rain. But the difficult conditions didn’t dampen Jayme’s resolve.  After four soggy holes, he arrived at the fifth tee ready to shine.  He hit a fine drive on the 508-yard dogleg left, and then crunched a three-wood to within 30 yards of the hole.  Jayme chipped in from there.  Buoyed by that bolt out of the blue, the brothers went on to win their match, 4 and 2. Welcome to the BMC, fellas! 

Tom Klassen on number 8 

On June 6, Tom Klasen, playing in Thursday League from the D tees, was having an up-and-down front nine on one of the windiest days of the year (and with the gales that have blown so far this year, that’s saying something). On number 3, following a double bogey on the second hole, Tom struck a beautiful 9-iron and proceeded to roll in a 14-footer for birdie.  But number 5 proved to be a struggle, leading to another double.  After righting the ship on the next two holes with pars, Tom took control on the eighth hole.  He blasted a drive down the left center of the fairway and then floated a towering 6-iron onto the green for his 180-yard second shot.  The ball came to rest 15 feet from the hole. Striking a no-doubter, Tom rolled the ball in for his first eagle of the year.  Those in the know expect a few more from Tom before the season draws to a close. 

Yours truly on number 5 

I was able to card my second eagle of the year on May 23 and it came in a particularly unexpected fashion.  Playing in Thursday League from the D tees, I made my way somewhat shakily to the fifth hole, which was once again playing into the wind. After throwing the obligatory blades of grass into the air, I pulled a six-iron. Almost immediately playing partner Drew Cripps, who had just hit a five, questioned the club selection. So, I hit the five instead– right at the hole. But with the elevated target, I assumed the ball may have rolled over the green when it disappeared from view. Jim Peterson, who had a better vantage point from the I tees, knew better, seeing the ball roll in.  I enthused gratefully to Drew that the ace was only possible with a little help from my friends (one in particular).  Also, thanks to Drew, the photos below memorialize the ace. After the round, on the 19th hole, Rick Danmeier, the fourth member of our group, helped economize the traditional celebration by having a water. A virtually empty clubhouse also contributed to what was possibly the cheapest hole-in-one on record. 

Dick Helde
Editor, The Virtual 19th Hole

Dick Helde is all smiles after acing number 5.
Teammates Drew Cripps, Rick Danmeier and Jim Peterson help celebrate the ace.