What Is An Albatross In Golf

This post was most recently updated on January 20th, 2022

What Is An Albatross In Golf?

Published By Charl Jooste Last Updated on January 20, 2022 by Editorial Staff

Every golfer is a bird chaser. Golf uses the names of birds to refer to the number of strokes under par. We’re all familiar with a birdie and an eagle, but you don’t hear about too often is an albatross. The reason for that is because scoring an albatross is incredibly difficult and unlikely.

What Is An Albatross In Golf Terms

An albatross in golf means scoring three shots under par (-3) on a hole. Otherwise known as a double eagle, it is technically only possible on a par-5 hole because scoring 3 under par on a par-4 would be considered a hole-in-one.

How Rare Is An Albatross In Golf

An albatross remains one of the rarest scoring phenomena in golf. It is much rarer than scoring a hole-in-one. In fact, there are only a handful of players who have ever achieved an albatross, including Jack Nicklaus, Nicholas Thompson, and Gene Sarazen.

The official odds of scoring an albatross are 6 million to 1. Whereas, hitting a hole-in-one for amateur golfers is 12 700 to 1.

It is so rare to score an albatross because it essentially requires a player to sink their second shot on a par-5. The second shot on a par-5 is usually about 200-yards from the green, so, it would require the highest level of precision, and a whole lot of luck to hole the second shot.

One infrequent occurrence worth noting was Nicholas Thompson’s albatross in the 2009 Fry.com Open. After scoring an albatross on the par-5 11th hole, he went on to hit a hole-in-one two holes later on the par-3 13th. In recorded golf history that feat has never been achieved by any other player.

What Is Better Than An Albatross In Golf

There is only one better feat than an albatross in golf, and that is a “condor.” A condor is getting a hole-in-one on a par 5. It is so rare that there are no odds recorded for hitting a condor on a golf round.

However, it has been done and recorded four times throughout golf’s history. Three of the four recorded condors were scored on dogleg par-5’s, where the players aimed over top of hazards and trees directly at the green. Of course, the players couldn’t see the hole, so there was a ton of luck involved.

There was one instance of a condor on a straight par-5 hole. It occurred in Denver Colorado, where the air is thinner, and the ball flies much easier through the air.

In Golf, What Is Another Name For An Albatross

The other term used to refer to an albatross is a double eagle. It may be slightly confusing hearing both terms used, but they are the same thing. Anytime someone calls it a double eagle, they are talking about an albatross and not a condor.


If you’ve ever scored an albatross, or have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them in the section below.

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About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.

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