What Is An Albatross In Golf? Definition & Meaning

Suppose you are a golfer or are simply interested in learning more about the game. Understanding what the term ‘albatross’ means is crucial to understanding golf’s complexities. The albatross can be seen as one of the rarest and most exciting moments on any golf course around the world; outscoring a hole–in–one often requires tremendous skill and good luck!

So, what is an albatross in golf? Why is it called an albatross and how rare is it? Let’s take a look at the answers to these questions and more to gain a better understanding of this rare golfing feat.

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What Is An Albatross In Golf?

An albatross in golf is a rare and elusive feat that few players have been able to achieve. It is also referred to as a double eagle and is achieved when a player scores three under par on a single hole. This level of precision and skill sets albatrosses apart from other impressive feats in golf.

To put it into perspective, think of a golfer hitting a hole-in-one on a par-4 hole. That’s an albatross! This also means that on a par 5 hole, a player would get the ball in the hole in just two shots.

It’s quite a rare feat, with only a handful of professional golfers achieving one in their careers. So, next time you hear someone mentioning an albatross, you’ll know what they mean and the incredible level of skill required to achieve it.


Why Is It Called an Albatross In Golf?

An Albatross In Golf
The term “Albatross In Golf” comes from unexpected places

In the 19th century, slang terms often conveyed creative meanings that differed from their original connotations. For instance, the word ‘bird’ describes something excellent or commendable. The slang caught on, and soon the term ‘eagle’ was coined to describe a score that was one better than a ‘birdie.’ This term became a common way to describe a particularly outstanding golf shot.

Another bird-related term that gained popularity was ‘albatross,’ which referred to a score that was two better than a ‘birdie.’ It’s fascinating how language evolves, with new words and meanings emerging from unexpected places.


What Are the Odds of Making an Albatross?

Have you ever dreamed of hitting an albatross on the golf course? It’s a feat that only a select few have accomplished for a good reason. An albatross is one of the rarest occurrences in golf.

In fact, the odds of making an albatross are said to be approximately 6 million to 1! That’s right, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning, winning the lottery, or even becoming a professional golfer than hitting an albatross.

It’s no wonder golfers worldwide pour hours into perfecting their swing, all for that one-in-a-million chance of making an albatross.


How Rare Is An Albatross In Golf?

What Is An Albatross In Golf
Rafa Cabrera – Bello score an albatross with 181 yards in 2017

Scoring an albatross in golf is the ultimate feat for any player – it’s incredibly rare and difficult to achieve. Even more impressive than scoring a hole-in-one, only a few players have accomplished this elusive score. Legends such as Nicolas Thompson, Jack Nicklaus, and Gene Sarazen are among the few who have managed to sink their second shot on a par-5 hole.

The reason for its rarity is understandable; hitting a second shot from over 200 yards away and landing it precisely in the hole takes great skill and some element of luck. Those who manage to score an albatross can take pride in knowing they achieved something that few other golfers ever will.


Examples Of Albatrosses In Golf Tournaments

The albatross is widely regarded as one of the rarest shots in golf, and for a good reason. Over golf history, there have only been a handful of recorded instances of this feat being achieved in professional golf tournaments. Here are some of the most memorable examples:

  • In 2009, Nicholas Thompson made two albatrosses in one match, on the par-5 and par-3 11th hole at the Fry.com Open tournament.
  • In 1935, Gene Sarazen achieved an albatross on the 15th hole of the Master.

These examples show just how impressive this feat is in golf—and why it’s so sought after by players at all levels of the game!


So there you have it. Now you know as much about albatross in golf as the next person. They are very rare, but when they happen, they are very impressive and often end up winning the hole for the player. Next time you’re out on the golf course and someone gets an albatross, congratulate them on their amazing feat!


Has Tiger Woods Hit an Albatross?

Tiger Woods has not hit an albatross in competitive golf, although he has come close. During the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Woods played on a par-5 hole and hit a remarkable 329-yard drive on his first shot. On his second shot, he got the ball mere inches away from the pin – a distance that most golfers can only dream of achieving. Unfortunately, his last shot fell just 7 inches short of reaching the coveted albatross status.

What Is The Difference Between An Albatross And An Eagle?

An eagle is when a player makes two strokes under par on a hole, whereas an albatross is when a player makes three strokes under par on a hole. An albatross is rarer than an eagle and is considered more impressive.

Is Albatross Better Than Hole-In-One?

Golfers have long debated whether the ultimate achievement on the course is an Albatross or a Hole-In-One. While both require a certain level of skill and precision, the Albatross is arguably the more impressive feat. This elusive score requires a golfer to hit a rare double eagle, achieving three strokes under par on a single hole. It’s so rare, in fact, that many golfers go their entire lives without ever scoring one.

What is Better Than Albatross In Golf?

If you’re looking for an even rarer feat, there is a condor. This elusive score occurs when a golfer scores 4-under par on a hole, which is typically only achievable on par 5 or 6 holes. So, if you’re lucky enough to witness a golfer achieve a condor, consider yourself among an exclusive group of golf enthusiasts who have seen something remarkable.



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