Golf Birds: Golf Terms Explained

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Golf Birds

The game of golf got its start on the windy shores of St. Andrews along Scotland’s North Sea coast. The seaside locale clearly gave rise to commonly used golf terminology, like eagle, condor and birdie. Coastal areas attract many species of birds, like an albatross or a condor. Those species and many others now are commonly used terms in golf.

All those bird species and other commonly used terms can add up to a lot of confusion among players learning the game and many skilled amateurs. The following helps to explain them.

 Golf Birds: What is a birdie in golf?

what is a birdie in golfThe commonly used term that all golfers and many who do not golf but watch on television refers to a score that is one stroke below par. If you are playing a par 3 hole and nail a great tee shot to the flag, an easy tap-in will give you a birdie score of 2, for example.

Golf Birds: What is an eagle in golf?

what is an eagle in golfAn eagle is a score that is one better than a birdie on a par 4 or a par 5 hole. It is much harder to do on a par 4 than on a par 5. To get an eagle on a par 4, you need to either land the ball on the green from the tee or put it in the cup on your approach shot following a good drive. Whenever you beat the par by two strokes, then you posted an eagle.

 Golf Birds: What is a turkey in golf?

what is a turkey in golfA turkey in golf is similar to a turkey in bowling, which uses the term to describe three consecutive strikes by a bowler. In golf, you post a turkey when you score three consecutive birdies during the same round.  Best case scenario, you make multiple turkeys in one round.  Ideally a whole round of Turkeys!

 Golf Birds: What is an albatross in golf?

what is an albatross in golfAn albatross is score that is three strokes below par. You would need to ace a par 4, put the ball in the cup on an approach to a par 5, or make the green on the drive on a par 5 and sink the first putt.  A pretty rare feat.  But not impossible. states that there have been 4 albatross’s in the history of the Masters, 3 in the US Open, 3 in the PGA Championship and a whopping 8 in the British Open.  Now those guys are pretty good.

 Golf Birds: What is a condor in golf?

what is a condor in golfA condor is a somewhat rarely used term that describes a hole score that is four below par. That requires either a par 5 or a par 6 hole, and there are no par 6 holes in tournaments. So the condor is a rarely used and relatively unknown golf term.  This article on details some of the instances this has actually happened in real life, not a video game.  Crazy rare.

 Golf Birds: What is an ostrich in golf?

what is an ostrich in golfAn ostrich is even more rarely used than condor, because it represents a score that is five strokes fewer than par. So you either have to ace a par 6, which is nearly impossible, or complete a par 7 in two strokes.  Seems impossible, right?  I’m actually not aware of anyone who has ever accomplished this.  And given the number of par 6 or 7’s that exist, seems like it will never happen…

With all these positive bird related golf terminology better understood, you can try to post some on your next trip to the golf course!  

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