What Is An Albatross In Golf? [Can You Make One?]

They’re one of the rarest birds around, but it’s also a well-known golf term. If you’ve ever heard the term when watching golf on TV, you’ve probably wondered what actually is an albatross in golf.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the illustrious albatross and how you can go about achieving one in a round of golf.

What Is An Albatross In Golf?

What Is An Albatross In Golf?

What Is An Albatross In Golf?

An albatross is a term used in golf to describe a score that is 3 under par on a hole, sometimes also known as a double eagle. For example, if you were to score a 2 on a par 5, this would be referred to as an albatross.

How To Score An Albatross?

To score an albatross is one of the rarest achievements in the game of golf. You’re very unlikely to ever really hear about one happening at your local golf club, let alone see one while you’re out playing. This is mainly down to the fact that they’re just so difficult to achieve.

As mentioned, an albatross is where you make a score of 3 under par on one hole. This means that you’ve got to either make a 2 on a par 5 or hole your tee shot on a par 4. This is certainly no easy feat.

For starters, even reaching either a par 5 in 2 shots or a par 4 in 1 shot is only possible for golfers that hit the ball a long distance. The minimum length for a par 4 is 240 yards, so if you’re unable to hit the ball at least 240 yards then you’re not going to be able to make an albatross on a par 4.

As for par 5s, the minimum length according to the R&A guidelines is 450 yards. So again if you’re not able to hit 2 shots that distance, then your chance of getting an albatross is simply not possible.

Of course, for the longer hitters that can hit the ball those sorts of distances, making an albatross is a possibility. With a couple of perfect golf shots, your ball can end up in the hole for an albatross.

However, it becomes even more unlikely because of the fact that most courses only have between one and six par 5s. As with the short par 4s, most courses will only have a couple if any. This means you don’t even have 18 goes at making an albatross for an 18-hole round.

What Are The Odds Of Making An Albatross?

Making an albatross is one of the rarest and most unlikely things to happen in a round of golf. As illusive and incredible a hole-in-one is to make, your chances of an albatross are far slimmer.

According to the National Hole in One Association, they believe that an average golfer has a 1 in 12,700 chance of making a hole-in-one. Then compare that to your chances of making an albatross, 1 in 6,000,000. So, yeah, it’s safe to say the odds are exactly stacked in your favor. You actually have more chance of being crushed by a meteor (1 in 700,000)…

Therefore, worrying about making an albatross is pretty pointless. It’s an incredible achievement, but one that for 99.999999% of golfers won’t ever be a reality. Golf is a very hard sport to master, and that is clear when you look at your odds of an albatross.

Who Has Made An Albatross?

Only a very few golfers have ever made an albatross. Even most of the top players to ever play the game haven’t been able to achieve it.

However, there have been some amazing scores made, none more so than PGA Tour player Nicholas Thompson who while playing in an event, made an albatross on the par 5 11th then went on to make a hole in one two holes later.

The first ever recorded albatross was from a true legend of the game, Gene Sarazen. Whilst competing in the 1935 Masters tournament, he made a 2 on the par 5 15th hole and then went on to win the event.

Here’s one of the rarest shots in golf, caught on camera:

Why Is It Called An Albatross In Golf?

As with other under-par scores in golf, they are given the names of birds. With the terms ‘birdie‘ and ‘eagle‘ used to describe a 1 under and 2 under par score on a hole, it became common to refer to a 3 under score as ‘albatross’.

The albatross is one of the rarest birds in the world, so it makes sense to use it for the rarest of scores in golf.

Final Thoughts

An albatross is a term used to refer to a score of 3 under par on a hole in golf. It’s one of the hardest things to do in the game of golf and is very uncommon to see in a round.

Albatross FAQ’s

Has Tiger Woods had an albatross?

He might be one of the greatest players to have ever played the game, but Tiger Woods has never actually made an albatross, at least not in tournament play. He has however come very close a few times whilst out playing in events.

Is a double eagle the same as an albatross?

Yes, a double eagle is in fact the same as an albatross. Scoring 3 under par on a hole is referred to as an albatross as well as a double eagle. The term double eagle tends to be used more in the USA, with the albatross more commonly used across the pond.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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