What is an Albatross in Golf

In the world of golf, an “Albatross” is a term used to describe a very rare and impressive accomplishment on the course. Often referred to as a “double eagle,” it occurs when a golfer completes a hole in three strokes under par. In simpler terms, an albatross is achieved when a player scores a 2 on a par-5 hole, a 1 on a par-4 hole, or even a hole-in-one on a par-3 hole. Let’s delve deeper into this remarkable achievement:

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Scoring an Albatross

  1. On a Par-5 Hole: Achieving an albatross on a par-5 hole is the most common scenario. In this case, a golfer manages to reach the green in just two shots, usually through a combination of a massive drive and a second shot that’s nothing short of spectacular. After reaching the green in two shots, the golfer sinks a putt for a score of 2 on a hole that’s typically expected to be played in 5 strokes (par).
  2. On a Par-4 Hole: Scoring an albatross on a par-4 hole is exceptionally rare and requires a golfer to drive the ball into the hole from the tee. This feat is commonly referred to as a “hole-in-one” on a par-4 and is considered one of the most extraordinary achievements in golf.
  3. On a Par-3 Hole: While not technically an albatross, a hole-in-one on a par-3 hole is a similarly impressive accomplishment. It involves sinking the ball in the cup with a single stroke on a hole that’s already at or under par. For instance, acing a par-3 hole results in a score of 1.

Significance and Rarity

The albatross is a prestigious achievement in golf because it’s exceedingly rare. Many golfers go their entire lives without ever scoring one. The odds of scoring an albatross are significantly lower than those of achieving a hole-in-one, as it typically involves two exceptional shots in succession on a par-5 hole or an even more miraculous hole-in-one on a par-4.

Celebrating an Albatross

When a golfer manages to score an albatross, it’s a cause for celebration. Fellow players often congratulate the golfer with enthusiasm, and it’s customary for the golfer to buy drinks or celebrate in some way, akin to the tradition of buying drinks after a hole-in-one.

Notable Albatrosses in Golf History

Several professional golfers have recorded memorable albatrosses in their careers, adding to the allure of this accomplishment. For instance, Louis Oosthuizen made history at the 2012 Masters Tournament by holing out his second shot on the par-5 2nd hole. This rare feat occurred during the final round and was met with thunderous applause from the crowd.

How an Albatross Compares to Other Golf Scores

To put the achievement of an albatross into context, it’s important to understand how it compares to other golf scores:

  1. Eagle: An eagle is achieved when a golfer completes a hole in two strokes under par. For example, scoring a 3 on a par-5 hole or a 2 on a par-4 hole is considered an eagle. While impressive, it’s not as rare as an albatross.
  2. Birdie: A birdie is when a golfer completes a hole in one stroke under par. For instance, scoring a 4 on a par-5 hole or a 3 on a par-4 hole is a birdie. Birdies are more common than eagles but still require skill.
  3. Par: Scoring a par means that a golfer completes the hole in the exact number of strokes that the course’s designer intended. Par is the benchmark for skill in golf, and most holes are designed to be played in par strokes.
  4. Bogey and Beyond: Scoring over par is referred to as a bogey (1 over par), double bogey (2 over par), and so on. These scores are common for amateur golfers and are the result of struggling to complete the hole efficiently.

Strategies for Achieving an Albatross

Scoring an albatross requires a combination of skill, strategy, and often a bit of luck. Here are some strategies that golfers may employ to increase their chances of achieving this rare feat:

  1. Powerful Drives: On a par-5 hole, a golfer needs to drive the ball as far as possible off the tee. This sets up the opportunity for a shorter approach shot, increasing the chances of reaching the green in two strokes.
  2. Precise Approach Shots: After a strong drive, the approach shot becomes crucial. Golfers must aim accurately to get the ball close to the hole, giving themselves a good chance for a putt or even a chip-in for an albatross.
  3. Course Knowledge: Understanding the layout of the course, including hazards, slopes, and wind conditions, can be a significant advantage. Knowing when to take risks and when to play conservatively is key.
  4. Putting Skill: On par-5 holes, it’s common for the final shot to be a long putt. Having a strong putting game and the ability to read greens accurately is essential for sinking the ball in as few putts as possible.
  5. Mental Composure: Achieving an albatross often involves handling pressure well. Staying focused, staying calm, and making confident swings are vital for success.

Overview of Albatross in Golf

TermDefinitionExampleOther NamesRarity
AlbatrossScoring three strokes under par on a single hole.Making a 2 on a par-5 hole.Double EagleRare

Scoring Comparison

Hole ParScore for AlbatrossScore for EagleScore for BirdieScore for Par

 Notable Golfers with Albatrosses

GolferAlbatross AchievementsNotable Albatross Holes
Phil MickelsonHas made multiple Albatrosses during his career.On the 4th hole at Augusta National Golf Club.
Tiger WoodsHas recorded a few Albatrosses in professional play.On the 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Lydia KoRecorded an Albatross on the LPGA Tour.On the 2nd hole at Lake Merced Golf Club.

Albatross Scoring Variations

Type of AlbatrossDescriptionNotable Instances
Traditional AlbatrossScoring 2 on a par-5 hole or 1 on a par-3 hole.Making a 1 on a par-3 hole.
CondorScoring 4 under par on a single hole (very rare).Theoretically possible on a par-7 hole.
Super AlbatrossScoring 5 under par on a single hole (extremely rare).No widely documented cases.

Albatross Trivia

Fun FactInformation
First RecordedThe first recorded Albatross in professional golf was by Arthur D’Arcy at Prestwick Golf Club in 1870.
Unofficial NicknameSome golfers playfully refer to an Albatross as a “Double Eagle.”
Albatross TrophySome golf clubs or tournaments offer special trophies or prizes for players who achieve an Albatross.



In the world of golf, an albatross is a remarkable achievement that showcases a golfer’s skill and precision. Whether it’s on a par-5 hole with two incredible shots or a hole-in-one on a par-4, achieving an albatross is a moment of glory on the golf course. It’s a testament to the golfer’s dedication and expertise and is celebrated as one of the most elusive and prestigious accomplishments in the sport.


What is an Albatross in Golf


  • Anglo Carson

    Anglo Carson, a Certified Golf Instructor, embarked on a remarkable journey, driven by his unwavering love for golf. He founded The Golf Mine with a singular mission - to create a golfing haven where passion knows no boundaries. His lifelong love affair with golf, combined with his expertise as a Certified Golf Instructor, turned into a vision to share his extensive knowledge, inspire, and promote the game he holds dear.

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