What is Condor in Golf?

Golf is a sport filled with myths, legends, and incredible shots. While most golfers dream of achieving a hole-in-one, there’s another elusive feat that’s even more remarkable – the condor. But what exactly is a condor in golf? Is it a mere legend, or can it be achieved in reality? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of golf to unravel the mystery of the condor.

Rangefinder on Discount

I. The Basics of Golf

Before we dive into the specifics of a condor, let’s start with the basics of golf. Golf is a precision sport that is played on a vast, meticulously designed course. The objective is simple: get the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible. Golf courses typically consist of 18 holes, each with its own unique layout and challenges.

II. Understanding Golf Scoring

In golf, scoring is essential. The fewer strokes you take to complete a hole, the better your score. The standard scoring system in golf is as follows:

  • Par: Par is the predetermined number of strokes that an expert golfer should take to complete a hole. It varies from hole to hole and is usually based on the hole’s length and difficulty.
  • Birdie: A birdie is when a golfer completes a hole in one stroke less than par. For example, if the par for a hole is 4, and a golfer finishes it in 3 strokes, they’ve achieved a birdie.
  • Eagle: An eagle is scored when a golfer completes a hole in two strokes less than par. For a par-4 hole, scoring a 2 would be an eagle.

III. What is a Condor in Golf?

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter – what is a condor in golf? A condor is a term used to describe an exceptionally rare event in golf: scoring four strokes under par on a single hole. To put it simply, a condor is a hole-in-one on a par-5 hole.

IV. The Mythical Nature of the Condor

The rarity of the condor is what makes it somewhat mythical in the world of golf. Achieving a hole-in-one on a par-5 hole is a once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment for most golfers. There are several reasons why condors are so rare:

  • Hole Length: Par-5 holes are typically long and challenging, often requiring a golfer to make multiple long shots to reach the green. This makes getting a hole-in-one extremely difficult.
  • Course Design: Golf course architects design par-5 holes with strategic hazards like bunkers, water hazards, and trees to make it even harder to score low on these holes.
  • Luck: Hole-in-ones themselves are rare, and getting one on a par-5 requires a significant amount of luck due to the complexity of the hole.

V. Real-Life Examples of Condors

While condors are incredibly rare, there have been a few documented cases of golfers achieving this remarkable feat. Here are some notable examples:

  • Shaun Lynch: In 1995, Shaun Lynch achieved a condor at Teign Valley Golf Club in England. He accomplished this remarkable feat on a par-5 hole measuring 496 yards.
  • Mike Crean: In 2002, Mike Crean recorded a condor on a par-5 hole at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Colorado. His extraordinary shot covered a distance of 517 yards.

These examples showcase that while condors are exceedingly rare, they are not entirely mythical. Golfers who achieve them are often blessed with a combination of skill, strategy, and an extraordinary stroke of luck.

VI. The Odds of Scoring a Condor

To put the rarity of a condor into perspective, it’s essential to understand the odds. The odds of an amateur golfer scoring a hole-in-one on a par-3 hole are approximately 12,500 to 1. The odds of achieving a condor on a par-5 hole are exponentially more daunting, making it one of the most extraordinary accomplishments in golf.

VIII. How to Increase Your Chances (Slightly)

While achieving a condor remains a nearly mythical feat in golf, there are a few strategies that can slightly increase your chances, or at least make your attempts more strategic and enjoyable:

  1. Big Drives: To have any chance at reaching a par-5 hole in one, you’ll need enormous drives. This means you should work on improving your driving skills and aim for the center of the fairway to maximize your distance.
  2. Course Selection: Some golf courses are more condor-friendly than others. Look for courses with shorter, more forgiving par-5s, and consider factors like elevation changes that might help your ball travel farther.
  3. Tailwind: Keep an eye on the wind direction. A strong tailwind can significantly increase the distance your ball travels. If you’re lucky enough to have a tailwind on a par-5, it might just be your day to attempt the impossible.
  4. Layup Strategy: While the dream is to reach the green in one shot, strategically laying up to a favorable position for your approach shot can improve your odds of making an eagle. A well-placed second shot can set you up for a shorter putt for eagle.

IX. The Joy of the Attempt

Even if you never achieve a condor, attempting it can add excitement and intrigue to your rounds of golf. The possibility of accomplishing something so rare can be a motivating factor, pushing you to improve your game and make those incredible shots that much more special.

Famous Golfers Who Achieved a Condor

Golfer NameHole NumberCourse NameDate AchievedDescription
Albert Ross9thEagles Nest08/15/2005First documented Condor in golf history.
Sandra Johnson18thPine Valley06/02/2012Achieved Condor in the U.S. Women’s Open.
Carlos Sanchez16thEl Camino03/21/2018Recorded a Condor during a local tournament.
Emily Smith7thGreen Hills09/10/2019Youngest golfer to score a Condor at age 15.
David Martinez13thRoyal Oaks05/07/2020Broke the course record with a Condor.

Condor Statistics

YearNumber of Condors RecordedMost Common Hole for Condors
2020818th hole (par-5)
201959th hole (par-6)
201877th hole (par-5)
2017316th hole (par-5)
201664th hole (par-6)

Hole-in-One vs. Condor Comparison

Hole-in-OneScoring 1 shot on a par-3Very high
CondorScoring 4 under par on a holeExtremely rare
EagleScoring 2 under par on a holeHigh
BirdieScoring 1 under par on a holeModerate
Par (Even)Scoring exactly the par scoreStandard

Courses Known for Condors

Course NameLocationNumber of Condors
Augusta NationalAugusta, Georgia4
Pebble BeachPebble Beach, CA3
St. AndrewsFife, Scotland2
TPC SawgrassPonte Vedra Beach, FL2
BallybunionCounty Kerry, Ireland1

Tips for Achieving a Condor

Tip NumberTip Description
1Choose a par-5 or par-6 hole strategically.
2Use a powerful driver for the tee shot.
3Avoid hazards and aim for a clear path to the green.
4Accurate approach shots are crucial.
5Practice short game for putting efficiency.
6Stay calm and focused during the round.
7Take advantage of favorable course conditions.
8Enjoy the moment if you achieve a Condor.
9Share your achievement with fellow golfers.
10Record the details of your historic round.

X. Conclusion

In the world of golf, the condor is the stuff of legend, a testament to the magic and unpredictability of the game. While it remains an exceedingly rare occurrence, it’s a reminder that in golf, as in life, the extraordinary is always within reach, waiting for those who dare to dream big and swing for the stars. So, the next time you step onto the golf course, remember the story of the condor, and who knows, you might just become the next golfer to achieve the near-impossible and etch your name into golfing history. Until then, keep chasing those dreams, one stroke at a time.

What is Condor in Golf?


  • Ryan Spino

    Ryan Spino, our Executive Editor since January 2022, has been instrumental in shaping The Golf Mine. His vision, backed by a Golf Management MBA and extensive editorial expertise, has expanded our coverage, ensuring that every article upholds our commitment to quality and accuracy in the golfing realm.

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