What is An Albatross In Golf? The Odds Are Unbelievable!

There are so many exciting bird terms in golf that describe scoring. Name them all! Some names as birdie, eagle, condor, and albatross? Yes! It is the albatross!

But do you know what an albatross in golf is?

Albatross is also called a double eagle in golf. But it is a score that most golfers may not achieve in their lifetime. Find out more about an albatross in golf with this 3-minute-read article!

What Is An Albatross In Golf Terms?

As we have stated earlier, an albatross in golf term is also called the double eagle. It is something that most golfers might not achieve in their lifetime. Why not? You see, an albatross is a scoring designation representing a score of three-under-par on a single hole.

The feat is too rare to happen even to professional golfers, although more than one person had done it previously. The effort is possible in a par-5 hole if you succeed in holing the second ball. If you sink out three shots in par-4, the accomplishment is called a hole-in-one rather than an albatross.

Scoring an albatross is as scarce as a hen’s tooth. It is more likely that you can be hit by lightning on a golf course than hitting an albatross. Furthermore, scoring an albatross requires higher skill and a ton of luck, and perhaps a lot of prayers! But it can happen any time without you expecting it.

You’ll Probably Never Get an Albatross

Scoring an albatross is rare than a hole-in-one. The average golfer may not accomplish the feat despite clear weather or friendly wind in the golf course. Most golfers have insufficient distance driving a par 4 hole. Worst, most players lack the distance in reaching the green on a par 5 within two strokes.

In case a player has the distance in getting into the green within two shots on par 5: the player is facing more than 200 yards of the second shot. The far ground distance is almost impossible for the player to sink the ball into the hole for an albatross.

The hard-to-get albatross shot is more impossible for amateur or beginner golfers. Even if they have the luck: statistics showed that there is only a handful that did it. And they are all professionals or veteran golfers! In comparison with a hole-in-one on a par 3, accomplishing an albatross will need you to sink one impossible shot. A higher level of precision is also needed.

The shot must be followed by another flawless shot more than just a perfect one. Another problem haunting golfers in making an albatross is that some courses have few holes in par 5.

Let us say that you reach the green in just two shots, the possibility of an albatross is almost nil. Why is that so? It is because you may not have the distance in reaching the green.

Albatross vs. Double Eagle

The other term for an albatross is a double eagle in golf. The terms are the names given for a score of three under-pars on a hole. But the expression double eagle is widely used instead of an albatross.

The score is most often achieved within two shots on a par-5 hole. The feat was first recorded on April 18, 1935, when Gene Sarazen did it in the Masters’ Tournament. Most male golfers prefer to call an albatross the double eagle because of the more masculine look of an eagle.

When Gene Sarazen hit the shot in 1935, it was heard around the world. The holing was done using a 4-wood from 235 yards in the 15th fairway in Augusta National in Georgia; U.S.A. Sarazen had put a two (2) on his card.

He then made a 3-shot deficit with a swing but beaten Wood Craig the next day.

Since then, the Sarazen shot was called a double eagle by golf reporters in the United States at that time. The Sarazen double eagle shot put the Masters on the map. However, in other continents where golf is played, a score of 3-under par on a hole was termed an albatross.

How Rare Is an Albatross in Golf?

Did we tell you that an albatross score is one of the rarest shots in golf? It is rarer than lightning striking you once in your lifetime. However, the National Hole-in-One Registry, a premier worldwide Hole-in-One Golf Registry, reported that a PGA Tour player has a 3,000-to-1 chance of scoring a hole-in-one.

The organization also pointed out that an average golfer has 12,000-to-1 odds of making a hole-in-one shot. Furthermore, the Double Eagle Club reiterates that the odds of achieving an albatross are 6,000,000-to-1. Speaking so much luck, indeed!

The registry reports that 60% of hole-in-one golfers are 50 or older, while 57% are made by mid-handicappers. Those who did it have handicaps ranging from 10 to 19. Furthermore, 40% of holes in one are made with 7, 8, or 9 irons.

Do you need the best golf balls? You can check out here The Best Golf Balls for Beginners & High Handicappers 2021.

How to Get an Albatross in Golf

There are several factors that may affect your shot and the chance you make an albatross. Here are some of them:

1. Weather Condition/Nature

The wind plays one of the most vital roles in achieving an albatross. The wind may help the ball go and roll farther in the golf course.

If you hit on a headwind, your shots will fly higher, and land more vertically on flat ground. The firmness of the ground, though greens, may roll the ball to your advantage.

2. The higher elevation of the golf course

The higher the elevation of the golf course: the higher the chance of making an albatross. More experts agreed that playing on a golf course with at least 5,000 ft. elevation above sea level has lesser air density. The thin air on your surrounding will give 6% more on yardage.

3. Artificial obstacles

There are many man-made structures in a golf course that act as hazards to heighten the challenges. However, these obstacles (such as golf cart paths) may tolerate a good swing to the ball. Your swing speed may reward farther distances that will result in a possible albatross score.

4. Hilly golf course

Golf courses with holes in elevated surfaces, especially those that are downhill, will lessen the distance to the hole. The ball will roll and bounce farther to give you the best chance of making an albatross.

Is It Worth Trying to Make an Albatross?

There is nothing wrong with golf if you are targeting an albatross shot. However, to win your game in golf, you should have fewer strokes in getting the ball to the hole. But deciding to always try getting an albatross in most cases is not recommended.

Golfers should analyze the situation better before a shot. If the conditions do not point in making moves to realize an albatross, it is best to change the strategy.

What Is Better Than an Albatross in Golf?

An albatross is better in golf if you can do it without putting your other shots at risk. However, a hole-in-one is much better because it is the minimum shot or stroke required in completing a golf hole. A condor is also considered a rare shot in golf that gives you more advantages.

Read More: Do you know How Long Does It Take to Golf 9 Holes? Find out here .

Famous Albatrosses in Golf

Aside from PGA Tour legend Gene Sarazen, there were numerous other golfers who became famous doing an albatross. On April 6, 1967, Bruce Devlin made an albatross (the second in golf history) in the same Master’s Tournament, also in Augusta, Georgia.

The current record shows that only about 100+ professional golf players had done an albatross since Gene Sarazen.

Some of the living legends: like Ernie Els, Harris English, and Jack Nicklaus, have done the feat in their respective professional games. On the other hand, there were only four women on record (major tournaments) who did an albatross in their professional plays.

Topping the list is Dawn Coe-Jones, August 26, 1993, in the du Maurier Classic tournament in the London Hunt Club golf course.

Additional Golf Scoring Terms

  • Hole-in-One (Ace): One stroke on any hole disregarding any par
  • Birdie: One stroke under/less than par
  • Eagle: Two strokes under par
  • Albatross/Double Eagle: Three strokes under-par
  • Condor: Four strokes under-par
  • Par: The regular stroke expected by a proficient player to score on a hole or round.
  • Bogey: One stroke over-par on a hole
  • Double bogey: Two strokes over-par on a hole


Now you know what an albatross in golf is and the odds at stake, maybe you could consider another scoring. A hole-in-one is much better, as we have told you before. But do not expect much when you are on the golf course.

We still believe in the saying that practice makes perfect!

Read more:What is  A Golf Shamble ? 

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