albatross in golf

What is an Albatross in Golf?

An albatross in golf is a term used for scoring 3-under par. It’s something most golfers will never achieve in their lifetime as it’s more rare than a hole-in-one, but an Albatross does happen occasionally on tour by professional golfers.

Below we will break down the history of the golf term “Albatross” sharing its history and how to score an Albatross on the golf course. Be sure to also check out our previous articles on golf terms.

The History of the Albatross in Golf

Just like birdie and eagle, the word “albatross” is another “bird” themed word that golfers coined up to represent scores under par.

Birdie was the first word created in the early 1900s as slang for bird which golfers used during the 1800’s. Once bird became birdie in 1903 at the Atlantic City Country Club, eagle and albatross soon followed as golf terms, sticking with the bird theme.

Here is what an Albatross bird actually looks like.

albatross bird

What are the Odds of Scoring an Albatross in Golf?

The National Hole-in-One Association came up with scoring odds for the albatross. They currently list the odds of scoring an Albatross at 6 million to one. Comparing this to the 12,700 to 1 odds given for a hole-in-one, you can see that an Albatross is the most rare golf score to achieve and likely impossible for most golfers during their lifetime.

Check this out: Breaking 90, 80, 70 Practice Plans + Golf Video Lessons

How to Make an Albatross?

Since an albatross is a 3-under par golf score, there are only two ways to make it happen:

  • Score a (1) on a Par 4
  • Score a (2) on a Par 5

To score a hole-in-one on a Par 4 would be nearly impossible on most Par 4’s since the length of the hole is often 400+ yards which would be out of reach for most golfers tee shots.

However, it has happened before on shorter Par 4’s. If you play a Par 4 that is 350 yards or less, then it could be possible to hit a driver onto the green and get a lucky roll into the cup for a hole-in-one albatross on a Par 4.

The more likely scenario would be on a Par 5, hitting your second shot with a fairway wood or long iron and getting onto the par 5 green in two. With a lot of luck, the ball would have to roll into the cup on this second shot on the par 5.

Making a shot from 200+ yards away is very low odds, but several professional golfers have done it.

Check this out: Breaking 90, 80, 70 Practice Plans + Golf Video Lessons

Professional Golfers Who Scored an Albatross

Jack Nicklaus, Joey Sindelar, Shaun Micheel, are a few notable names who have scored an Albatross on the professional tour during tournaments.

The best two-holes ever played in the history of golf and likely one of the craziest golf stories in history came in 2009 at the Open. Nicholas Thompson made an Albatross at the par-5 11th hole and then went on to the par-3 13th hole and made a hole-in-one.

That’s 5 strokes under par on those two golf holes combined.

Gene Sarazen was the first to make an Albatross at one of the 4 golf majors tournaments in modern golf history. He made his albatross at the par-5 15th hole at the Masters in 1935. This forced a tie for the lead and Gene would go on to win the Masters in a playoff, capturing the Green Jacket thanks to his albatross late in his final round.

Practice Plans to Follow – Foy Golf Academy

I’m excited to show you these golf practice plans, worksheets, eBooks, and downloadable resources you get access to when you join Foy Golf Academy. Plus you’ll have access to 100+ video lessons in the video library to straighten your golf swing and better your putting and chipping technique.

These step by step practice plans (Breaking 100/90, Breaking 80, and Breaking 70) will layout practice routines that are proven to lower your golf score, improve your putting, chipping, and golf swing. We have over 1,000+ members who love them!

Click here to learn more about the Practice System that Lowers Golf Scores!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *