birdie in golf

What is a Birdie in Golf, its History, and How to Score One

Birdie is a scoring term used in golf. To score a birdie, you must get the ball in the hole in (1) stroke less than par. For example, on a par 5 you would need to finish the hole in only (4) strokes. On a par 4, you would need just (3) strokes, and on a Par 3, you would take just (2) strokes to complete the hole. So when you ask “what is a birdie in golf?”, remember that it means to score 1 stroke below the par value given to a hole.

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Where does the word Birdie come from in Golf?

To understand the origin of the golf term “Birdie” we must go back over 100+ years in the history of golf.

The word Birdie was originally the slang word “bird” and it was commemorated on a plaque in 1903 by the The Atlantic City Country Club of New Jersey. Birdie would catch on as a popular golf term in the 1910’s replacing the slang word “bird”.

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Are Birdies a Good Golf Score?

A birdie is difficult to achieve in golf and therefore is a special score to achieve due to its rarity. If you score a birdie in golf, you are an excellent golfer. A birdie is a very good golf score to achieve.

On the PGA Tour, professional golfers average just 5 birdies per round of golf. Scratch golfers average 2.4 birdies per round and the average amateur might score 1 birdie every couple of golf rounds played.

Also Read: How to Fill Out a Golf Scorecard

How to Score a Birdie in Golf?

To give yourself a chance at scoring a birdie, you can do a few things to increase the odds:

  • Hit long, straight tee shots that stay in the fairway.
  • Get onto the green in regulation so you’re putting for birdie.
  • Practice putting so you can increase your chances of making the birdie putt.
  • Reach the green of a Par 5 in two strokes, leaving you two putts to make birdie.
  • Chip it in if you miss the green in regulation
  • Work on your golf swing to hit iron shots straight at the flag.
  • Develop a strong short game so you can make birdies on Par 5’s

Scoring one less stroke than par is tough to do so you need to make every stroke count. Golfer’s who tend to score more birdies also tend to have lower golf handicaps.

To increase your odds of making a birdie in golf, you’ll want to establish more power in your golf swing and become a longer distance hitting golfer. Golfers who hit the golf ball farther increase their chances of making birdies.

They can hit long drives farther down the fairway, leaving themselves a shorter club like a wedge or 9 iron into the green which gives them better control and accuracy as compared to hitting a longer iron for the approach shot.

Your best chance at making a birdie is on Par 5 holes. If you can reach the green in just 2 strokes, this will leave you 2 putts to still make a birdie (4) on the scorecard.

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If the par 5 is playing 500 yards, for example, you would need to hit your drive at least 280 yards and then follow that up with a 220 yard fairway wood to reach the green in just (2) strokes.

Getting on the green in regulation is also key. The more greens you can hit the more birdie putt chances you’ll have. A green in regulation is when you reach the green in two strokes less than par. This leaves you those final two strokes to putt the ball on the green to make par.

So to make a birdie, you would reach the green in regulation (2 strokes on a Par 4) and then use just (1) putt to make a birdie (3) on a Par 4. If you two putt, you make par. Practice putting so you can make the first putt and score birdie! One putts will be key to making more birdies in golf.

If you miss the green in regulation, then you’ll want to try your best to chip the golf ball into the hole. A chip-in is another common way that golfers make birdies during their golf round. Here’s a video with tips on how to chip in the golf ball to make birdies from the Nick Foy Golf YouTube Channel.

Overall, that is the history of the word Birdie in golf and what the term Birdie means to golfers. We also shared tips on how to score more birdies so now it’s up to you to begin working on your game to make it happen!

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