What Is An Albatross In Golf?

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Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

If you have ever watched or played a game of gold, you have probably realized that the sport uses a lot of weird terminologies when talking about scoring.

what is an albatross in golf

For some reason, a lot of the names have bird references, such as eagle, birdie, and albatross.

The albatross is one of the world’s most endangered bird species and can remain airborne for extended periods of time without ever coming into contact with the ground.

On the golf field, albatrosses are just as hard to come by as eagles.

Here is everything you need to know about this odd golf term.

What Is An Albatross?

In the game of golf, a score on a hole that is three strokes better than the par score is referred to as an albatross.

An albatross may only be achieved in one of three ways: with a score of one on a par four, with a score of two on a par five, or with a score of three on a par six (a rare par).

On the golf course, albatrosses are just as difficult to find as they are in the natural world.

The achievement of an albatross involves not just technical proficiency but also a certain degree of good fortune.

If you’ve ever been to a golf course and watched someone make an albatross, there’s a good chance you won’t forget the experience, and it’s likely going to be a story you tell for many years to come.

Is An Albatross The Same As A Double Eagle?

There are several different names for achieving a score on a hole that is three strokes better than the par score.

The phrase “double eagle” is the one that is most commonly used to define this score in the golfing world, even though some people may claim that “albatross” is a better name to express the extraordinary accomplishment in golf.

How To Get An Albatross

The ability of a golfer to sink a ball from a very great distance away is based partly on skill, but mainly on luck. If the conditions are perfect, you might just be able to get an albatross.

Here are a few factors that will increase your chances.

what is an albatross in golf

Help From Nature

Sometimes all you need is for mother nature to help you out. This can mean a lot of things such as:

  • Wind – If wind hits a ball when it is rolling downwind, it will make the ball fly further and roll further.
  • How Hard The Ground Is – When playing in hot, dry circumstances, the ground will be quite hard, which will give the ball more bounce and roll.
  • Trees – The beneficial bounces of these forest monarchs are gratefully accepted, but the outcomes are unpredictable and are not always pleasant.

Man-Made Obstacles

Cart pathways, whether they are man-made or natural, provide balls with an additional boost in exchange for a small scuff mark.

Alterations To The Hole’s Elevation

There can be dramatic fluctuations in altitude on courses that are situated in mountainous areas or among rolling hills.

Shots that are played downhill shorten the distance to the hole and cause the ball to bounce and roll further than shots played uphill.

Elevation Above Sea Level

If you are at a higher elevation than sea level, the air will be thinner, which will cause the ball to go further.

When playing golf at an altitude of 5,000 feet, you should add at least 6 percentage points to your yardage.

The Perspective From Which the Shot Is Taken

Straight lines cover the most ground in the quickest amount of time while traveling between two places.

Many professional golfers will choose angles that cut the length of the course in half by going through or even over obstacles like trees, lakes, valleys, and hills.

A good illustration of this would be choosing to play a dogleg that is 350 yards long since that is how the course was created rather than going straight for the hole and just needing to hit the ball a combined total of 300 yards to get there.

Your Capability Of Hitting The Ball A Long Distance

You need some or all of the criteria that were described above to make a ball in the hole from a considerable distance.

However, more important than anything else is the ability to smash the ball a long distance consistently and reliably.

Not only does it take a lot of work and a lot of mental and physical power to be able to perform the same effective swing each time, but it also requires a lot of effort and a lot of mental and physical strength to create enough clubhead speed to hit the ball the required distance.

How Rare Is An Albatross?

People are always talking about odds in golf, as it is essentially a game about beating the odds.

The odds of a golfer making an ace are 12,500 to 1 for an amateur and 2,500 to 1 for a professional.

The odds of seeing an albatross are around one million to one, making it a very unlikely occurrence.

If a golfer wants to increase their chances of earning an albatross on their scorecard, they have a higher chance of getting hit by lightning (1 in 555,000).

In addition, only 10% of golfers can hit the green in two strokes when playing a par 5, which means that 90% of players will never have the chance to make one.


An Albatross is a golfing term that means that a golfer has got a score on a hole that is three strokes better than the par score.

This is an extremely rare occurrence and a feat that even the most professional golfers struggle to achieve.

Luke Griffin

Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

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