What Is The Meaning Of Ostrich In Golf? (Find Out Here)

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There are plenty of golf terms that can confuse the beginner. After a hole, you might hear some people congratulating you on an ostrich. But what does this term mean?

An ostrich occurs when you hit five under par. There are only a handful of holes in the world where this achievement is possible. Because of this difficulty, it’s believed that no one has been able to achieve an ostrich.

There are plenty of interesting terms that can confuse novice golfers. Keep reading to learn more about these and where they come from.  

Meaning of an Ostrich in Golf

An Ostrich is one of the most prestigious terms in golf. It means that you have gotten a score of five under par. To understand why this is such a significant achievement, we first need to understand the par system.

A par is intended to represent the number of shots you need to take to get the ball into the hole. For example, imagine a 5-par hole. This means that it will take 5 swings to complete. There are a few factors used when calculating the par. For example, they need to think about how far the ball is from the hole. They also need to consider the difficulty involved with getting the shot.

When a player gets an ostrich, it means that they have putted five under par. To understand why they are so rare, we can look at the way that most golf courses are structured. Most courses will be made up of par 3, par 4, and par 5 holes. However, it’s impossible to get an ostrich on any of these holes. There are only two ways to achieve an ostrich. These are;

  • Hitting a hole in one on a par 6 hole
  • Getting a score of two on a par 7 hole

To give you an idea of how challenging this would be, let’s look at what these achievements would involve. For men, a hole will need to be 690 yards for it to qualify as par 6. For women, this would be a distance of 575 yards. You would need to score a birdie (hole-in-one) from that distance.

Alternatively, you could give yourself two strokes by moving to a par 7 hole. These are the most difficult holes in the world, with only a handful in existence. In Korea, the par 7 hole is 1,097 yards away. This makes it the longest hole in the world.

Additionally, it’s rare for par 6 or par 7 courses to appear in professional tournaments. Because of these factors, it’s believed that no one in the world has ever hit an ostrich.

Where Does the Term Ostrich Come From?

All of the shots under par in golf are named after birds. It’s believed that this occurred because a bird was a slang name for the word cool. The ostrich got its name because of how unique and rare the species is. Additionally, it is larger than a condor.

What is a Condor in Golf?

A condor is the next step down from an ostrich. It means that you have been able to get four under par. Like an ostrich, the chances of getting a condor are limited. There are only a handful of ways you can do it.

  • Getting a hole-in-one on a 5 par
  • Scoring two on a 6 par
  • Getting a score of three on a 7 par

While this is also a rare shot, it is possible. There have been five recorded instances of a golfer getting a condor. It’s believed that the shot got this theme because it was continuing with the bird theme. The condor is larger than an albatross, the next trickiest shot.

What an Albatross Means in Golf

The next golf shot named after a bird is the albatross. In this case, it refers to a shot that is three under par. There are a few ways that you can achieve this.

  • Hole-in-one of a par 4 course
  • Two strokes on a par 5
  • Three strokes on par 6
  • Four strokes on par 7

While this is more common, the odds of achieving it remain low. It’s believed that an amateur has a 12,700 to one chance of hitting an albatross. For a professional player, the odds improve slightly to 3,700 to one. The albatross got its name because it is bigger than the eagle. Though, in some cases, you will hear this achievement referred to as a double eagle.

What an Eagle Means in Golf

An eagle refers to a golfer getting a score of two under par. This is possible at every hole on the course. You will need to do the following;

  • Hole-in-one on a par 3
  • Two strokes on a par 4
  • Three strokes on a par 5
  • Four strokes on a par 6
  • Five strokes on a par 7

This is most common on a par 5 hole. But it is still rare. Many professional golfers will struggle to hit an eagle. It’s believed that the name Eagle came from American players. They wanted to use their national bird to celebrate this occasion.

What a Birdie Means in Golf

To get a birdie, you would need to hit one under par. This is the most common type. You would need to do the following;

  • Two strokes on a par 3
  • Three strokes on a par 4
  • Four strokes on a par 5
  • Five strokes on a par 6
  • Six strokes on a par 7

This is the most common type of shot. It’s estimated that a professional golfer will be able to get a birdie over 15 percent of the time. However, these shots still have their challenges. Namely, you need to be able to putt with accuracy.

Because of how relatively common it is, most players strive to achieve a turkey. This is the name given when a golfer can achieve three birdies in one round of golf. It’s believed this term stems from bowling, where three strikes in a row are called a turkey.

Best Golf Score in History

Interestingly, the best golf score in history belongs to Jim Furyk. He was able to achieve a score of 58 over 18 holes. To achieve this, he got 10 birdies, one eagle, and seven pars. It should be noted, though, that there are accounts of non-PGA golfers who were able to shoot a score of 57.

Names For Shots That are Over Par

So far, we’ve focused on shots that are over par. But there are also names given to shots that are over par. These are known by the following terms;

  • Bogey. This shot is one stroke over par.
  • Double bogey. This is a shot that is two over par.
  • Triple bogey. This is what happens when you get three over par.
  • It continues in this way until a sextuple bogey, which is six over par.  

The term bogey is believed to have stemmed from a popular song. According to the lyrics of the song, the bogey was an elusive man who no one could find. Originally, it used to be used in the same way as par is today. But, over time, this meaning began to shift. As a result, it started to become associated with one above par.

Final Thoughts

The ostrich will likely remain a difficult, if not impossible, shot for many golfers. Shooting five under par has, to date, never been achieved. The good news is that other creatively titled shots will be easier for the average golfer to make. For example, there is a good chance that you will be able to land a birdy shot at some point during your golfing career.