Just what IS an albatross in Golf, (Aka a double eagle) and what makes it so special? In this post, I’ll cover just that!
If you haven’t noticed yet, In golf, when events are given a bird’s name, it’s usually an indication of something overwhelmingly special and positive.
You’re likely familiar with birdies, where a player is one stroke below par; or an eagle where a player is two strokes below par.
There’s even a condor, where a hole is 4 under par (super rare, by the way). In a game where the lowest score wins, these birds signify events that are both fantastic and yet increasingly difficult to achieve.
An albatross is something else entirely. Most golfers go their entire lives without making one or even seeing one in person. So, what is an albatross in golf? What makes it so special?
Well, find out in the article below:
What is an albatross (double eagle) in golf?
For a quick answer, an albatross (also called a double eagle) happens technically when a player is three strokes below par. So, if by some miracle you managed to sink the ball with three strokes on a par-5 course, that is an albatross.
Under this logic, completing a par-4 hole in 3 strokes is also an albatross but, really, this is simply called a hole-in-one. Most courses/tournaments only count an albatross when it occurs in a par-5 hole, making it even rarer and harder to achieve.
Luck is needed here along with a good amount of skill. In golf’s long history, only a select few have managed to pull this off.
Who managed to do it?
Since records have been kept, only 18 albatrosses have been made at the major tournaments of the world.
One of the most notable ones is PGA Tour legend, Gene Sarazen. He was the first professional golfer to record an albatross back in 1935.
Other professionals like Jack Nicklaus, Shaun Micheel, and Joey Sindelar, have scored albatrosses at least once in their careers.
One famous incident involves Nicholas Thompson, who achieved the feat twice back-to-back in 2009 – something we’re likely not to see again in a very long time.
What are the odds of an albatross?
The National Hole in One Association sets a golfer’s odds of making a hole-in-one at 12,700 to 1 or, for a professional, 3,700 to 1.
The odds of achieving an albatross, meanwhile, are set at 6 million to 1.
Many bookmakers do not attempt to put odds on albatrosses and betting on one is considered extremely optimistic, almost crazy. The fact that it can only be made on a par-5 hole also contributes to its rarity.
Highly elusive and certainly not something you can expect to achieve without being extremely lucky, getting an albatross is sure to make the player part of history.
And that was our answer to the question: what is an albatross (or double eagle) in golf? Easier said than done in real life, by a long shot.
Of course, we won’t say that it’s impossible or that you can never do it. If you’re skilled and have fortune on your side, then perhaps you might be a part of history too.
We just hope you understand that these occurrences are rare and even scoring them once does not mean you win the whole game.
Skill, experience, and practice are still what make an excellent golfer.