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What Is An Albatross In Golf? – Explained!

What Is An Albatross In Golf?
What Is An Albatross In Golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms sometimes thrown out in conversation and television broadcasts is the word “albatross”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly does “albatross” mean in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what an albatross or double eagle is in golf, along with some examples to solidify your comprehension.

What Is An Albatross In Golf?

In golf, an albatross (also called double eagle) designates the act of completing a golf hole with 3 strokes under par. In other words, scoring an albatross is when you complete a golf hole with 3 fewer strokes than the par number. For example, if a golf hole is a par 5 hole, completing that hole in 2 golf strokes results in an albatross.

In the great game of golf, the term “albatross” is a word that is rare to hear. However, when you hear the word “albatross”, it is usually probably on one the par 5 holes of a given golf course.

An alternative name for “albatross” is “double eagle”.

In golf, scoring an albatross means that a golfer completed a golf hole with three fewer strokes than the amount of strokes indicated by the par number. An albatross is the act of completing a golf hole with three strokes under par.

The general formula to know if you scored an albatross is the following:

An albatross or double eagle is scored if and only if:

(Strokes required to complete a hole) – (Par number for that hole) = -3

You can read a real-world example of an albatross scored, down below.


Tiger is a professional golfer. He gets ready to tee off in front of a par 5 golf hole.

Eventually, Tiger completes the hole in only 2 strokes.

(Strokes required) – Par = 2 – 5 = -3 score for the hole

Therefore, as his score is -3 for the hole, Tiger scored an albatross.

To make things as simple as possible for you to know if you scored an albatross, refer yourself to the following chart:

Par Number for the HoleExact Shots Taken to Get an Albatross
Exact Shots Taken To Get An Albatross VS Par Number Of The Hole

Scoring an albatross is an incredibly rare achievement to accomplish in golf. It will usually raise lots of applause and cheer from the spectators in the crowd, as it is extraordinarily impressive to accomplish.

Scoring an albatross on a given golf hole means you required three fewer strokes than the average scratch golfer; scratch golfers are defined as excellent golf players.

Albatross’ are known to be exceedingly rare on a golf course, as opposed to bogeys, because they require lots of luck mixed with a high skill level to score.

To ever stand a chance of scoring an albatross, you need to be great at golf and be lucky. You probably will never score an albatross if you rely solely on luck and poor golf skills.

Even amongst professional golfers, an albatross is exceedingly rare. Most people will never score an albatross within their lifetime.

If you want to stand a chance at scoring an albatross, you will need both a strong long game and skillful short game (putting on the green). You will need either a hole-in-one on a par 4 or higher hole, or a good long drive with a successful one-putt in order to score an albatross.

Linguistic historians believe that the golf term “albatross” was chosen as a natural evolution from the other positive golf scoring terms, “birdie” & “eagle”. Birdies and eagles are like an albatross, except that they respectively mean you went 1 and 2 strokes under par for a given hole.

The term birdie came from the old American slang word “bird”. The word “bird” used to mean “nice” and “good” back in the 19th century. As a natural evolution, the names of bigger birds were given to achievements even bigger in value than a birdie.

Intuitively, one can visualize how an eagle is bigger than a bird, and an albatross, the biggest bird in the world, is an even bigger achievement than an eagle.

Although the truth of the etymology of golf terms is not guaranteed to be accurate, this is the consensus origin held by most historians. 2 centuries ago, humans did not have the same technology to keep track of the meanings and origins of every word like we do today; some origins will never be fully confirmed.

If you dream of one day scoring an albatross, it will take hard work, dedication, and a lot of luck. To increase your chances, you need to lower your golf scores. If you would like to lower your golf score and improve your chances of scoring an albatross, you can read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.


There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what the word albatross means in golf. You also got to read some real-world examples to further improve your understanding of the meaning of an albatross.

Do you have any other words you wish to know more about? Have you ever scored an albatross? Do you dream of scoring an albatross? Let us know in the comments down below!

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