Confused about what on earth a “condor” is in the world of golf?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s when you finish a hole with a score of four under par. Yeah, you heard it right. It means four strokes better than what’s expected. This rare event usually happens on par-5 holes with a score of 1, but a two on a par-six counts too.
Now, scoring a condor is not easy at all. It requires serious skills as well as good fortune. Scoring the ball in a single shot on a super long hole or nailing two shots on an even longer one is the ultimate desire of every golfer.
In this guide, I’ll answer the most frequently asked question of What is a condor in golf by breaking down everything you need to know about it. We’ll explore why it’s so difficult to achieve, how many lucky golfers have managed to make it, and even give you some tips and tricks to increase your chances of experiencing this golfing thrill.
What is a Condor in Golf?
If you’re a beginner, all the bird-related golfing terminologies can seem confusing. Let me make it simpler for you. Every hole on a golf course has an ideal number of strokes it should take to get the ball into the hole. We call this ideal number the “Par.” Now, Par can vary from hole to hole, usually ranging from 3 to 5 strokes. So, you’ll often hear terms like “Par 3,” “Par 4,” or “Par 5” on the course.
But here’s where it gets interesting. Your score on each hole has a special nickname depending on how you perform at the Par. So if you perform exceptionally well and shoot 4 under par on a 5-par hole or 5 under par on a 6-par hole, it is called a Condor. To achieve a condor on a 7-par hole, a golfer will have to hole out at 3. However, it is yet to be done.
Larry Bruce, in 1962 made history by scoring the first-ever recorded condor on a challenging par-5 hole that stretched about 480 yards. After him, only five other golf champions have managed to write their names in the list of those who achieved this wonder.
Why is it called condor?
The Condor is the rarest of them all, both in the bird world, as well as in the world of golf. Just like the bird itself, a score of four under par is an extraordinary occurrence. It’s the ultimate achievement in golf, and that’s why this exceptional score earned the name “Condor.”
Other bird-inspired scoring names include Albatross, which signifies a score of three strokes under par, next up is the Eagle, which represents a score of two strokes under par, and then we have the Birdie, which signifies a score of one stroke under par.
Has anyone got a condor in golf?
Now, let’s dive into some fascinating stories of par-5 hole-in-ones to remind us of the endless possibilities that exist in the game of golf.
Besides Larry Bruce, we have Dick Hogan, a skilled golfer who accomplished this rare feat in 1973. He aced the 456-yard par-5 8th hole at Piedmont Crescent in North Carolina and still couldn’t believe it.
Then, Shaun Lynch, in 1995, on the 496-yard par-5 17th hole at Teign Valley in Devon, showed his golfing expertise by using nothing more than a 3-iron, cleared a 20-foot high hedge on the horseshoe-shaped hole.
Mike Crean. In 2002, at Green Valley Ranch in Denver, he aced the par-5 at the 9th hole, stretching 517 yards. With his skill and a little help from the altitude, he made it.
Then in 2007, Jack Bartlett, a talented Australian 16-year-old golfer, on the 511-yard par-5 17th hole at Wentworth Falls, made history by hitting the perfect Condor almost effortlessly.
And at last, the recent condor was scored by Kevin Pon, in December 2020 on a par-6, stretching 667-yard, making a 4-under-par-2 on the hole. It was the largest elevation drop among golf courses around the United States.
Mastering the Extraordinary: How to Get Condor In Golf
If you aspire to be one of these golfing legends, it’s important that you recognize that scoring a condor is not just a matter of extraordinary skill and talent; luck plays a crucial role.
However, if you’re determined to try it, I got some exciting tips from the top experts of my Golf course to share with you.
Before shooting for the moon, see if you can bag some stars. Try aiming for a little less challenging shots like birdies, eagles, and even albatrosses. These achievements are within reach and showcase your progress as a golfer.
Now, back to the condor. Start by practicing your tee shots and perfect them. Consider dedicating extra time to your iron shots and short game. Skillfully sinking those crucial putts can make all the difference in chasing down the condor.
Even with dedicated practice, your odds of scoring a condor remain extremely slim. About 1 in 1.1 million. So, see the desire to score the condor as an exciting challenge rather than an expectation. Who knows, maybe with a stroke of luck, you may find yourself scoring the great condor.
What is better than a condor in Golf?
Now the question arises, what is better than a condor in golf?
While a condor in golf is an extraordinary accomplishment, there are a couple of achievements that hold even greater value. Like an ostrich (5 under par), or a phoenix (6 under par). To some, these holes seem impossible because no one has ever made them, but when the odds are in your favor, the sky is the limit.
Another, more practical way to answer this question would be to list the less challenging, more realistic holes which can be achieved through consistent hard work and skill such as a double eagle or an “albatross”, which has already been hit 18 times. You can also strive to ace eagles and birdies.
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It’s harder than you think.
In conclusion, the odds of achieving a condor are almost near impossible. However, being aware of golfing terms like condor and understanding the significance of such achievements adds to the depth of the sport.
While it may seem unattainable, it reminds you of the extraordinary possibilities within the game of golf. By setting such an ambitious goal, even if it appears to be out of reach, you push yourself to new heights and discover your true potential.
A guy with a charming face following his passion (both Golf and Blog) from Kansas. Bryan is the writer and creator of IAmLearningHowToGolf.com, loves golf, but he didn’t start playing until he was in his 20s. He’s not a pro by any means, but he’s put in the time and effort to get pretty darn good. Bryan’s main goal with this blog is to help other golfers improve their game and have more fun on the course. He does this by writing informative, relatable, and down-to-earth content. When he’s not golfing or writing, Bryan enjoys going on hikes, spending time with his family, and watching movies sometimes. For any queries reach out to him at Bryan@iamlearninghowtogolf.com.