What Is a Birdie in Golf?
Golf is quite an interesting sport that’s appreciated and enjoyed by players old and young. However, no matter how exciting this sport is, the fact of the matter is that some golf terms can be quite confusing. Just like in any other sport, new players need to get familiar with various terminology commonly used in golf, in order to be able to understand the game entirely.
That being said, there are even seasoned players who still don’t understand all the ins and outs of this sport. Here, we’ll be trying to explain the golfing term “birdie”, learn a bit more about its origin, and explore some fun facts behind this term.
What is a birdie?
Simply put, the term “birdie” refers to a score, where a player takes one swing less than the par of a hole. To explain it more clearly, if you’re playing a par-3 hole and make only 2 swings – yet manage to get the ball in – you’ve made a birdie. An interesting fact is that some players can go their whole lives without managing to score a birdie. That’s simply due to the fact that most players don’t start their games initially focusing on the score. Rather, they’re usually more focused on having fun and having a good time.
The origin of the term
According to various sources, the term “birdie” originated in America, back in 1903. This term is believed to be derived from the old American slang “bird” that was used to describe something particularly good. So, think of “birdie” as an equivalent of “awesome” during that time, if you will. It was during a golf game in Atlantic City where one player managed to land the first recorded birdie. Supposedly, he stated that: “That was a bird of a shot, I suggest that when one of us plays a hole in under par he receives double compensation.” The City Country Club where this took place even had a commemorative plaque installed to celebrate this moment in history. Soon after the term was first uttered it became widespread across the globe.
Scoring a birdie is not as easy as it seems
Now, even though it may sound like a birdie is not all that difficult to score – it has a whole term coined and all – the reality is a bit different. According to PGA tour stats, the average number of birdies per round made by the top professionals is only five, which truly says a lot. So, if you ever manage to score a birdie, make sure you give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate your success.
How to score a birdie?
Just because scoring a birdie is not the easiest thing in the world, that doesn’t mean that it’s undoable either. While there are no tips and tricks that will guarantee you score a birdie every time, there are a few things that can increase your chances of doing so. When hitting the golf ball, try to aim for long, straight and targeted shots. The more precise you get with your swings, the greater the chances of scoring a birdie. Additionally, use golf clubs that will help you improve your striking power while also keeping you balanced and in full control. Of course, the more you practice, the more chances you’ll have of landing the perfect hit. In the end, try to clear your head and relax your body. Amped-up stress and negative thoughts won’t contribute to your success in any way, shape, or form.
Fun facts and stats
Finally, it’s time to share some interesting facts and stats regarding birdies.
- The majority of birdies scored usually happen on the par-5’s.
- The highest number of birdies scored in one round is 13 and this record is currently shared by C. Beck (scored in 1991) and A. Hadwin (scored in 2017).
- In a single round, the biggest number of birdies scored consecutively is 9. This was achieved by only 9 players ever.
- It’s a common practice to circle the birdie on your scorecard once you manage to score it.
- A score that’s even better than a birdie is called “eagle” – probably because the eagle is quite a large bird.
Now you know a bit more about the term and just how rare it is even for professional players to score it. So, the new question is – Will you try to practice and score a birdie yourself? Or will you continue to play like you did up until this point?