What is an Albatross in Golf?

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“What is an albatross in golf?” remains a common question among new golfers. We suppose that’s to ensure no scoring arguments when one player achieves this rare feat. 

An albatross, also known as a double eagle, is a score of three strokes under par on a single hole. It is a rare and highly coveted achievement, as it is more difficult to achieve than a hole-in-one. An example of an albatross would be scoring a 2 on a par 5 hole. 

Albatrosses are more commonly achieved on longer holes where the player can hit a long drive and then reach the green in two shots, followed by a successful putt.

How rare is an Albatross?

Albatrosses are a rare achievement in golf worldwide, which is also true in New Zealand. According to statistics, the odds of an average golfer making an albatross are estimated to be around 6 million to 1.

Although there is no official record of the number of albatrosses achieved in New Zealand, it is safe to say that they are rare due to the difficulty involved in achieving them.

Notable Albatrosses Achieved in New Zealand Golf History

The first notable albatross win was by one of NZ’s greatest golfers, Bob Charles. He achieved an albatross at the 1974 New Zealand Open on the 548-yard, par-5 6th hole at Titirangi Golf Club. His second shot landed on the green and rolled into the hole. The second was in 2019, when Ryan Fox, a New Zealand professional golfer, made an albatross at the 2019 Scottish Open on the par-5 14th hole. His second shot from the fairway landed on the green and rolled straight into the hole.

Lastly, the most current win is also in the same year, 2019, and this record is held by Michael Hendry, a New Zealand professional golfer who made an albatross at the Fiji International on the par-5 17th hole. His second shot from the fairway landed on the green and rolled straight into the hole.