What is an Albatross in Golf?
An albatross in golf means 3 under par, it is also known as a double-eagle.
An example would be 2 strokes on a par 5.
Holes in one on par 3’s, as you’re already likely fully aware, are pretty rare, making a hole in one on a par 4 even more unlikely.
The “Par” of any given hole is determined by the number of strokes an expert player should take to finish the hole. Par 5’s for males typically range from 470 – 600 yards, and Par 5’s are usually where an albatross is most likely to happen.
There are some instances of par 6’s, including at Meadows Farms, in Virginia. Measuring 841 yards from the back set of tees, if you could make a three on this hole, that would accomplish the nearly impossible feat of an albatross on a par 6.
PGA Tour Albatrosses
"The Shot Heard Around the World"
Gene Sarazen was the first to make an albatross in a Major Championship, doing so at Augusta National Golf Club’s 15th hole in the 1935 edition of The Masters. This shot spurred him to earn a spot in a playoff, where he would defeat Craig Wood. He became the first to achieve the modern grand slam, winning The Masters, US Open, British Open, and PGA Championships. To date, there have only been 18 albatross recorded at Major Championships (4 at The Masters, 3 at The US Open, 8 at The British Open, 3 at The PGA Championship).
What are the Odds?
Just for a bit of perspective, let’s begin with the odds of holes in one. According to the PGA of America, the odds of making a hole-in-one for the average golfer are roughly 12,000 to 1. They estimate that two players from the same group making a hole-in-one on the same hole are 17 million to 1, and one player making two holes-in-one in the same round is 67 million to 1.
Don’t tell that to 14-year-old Adele Sanford, who achieved this incredibly rare milestone in the Club Championship at Canmore Golf and Curling Club.
Exponentially rarer, the odds of an albatross are estimated to be 6 million to 1. Considering similar factorials, the odds of two players in the same group making an albatross on the same hole comes in at a staggering 8.5 trillion to 1. Amazingly, a pair of college teammates from Holy Cross, Christian Emmerich and Owen Egan, made twos on the same Par five during a practice round at Blackstone National in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Time will tell if Louis and the rest of his LIV golf colleagues will be welcome inside the pearly gates of Augusta National Golf Club for the next edition of The Master’s Tournament in 2023.
Russell Henley’s two on the Par 5, 11th hole, at TPC Sawgrass in the 2022 Players Championship is a perfect example of the range of emotions golfers can experience. Following a double bogey with an albatross is, without a doubt, representative of the highs and lows any golfer will feel if they play the game for long enough.
Has Tiger Woods made an albatross?
Considering nearly any of the primary records would have Tiger’s name in them, and he has yet to make an albatross on Tour, that should speak to how incredibly difficult this is and how much luck is required. The closest he came was within a foot at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open while playing with Brooks Koepka.
Maybe someday, with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, some of us might be so fortunate to achieve such an accomplishment.
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