What is a Ostrich in Golf: Unraveling the Rare Scoring Term

An “ostrich” in golf refers to the exceedingly rare achievement of scoring five strokes under par on a single hole. This can be a hole-in-one on a par-six or an albatross on a par-five. It’s a testament to exceptional skill and precision, contributing to the fascinating lexicon and intrigue of the game.

Picture of a Ostrich signifying a Ostrich score in golf

Golf is a fascinating sport with its own lexicon of unique terms and scoring systems. From birdies to eagles, there are many terms that golfers use to describe their performance on the course. But have you ever heard of an ostrich in golf?

If not, you’re in for a treat. The term “ostrich” is a rare golf-scoring term that few people know about.

In fact, it’s one of the most unusual and difficult scores to achieve in the game of golf. An ostrich is essentially a score of five strokes under par on a single hole (a hole-in-one on a par-six or an albatross on a par-five).

Before we get into the specifics of what an ostrich means in golf, let’s take a moment to understand some basic terms used in scoring. A birdie refers to completing a hole one stroke under par, while an eagle is two strokes under par.

A double eagle which is also known as an albatross is three strokes under par, while shooting four strokes under par has been called a condor (though this is extremely rare). These subpar scores are badges of honor for any golfer trying to improve his or her handicap.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s delve deeper into what exactly an ostrich means in golf-scoring terms. As previously mentioned, it refers to completing a single hole five strokes under par; this requires hitting incredibly accurate shots throughout the entire length of the hole.

Achieving such perfection might seem impossible, but it has happened before to skilled players who have both patience and skill. While an ostrich might seem like just another rare and unusual score within the world of golf, it still holds significant meaning for those who achieve it.

Understanding Golf Scoring Terms

Golf is a sport with many unique terms and scoring systems that can be confusing for beginners. It’s important to understand the basic golf scoring terms before attempting to interpret the more unusual ones.

Once you have a grasp of the scoring system, you can appreciate the significance of getting an ostrich in golf. The most basic golf scoring term is “par.” This refers to the number of shots a professional golfer is expected to take for each hole on a course.

The average par for most courses is 72, but it varies depending on the layout and difficulty level of each hole. A player’s score is determined by subtracting their total number of shots from par, resulting in either a positive or negative score.

If a player takes one shot less than par on any given hole, they are said to have scored a “birdie.” Two shots less than par is an “eagle,” while three-under-par scores are called an “albatross.” Each of these three bird-related terms represents progressively better scores as they go down in value. Conversely, if a player takes one shot more than par on any given hole, they score what is called a “bogey,” and two-over-par scores are called “double bogeys“. If that same player were to take two more shots beyond double bogey (four over-par), this would be known as a “quadruple bogey”.

The number increases with each additional shot taken beyond double bogey. For players who keep track of their own handicap, which helps level the playing field when competing against golfers with different skill levels, these terms become even more important.

Handicaps reflect how many strokes above or below average each golfer typically scores per round compared to other players at their skill level. Understanding these basic golf scoring terms will help set the stage for understanding what an ostrich score means in golf.

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Ostrich smiling into camera

What is an Ostrich in Golf?

If you’re an avid golfer, chances are you’ve heard of the term “ostrich” in golf scoring before. But what exactly does it mean? Well, to put it simply, an ostrich is a hole-in-one on a par-5 hole.

That’s right – it’s even rarer than a double eagle or a condor! Scoring an ostrich on the golf course would be quite a rare achievement. It’s so unusual that it’s often considered a myth or a joke among golfers. However, there have been reported instances of “ostriches” on the golf course during tournaments and events – and no, I’m not talking about a safari tour gone wrong. These occurrences are extremely rare.

So if you’re lucky enough to hit your ball into the hole in just one shot on a par-5 hole, congratulations! – you’ve scored an ostrich!

"It's so unusual that it's often considered a myth or a joke among golfers. However, there have been reports of ostriches occurring during tournaments and events, although they are extremely limited."

This rare achievement is definitely something worth bragging about on and off the course. Now that we’ve explained exactly what scoring an ostrich entails, let’s talk about how likely it actually is to actually happen.

To score three-under-par on any given hole requires nearly perfect execution throughout each aspect of your swing and shot. The odds of sinking your ball from hundreds of yards away with one swing are slim, let alone for four professional-level swings consecutively over 18 holes.

If you ever hear someone talking about scoring an ostrich while playing golf, you can rest assured they’re either pulling your leg or they’re one of the luckiest golfers in the world. Regardless, hitting an ostrich remains a coveted goal for avid golfers, and achieving it would be sure to make anyone’s day on the course.

Ostrich running on grass

The Reality of Scoring an Ostrich

In reality, this is a rare achievement that very few golfers can boast of. It is a term that refers to scoring five strokes below par on a single hole. This means shooting two strokes on a par-7 hole, three strokes on a par-8 hole, or four strokes on a par-9 hole.

To score an ostrich in golf is an infrequent feat that requires exceptional skill and some good luck. While scoring an ostrich might seem impossible for most golfers, professional players have come close to achieving this rare feat. Some professional players have made headlines for coming within one stroke of scoring an ostrich in tournaments. This goes to show just how challenging it is to score an ostrich in golf.

The likelihood of any golfer, including professionals, scoring an ostrich in the sport of golf is very low due to the rarity of holes designed with pars higher than 5, therefore making reaching them with 1 or 2 swings even more difficult. An ostrich score can also be accomplished via a hole-in-one with four strokes under par or better.

Some people argue that this definition matches the true meaning of condor instead of ostrich since condor refers to four strokes under par while Ostrich refers to five strokes under par. Scoring an ostrich in golf remains one of the most difficult achievements for any handicapped player, regardless of their level or experience playing the sport.

However, with enough skill and some good luck on your side; who knows? You may just be able to score an ostrich and become part of history yourself!

Ostrich vs. Other Golf Scoring Terms

When it comes to golf, there are a number of different scoring terms that can be used to describe a player’s performance on the course. Some of the most common terms include birdie, eagle, and par.

However, there is one term that is even more rare and elusive than these: the ostrich in golf. Compared to other golf scoring terms like birdie or eagle, an ostrich in golf is an even more unusual achievement. Scoring an ostrich is an incredibly difficult feat that very few players ever achieve. Because of its infrequency, many golfers have never heard of the term ostrich in golf before. It’s not something that comes up very often during tournaments or casual rounds on the course.

For the lucky few who’ve pulled it off, or those who just love quirky golf lingo, this whole “ostrich” in golf thing is pretty fascinating. But hey, putting it side by side with scores like birdies and eagles? That might not be a fair game. The reality is that there are many different types of shots and situations on a course that can affect a player’s score – some positive and some negative. While achieving a one-under score on a hole might be considered excellent for some players, others might consider it just “par for the course“.

Despite these differences, there’s no denying that achieving an ostrich in golf would be quite an impressive accomplishment for any golfer. Whether you’re competing in professional tournaments or just playing with friends on the weekend, it’s always exciting to aim high and try for those rare achievements like the double eagle or – if you’re feeling extra ambitious – the elusive ostrich!

Two Ostriches standing next to each other

The Controversy Surrounding the Term "Ostrich"

While the concept of the ostrich in golf is fascinating, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding its usage in the sport. Some people believe that such an unusual term has no place in golf and has no meaning in terms of scoring.

Others argue that it is an exciting way to describe a rare achievement that warrants recognition. One argument against the use of ostrich in golf is that it’s not a bird name like eagle, birdie, or albatross. It’s just an animal name and doesn’t fit with the traditional nomenclature used for golf scoring terms. Supporters of this argument feel that using animal names for scoring detracts from the elegance and tradition of golf.

On the other hand, proponents of ostrich believe it is a unique term that deserves recognition as a rare achievement. They argue that such an unusual feat should be described by an equally unusual term. Moreover, they point out how rare achieving this score would be since there are few chances to get such a score during a round. There’s also some debate over whether or not ostrich should be recognized as an official term for scoring purposes.

"Some people believe that such an unusual term has no place in golf and has no meaning in terms of scoring."

While some amateur tournaments have started to use ostrich alongside other established terms like eagle and birdie, many official tournaments do not include ostrich as an official term. Despite all this controversy surrounding its usage, there’s no denying how exciting getting an ostrich score can be for any golfer who manages to achieve it. 

Whether you’re playing recreationally or professionally, successfully completing such a subpar hole with five-under can give you immense satisfaction and pride – even if others don’t recognize your achievement with their traditional terminology. 

While there are valid arguments both for and against using Ostrich in golf scoring terminology, what matters most is personal preference: whether you find it exciting and meaningful or not.

Other Rare Golf Scoring Terms

While the golf term “ostrich” takes the crown for rarity, there’s a league of other seldom-seen scoring terms that merit attention. These elusive milestones are celebrated by golfers around the globe and symbolize both extraordinary skill and a dash of good fortune. Here’s a roll call of these exceptional feats:

  • The “condor” represents an almost mythical four-under-par on a single hole, typically on a par-five. This term echoes the condor bird, renowned for its gigantic wingspan, illustrating the tremendous challenge in attaining this score.

  • The term “turkey” brings a festive twist to golf jargon. It signifies the achievement of three consecutive birdies in a single round, usually on back-to-back holes. While the origins of this term remain shrouded in mystery, golfers worldwide toast to this achievement.

  • The “albatross,” also known as the double eagle, swoops in when a player scores three-under-par on one hole. Even more elusive than an ostrich or condor, it demands a stellar shot from considerable distance, making it a rare spectacle even in professional tours.

  • Lastly, the “ace-eagle” or “hole-in-one eagle” is worth a salute. While not as rare as its counterparts, sinking a tee shot in just two strokes on a par-four hole straight from the tee box is a feat that seamlessly blends skill and luck.

These terms may not hold the mythical allure of the ostrich, but they stand as revered achievements in golf for their scarcity and the exceptional skill required to pull them off. Any golfer who can boast of any of these accomplishments has indeed been part of something truly extraordinary.

Ostrich herd running on a golf course


Golf is a fascinating sport that has its own unique language and scoring system. While most players strive to achieve an eagle or a birdie, the ostrich remains the rarest and most unusual score in the game of golf.

The achievement of scoring an ostrich is extremely uncommon, as it requires a perfect shot and a bit of luck. However, the possibility of getting an ostrich adds excitement and intrigue to the game. It was interesting to learn about other rare golf scoring terms like albatross, condor, and hole-in-one. Each term represents a unique achievement that requires skill and precision on the course.

Golfers who achieve these scores should feel proud of their accomplishments because it is not something that happens often. Professional golfers have an advantage when it comes to achieving uncommon scores like the ostrich or albatross because they have more experience on the course.

However, any player at any handicap level can achieve these scores with practice and persistence. It’s important not to get discouraged if you don’t achieve an under-par score because even professionals struggle with certain holes or courses. Learning about what an ostrich is in golf was both informative and entertaining. The sport of golf has many fascinating facts and terms that make it unique among others.

By understanding these terms, players can better appreciate the skill required to play at a championship level. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, always remember to enjoy your time on the course, because that’s what truly makes this sport special.

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