There are some funny words used to describe golf terms. You might have wondered where some words came from or what they mean. Golfers have their own language! One golf term that you might have heard a golf pro on TV use is the word birdie. What does it mean? Where did this golf term come from?
So, what is a birdie in golf? The term “birdie” in golf is used to refer to scoring one stroke less than the declared par of any given hole. A golf course can have different par ratings for each hole (spoiler alert: it’s usually four).
The unusual terminology associated with this sport comes from some funny phrases, such as a ‘hole-in-one’ or an albatross. For example, have you ever heard of someone using the word “birdie?” Funny word, right? Let’s dig in…
Golf Birdie Definition: Understanding the Concept
If you make a score of one stroke below the golf course’s par rating on any given number of holes your birdie has been made! Birdie is a great score to shoot on any hole.
Depending upon the difficulty of various golf courses, birdies can be pretty common or difficult as hell and virtually impossible. This all depends on what your “par” for that particular course is set at in terms of strokes per round. Understanding golf par is a simple way to understand the basics of scoring.
Par describes how many strokes an expert golfer should take on each hole. Players use this system to keep track of their score. If they make two pars to start the round, then it’s even par.
If they open with two birdies in a row – or if one is dropped on 18 and another made on one of its previous holes – that counts as being under par for the round.
It’s also important to note, if the golf course is set at a “par” of 70 strokes (meaning you need to make only 70) – birdies are much more common than say scoring an eagle or albatross. If your golfing par for courses has been established as being over 100 then golfers will find themselves with less opportunities for making a birdie during their round.
This makes earning one all the more sweeter and special!
So what makes a birdie different from any number of strokes? Well essentially it means you’re getting better results than expected out of each hole and most likely having more fun while doing so!
A score of three under par be called two-under in golf. So golfers will often say that a score of three is “two under” or two-under.
Calculating Your Birdie
You can use the following steps to find your golf par and calculate your birdie based on different courses:
- Find out what you have to shoot for in terms of golfing par (four in most cases).
- Take the number of strokes that get you there and divide by four – this is how many shots over par it would be if everyone else shot their best on every hole.
- If someone shoots better than their golfing par, they are shooting below them or below average; if someone scores worse than their golfing par then they are scoring above them which means shooting more than expected – an albatross!
But all things considered golfers will be happy to golf their par and take a birdie if they can get one.
The golfing par is there to help golfers understand what a birdie would look like. A score of three-under on golf courses with the par set at 70 should mean that someone makes a two-under (or even) score by shooting 27 strokes our 36 holes or 18 for nine holes.
If you have been able to make four pars and are figuring your total score, then add one-and-a-half times the number of pars made because this means they’ve scored above their expected performance level – an eagle!
This may sound a little complicated but once you get it down it’s easy as pie. Understand golf par will allow players know how many shots over or under average they need in order to achieve specific goals such as golfing par, birdies or eagles.
The next time you are on a golf course and hear someone say they made a “birdie” – it’s important to understand what that means in terms of their golf score!
If you want to keep track yourself then be sure to calculate your own golfing par before heading out so if you do get lucky enough to make a birdie during your round you’ll know how well above average that is!
Birdies may not always happen but as long as players have fun while trying there will never be too many complaints about anything golfers can achieve with this system in place!
The History of the Golf Birdie
So how did the term “birdie” come to be?
There are different accounts to where the term birdie actually came from. One account is that the golfers would use a Birdie to refer to a small bird.
This was because when golf first began golf balls were made of feathers stuffed into leather pockets.
I’ve also heard that the golf term birdie comes from the 19th century when golf was first being played in Scotland. The Scots might have named the golf term birdie because they were using golf terms based on the sounds made by different animals.
Another theory on this term comes from golfing great Walter Hagen who said, “The term ‘birdie’ came about with James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell (1536-78). He had so much control over his game and putted so well he could pick off little birds as they flitted around him – hence the name.”
The most recognized commemoration of when and where it was brought to the game is in a golf game at Atlantic City Country Club, New Jersey back in 1903. They even have a plaque dedicated to the event!
Whatever you believe in terms of where exactly the word itself originated it’s certainly an interesting story! If you love golf or simply have interest in all things like etymology then be sure to check out these other strange golf terms that golfers use and where they came from.
How to Score a Birdie
To score a birdie, yo need to have some skills and experience. Here’s a few tips that may help:
- Set yourself up with a favorable lie so that you can hit long, straight shots. It will make the course easier.
- Using golf clubs that allow you to control your power and keep you in total command will help bring out the best of your abilities.
- You can’t win a round if you miss putts on the green. That’s why it is important to choose an appropriate club for your game and use that when putting in order to make sure every shot counts.
- Be courteous to other players. Please remain still and quiet while your golfing partners are taking their shots. When golfing, it isn’t just the players who have to be respectful and courteous of others. it is necessary for spectators as well.
- Best of all, have fun with it! The golfing round is supposed to be a fun time and it’s important that everyone involved enjoys themselves. This means no arguing or grumbling allowed!
Extra Knowledge Doesn’t Hurt
This next bit is provided so that this exercise can be used with mixed-ability classes:
There are many different factors which contribute towards making a birdie in golf – some of these include having great playing partners who make it easy for everyone involved, being lucky enough to not have too many difficult shots where things could go wrong or maybe just hitting an amazing shot when needed most.
Generally, there isn’t one single factor which makes someone score well above average; instead its everything combined together such as skill level and strategy.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
If you want to improve your game, practice makes perfect. This is true for golf as much as it’s true in any other area of life.
The more you play golf, the better your skills will become. That’s why it is important to practice golf as much as possible if you really want to improve your game and be able to golf a birdie on command every time! And most of all, have patience. It may take a few tries before you golf your first birdie so try to keep calm and golf on!
Conclusion: What is a Golf Birdie?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this golfing lesson and that it’s been able to help golfers understand that the term “birdie” in golf means you scored one stroke less than the par for the hole!
The next time you hear someone saying they made one on the course be sure to ask them about their score so you can learn more. I also encourage everyone who is interested in learning all there is to know about golf courses, rules of play or etiquette – please check out our other materials for other fun facts related to golf history and information!
Personally, I think I’m getting better at calculating my scores as well as understanding how different words used by golfers correlate with specific types of shots (eagles, albatrosses etc). It might not make sense yet but hopefully soon enough everything will start falling into place!