What is a Condor in Golf? Discover the Rarest Shot in the Game.




what is a condor in golf

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If you’re a golf enthusiast, you’re likely familiar with terms like birdie, eagle, and even albatross. But there’s another term in golf that’s even rarer and more elusive – the condor.

What exactly is a condor in golf, and why is it considered the rarest shot in the game?

In this article, we’ll explore the meaning and significance of the condor in golf, tracing its history and examining the circumstances required to achieve this extraordinary feat.

Key Takeaways:

  • A condor is a golf term used to describe a hole score of four strokes under par.
  • Condors are incredibly rare and require a combination of skill, luck, and unique circumstances to achieve.
  • The history of condors in golf is fascinating, with stories of legendary shots and memorable moments.

What is Condor in Golf?

A condor in golf is a term used to describe a score that is four strokes under par on a single hole. This is the rarest score in golf and is often regarded as an extraordinary accomplishment. The condor is only possible on a par-5 hole, with the golfer needing to make the shot in only one stroke. This means that the shot must travel at least 500 yards, which is an exceptional feat even for the world’s most skilled golfers.

The term “condor” was first coined in the 1930s and is named after the largest bird of prey in the Americas, the Andean condor. This bird is an excellent glider and can fly at high altitudes for long periods, which is similar to the long, soaring trajectory of the golf shot required to achieve a condor.

The Condor: Breaking Down the Score

The standard scoring system in golf works as follows: a par-3 hole has a par of three strokes, a par-4 hole has a par of four strokes, and a par-5 hole has a par of five strokes. To achieve a condor, a player must get the ball into the hole in just one stroke on a par-5 hole. This means that the player’s tee shot would need to travel over 500 yards, and land directly in the hole. This feat is incredibly rare, as the odds of making such a long shot are extremely low even for the most skilled golfers.

Tracing the Elusive History

The origins of the condor in golf are shrouded in mystery, but the first recorded instance of a player achieving this rare feat can be traced back to 1962. Gene Sarazen, a legendary golfer, managed to sink a hole-in-one on a par 5 at the California course of the 1962 Senior PGA Tour.

Since then, condors have been achieved on a few other occasions, with the lowest score being three strokes under par. This remarkable feat requires a perfect shot and a bit of luck.

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Uncovering Unusual Circumstances

While achieving a condor in golf is incredibly difficult under normal circumstances, there have been rare instances where unique factors contribute to this extraordinary accomplishment. One such circumstance involves the layout of the golf course itself, with some courses presenting opportunities for a condor on certain holes.

For example, a hole with a very steep downhill slope and a sharp dogleg can provide an ideal setup for a condor if the golfer can hit the ball high and far enough to clear the bend. Similarly, courses with significant water hazards can present the potential for a lucky bounce off the water and onto the green, setting up an easy eagle putt or even a hole-in-one.

Additionally, environmental factors such as extreme wind conditions or unusually firm and fast greens can also contribute to the possibility of a condor. While these occurrences are rare and largely outside of a golfer’s control, they can make all the difference in achieving this incredible feat.

Tales of Legendary Condors

The condor in golf is a rare and remarkable accomplishment, with only a few instances ever recorded in history. These memorable shots and the players who achieved them continue to inspire and awe golf enthusiasts around the world.

“The ball took a hop and hit the pin, and I said to myself, ‘That’s got a chance!’ Then, it disappeared. It was like winning the lottery.”

– Shaun Lynch, on his condor at the 16th hole of the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club

Shaun Lynch’s shot on the 16th hole at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in 2002 is one of the most well-known condors. His shot, a 430-yard drive on a par-5 hole, bounced off the ground and hit the pin before dropping directly into the hole.

Another legendary condor was achieved by Andrew Magee during the 2001 Phoenix Open. Magee teed off on the 17th hole, and his shot struck a passing bird in mid-air before dropping onto the green and rolling into the hole for a two on the par-5 hole.

These are just a few examples of the incredible shots that have earned golfers a place in history and inspired others to continue striving for excellence on the course.

Is a Condor Truly Possible?

While the condor is technically possible in golf, it is an extremely rare feat that requires a combination of exceptional skill and fortunate circumstances. The odds of achieving a condor are so low that many golfers consider it an unrealistic goal, even for the most accomplished players.

To put the difficulty of achieving a condor into perspective, consider that it requires a hole-in-one on a par 5 or, alternatively, scoring two strokes on a par 6. According to Golf Digest, the odds of making a hole-in-one on a par 5 are estimated at 6 million to 1. The odds of scoring two strokes on a par 6 are even higher. These statistics demonstrate just how elusive a condor truly is.

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Furthermore, the unique circumstances necessary to achieve a condor are often beyond a golfer’s control. For instance, a golfer might need a flawless tee shot and an exceptionally long second shot that bounces and rolls in the right way. Alternatively, a golfer may need to take advantage of a unique course layout that allows for a shortcut or an unusual bounce. Even the weather conditions can affect a golfer’s chances of achieving a condor.

While a condor may not be easily achievable for the average golfer, that does not mean it is impossible. With consistent practice and a bit of luck, even amateur golfers can improve their chances of achieving this remarkable score. However, it remains a rare and extraordinary accomplishment that few golfers will ever experience.

The Impact of Technology

The game of golf has experienced a significant transformation in recent years, thanks to technology. Innovations in golf equipment have brought about a shift in the sport, with players now able to hit farther and more accurately.

The development of high-tech golf clubs and balls has been instrumental in this shift, with manufacturers using advanced materials and cutting-edge designs to enhance performance. Golfers can now achieve quicker swing speeds, better ball control, and increased accuracy, among other benefits.

In addition to equipment advancements, technology has also played a role in the design of golf courses, with architects utilizing computer technology to create more challenging and unique course layouts. This has led to the creation of holes that present opportunities for condors, albeit rare ones.

While technology certainly plays a role in making the achievement of a condor more achievable, it is still an incredibly difficult feat to accomplish. The golfer must have the skill and precision to make every shot count, regardless of the equipment used. However, it is fair to say that technology has pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the game of golf.

Dreaming of a Condor

Achieving a condor in golf is the ultimate dream for many golfers. The sheer rarity of this feat makes it an elusive and highly sought-after accomplishment. The desire to score a condor is often a driving force behind the dedication and hard work that golfers put into their game.

The thought of achieving a condor creates a sense of excitement and anticipation that motivates golfers to continually push themselves to improve their skills. It is a symbol of excellence in the game, and the mere possibility of scoring a condor can inspire golfers to strive for new heights of achievement.

While the chances of actually achieving a condor may be slim, the aspiration to do so is a positive force that helps golfers stay focused and motivated, regardless of their current skill level. It represents the best that the sport has to offer, and the desire to achieve a condor is a testament to the enduring appeal and challenge of golf.

The Unforgettable Feeling

The feeling of achieving a condor in golf is indescribable. It’s a moment of triumph that is hard to forget. Golfers who have accomplished this rare feat will tell you that it’s an amazing experience that fills them with happiness, excitement, and pride.

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Picture this: you’re standing on a tee box, focusing on the fairway in front of you. You make a perfect swing and the ball takes flight, soaring higher and higher until it lands on the green. You watch in amazement as the ball bounces a few times, then rolls straight into the cup. You’ve just scored a condor.

“I remember the moment so vividly. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. It was like a dream come true,” says Jack, a golfer who achieved a condor in his late twenties.

That moment of accomplishment is unforgettable. It’s a memory that stays with golfers forever, serving as a reminder of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication.

For many golfers, the desire to achieve a condor is a driving force that motivates them to keep practicing and improving their skills. The condor is a symbol of excellence in the game of golf and achieving it is a testament to a player’s abilities.

Whether you’re a professional golfer or an amateur enthusiast, there’s no denying that a condor is a remarkable achievement. It’s a rare score that few will ever accomplish, making it all the more special for those who do.

Appreciating the Condor’s Rarity

The condor in golf is one of the rarest shots in the game, achieved only through exceptional skill and often due to fortuitous circumstances. A condor is a hole score of four strokes under par, an incredibly uncommon score that can significantly impact a golfer’s reputation.

Because condors are so rare, they are often regarded as extraordinary achievements. Golf enthusiasts hold condors in high esteem, recognizing the incredible skill and luck required to achieve them. A condor can elevate a golfer’s status within the sport and earn the respect of fellow players and spectators alike.

While condors are undoubtedly difficult to achieve, they also serve as a source of inspiration for golfers. The allure of achieving such a rare feat can motivate players to continually improve their skills, dedicating themselves to the sport they love and working tirelessly towards their goals.

The significance of a condor in golf cannot be overstated. It is a symbol of excellence, an extraordinary accomplishment that few players will ever achieve. It is a testament to the talent and dedication of the world’s best golfers, and a reminder of the remarkable things that can be achieved through hard work and perseverance.


So, what is a condor in golf? It is the rarest shot in the game, achieved by scoring four strokes under par on a single hole. While incredibly uncommon, condors have been recorded throughout golf history, often under unique circumstances.

While the average golfer may never achieve a condor, the allure of this remarkable accomplishment remains. For professional golfers, recording a condor can elevate their reputation and leave a lasting impact on the sport.

As technology continues to advance, the possibility of achieving a condor may become more attainable. Nevertheless, the rarity and significance of this feat will always be cherished by golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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