When a golfer scores 1 under par on a hole, it’s called a birdie.
When a golfer scores 2 under par on a hole, it’s called an eagle.
When a golfer scores 3 under par on a hole, it’s called an albatross (not a double eagle).
Until 1962, no one had a reason to wonder what a score of 4 under par on a golf hole would be called. Then Larry Bruce made a hole-in-one on the dogleg-right 480-yard par-5 fifth hole at Hope Country Club in Hope, Ark. There needed to be a term for 4 under par on a hole.
That term is condor.
A condor in golf is extremely rare. It is only known and verified to have happened six times in golf history:
- Larry Bruce, 480-yard, dogleg-right fifth hole at Hope Country Club in Hope, Ark., in 1962
- Dick Hogan, 456-yard No. 8 at Piedmont Crescent Golf Course in Burlington, N.C. in 1973
- Shaun Lynch, 496-yard No. 17 at Teign Valley Golf Club in Christow, England, in 1995
- Mike Crean, 517-yard, straight-on No. 9 at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver, Colo., in 2002
- Jack Bartlett, 513-yard 17th at Royal Wentworth Falls Country Club, New South Wales, Australia, in 2007
- Kevin Pon, 667-yard 18th hole at Lake Chabot Golf Course in Oakland, Calif. in 2020
The golfers who have scored condors have a good bit of luck involved, typically with drives that hit cart parts or are aided by wind. Several cut off the corner on doglegs to get directly to the green, greatly reducing the length of the hole.
Still, putting a 1 on the card for a par 5 or a 2 on the card for a par 6 is incredible.
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