What Is An Albatross In Golf?

What is an albatross in golf

What Is An Albatross In Golf?

An Albatross, along with Double Eagle, is another term for two under par.

Albatross seems to be a relatively recent golf term. Whereas par, bogey and birdie have been used since the 1800s, as late as 1935, Gene Sarazen referred to his double eagle at that year’s Masters as a “dodo.”

What is an albatross in golf
Hanging an Albatross around the neck of the ancient mariner.

An Albatross is a sea bird with wingspans extending up to twelve feet. An albatross named Wisdom, who lives on Midway Island, is thought to be the world’s oldest wild bird, having first been banded in 1956.

I’ve always thought “albatross” a bit strange, for putting an albatross on your scorecard seems unnecessarily similar to having an albatross around your neck. That has a lot of negative connotations, thanks to Samuel Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner:

Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.”

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2 thoughts on “What Is An Albatross In Golf?”

  1. I have heard that Albatross is also derived this way (probably BS):  An alternate name (perhaps older name) for an Eagle is “Big Birdie”, and Albatross comes as a Bigger Birdie or Biggest Birdie. 

    Double Eagle makes no sense to me, as that would be 4 under par wouldn’t it?


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