What Is A Birdie In Golf? Golf Terms Explained

The game of golf can get complicated quickly. You must learn to swing the club and talk like a golfer.

If you could enroll in the college course titled Golf 101, it would undoubtedly include “What is a birdie in golf”?

This is one of the basic concepts of golf scoring, and below we will define it and give you some tips if you want to learn to make more birdies.

In this article, we will cover the following:

  • What is a Birdie In Golf? Explained,
  • Oher Scoring Terms,
  • Where are you likely to make a Birdie?
  • 4 Tips to Make A Birdie!
What Is A Birdie In Golf? Golf Terms Explained 1

What Is A Birdie In Golf? The Concept Of Par!

Before defining “birdie,” we must discuss the concept of par. Each hole on a golf course has a par assigned.

Simply put, the “par” of the hole is your goal or target for the number of strokes it will take you to finish the hole.

The vast majority of golf holes you will encounter will be par 3s, par 4s, or par 5s. You may occasionally play a par 6, but these are pretty rare.

You add the par on all holes to get the par for the 18-hole course. Most 18-hole courses are par 72, but some are 70, 71, or 73.

If you make a three on a hole considered a par 3, you made a par. The par for each hole is listed on the scorecard.

The most common golf course configuration is 4 par 3s, four par 5s, and ten par 4s. You can check our math, but this adds up to a par 72 course!

A player that makes par on every hole would be considered a scratch golfer!

What Is A Birdie In Golf?

Once you explain the concept of par, answering the question, “What is a birdie in golf?” is much easier.

A birdie is one stroke less than par. You made a birdie if you make a 3 on a par 4!

What Is A Birdie In Golf? Golf Terms Explained 2

The professional golfers you watch on TV are happy with pars, but their goal on each hole is to make a birdie. This is how they get “under par.”

The other golf concept tied closely to “birdies” is “greens in regulation.” Anytime you have a putt for a birdie, you hit that green in regulation.

Let’s walk through a quick example. You are playing a par four hole. After two shots, your ball is on the green.

You have “hit the green in regulation,” and you now have a putt for birdie. Greens in regulation is a common statistic tracked by golfers.

We have learned “what is a birdie in golf” – time to talk about the other scoring terms used in golf.

What Is A Birdie In Golf? Golf Terms Explained 3

What Is A Birdie In Golf? Other Scoring Terms

We have talked about birdies and pars, but how do golfers describe other scores? Let’s start with what it is called when you do worse than par.

Bogey is the term used when you score one stroke higher than par. For example, you make a six on a par 5.

Is it possible to score higher than a bogey? Yes, definitely. These scores make golfers angry and have the term “bogey” in them.

Two strokes higher than par is a Double Bogey. Three strokes higher is a Triple Bogey. Four strokes higher is a Quadruple Bogey.

They keep going up. If you make a ten on a par five, you have a Quintuple Bogey. We hope this doesn’t happen to you very often!

What if you manage to do better than a birdie on a golf hole? It is called an eagle if you score two strokes less than par.

The most exciting version of an eagle is a hole-in-one on a par 3, but you should celebrate anytime you make one.

The most common eagle is a 3 on a par 5. Is there anything better than an eagle?

What Is A Birdie In Golf? Golf Terms Explained 4

Yes – it is called an albatross if you score three strokes below par. This is extremely rare and typically only happens if a golfer makes a two on a par 5.

Occasionally, a golfer makes a 1 on a par 4, but the length of most par 4s makes this impossible.

You learned “What is a birdie in golf?” and now know all of the scoring terms.

What Is A Birdie In Golf? Where Are You Likely To Make One?

The answer to this question will depend on your level of skill. Where do you fall on the golf handicap spectrum?

If you are an experienced player, you will likely make a birdie on a par 5.

First, you might be able to reach the green in 2, and even if you don’t, you will probably have a wedge shot to the green.

What Is A Birdie In Golf? Golf Terms Explained 5

Beginners and high-handicappers have a better chance on a par 3. It only takes one great shot to set up a birdie putt.

The alternative answer to “What is a birdie in golf?” is a very rare score for players just getting started in the game.

It will likely take several years of practice before you start making birdies consistently.

What Is A Birdie In Golf? 4 Tips To Make One!

#1: Look For Short par 5s

If you want to make a birdie, a short par 5 is your best friend. The most straightforward birdie in golf is a 2-putt birdie; a short par 5 can give you that chance.

Even if you don’t reach the green in two, you should have a short 3rd shot to the green. Hit the green and roll in your putt!

We love a short par 5 because it gives you a chance at birdie or eagle!

What Is A Birdie In Golf? Golf Terms Explained 6

#2: Practice Your Putting

Yes, you could chip the ball in, but most birdies happen because you make a great putt. Of course, you need to hit the green in regulation to get a chance, but then you must convert.

I recommend the 50/50 rule. Spend half of your practice time on the driving range and the other half on the practice green.

It is a simple fact, the better you roll the ball, the more birdies you will make.

#3: Don’t Forget Your Wedge Game

Most golfers will use their wedge from 125 yards and closer. Every time you have a wedge to the green, you should get a birdie opportunity.

The trick is to learn how to control the distance your wedges travel. Get the distance right, and you will have a nice look for birdie.

What is a birdie in golf? It is something you will make when you execute high-quality wedge shots.

What Is A Birdie In Golf? Golf Terms Explained 7

#4: Get Lucky

There is a reason it is golf etiquette to tell the other players in your group good luck on the first tee. Golf is a game of skill, but luck is involved.

Crazy things can happen on the golf course. You could hit a terrible shot flying over the green, but your ball hits a tree and bounces close to the hole.

You might skull a chip that hits the pin going way too fast but somehow drops in the hole.

We understand you can’t practice getting lucky, but you can stay positive when you play.

You will get bad breaks in golf, so always accept it when you get lucky.

Up Next: Let’s Learn Some More Golf Terms!

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Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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