NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a condor?January 1, 2010 The Scoop
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We’ve all heard of bogeys, eagles and albatrosses but, in golf, there’s a not-so-little birdie that’s even rarer than that.
It’s hardly ever been done but what do you call a shot that falls into the hole for a score that’s four under par?
Word of the week: Condor
A condor is the rarest event seen in golf.
It’s usually a hole-in-one at a par 5. You could now do it in two on some of the par 6s that are starting to spring up as courses go super-size but I’ve yet to hear of anyone managing that feat just yet.
Indeed, a condor has been managed just four times in the history of the game. Imagine how you would celebrate that? Just how expensive would the bar bill become?
It’s hard to even work out the odds of making this particular shot but let’s try to put it into context.
Calculations have worked out that the chance of a hole-in-one for amateur players is about one in 12,500 and an albatross about one in a million. Do the maths and you’ll realise a Condor is a very special shot indeed.
The first ever recorded condor came 54 years ago when, at Hope Country Club in Arkansas, Larry Bruce found the cup after smashing his ball over a copse of trees on a 480-yard par 5 that doglegged to the right.
Doglegs are important to note here.
Long hitters abound, of course, but even they would have to strike a shot of freakish accuracy and length to ace a 500-yard par 5.
Shaun Lynch also used a corner to his advantage when he needed no more than a 3-iron to hole his tee ball on the 496-yard 17th at Teign Valley.
The shot cleared a 20 foot high hedge, hit a downslope and just took off on its way to rolling in.
The elements helped Mike Crean make the longest hole-in-one ever recorded. In 2002, the par 5 9th, at 517 yards, fell to his mercy but the shot was aided by the thin air at Green Valley Ranch in Denver.
Colorado is a mile above sea level.
The last recorded Condor came nearly nine years ago in Australia. Wentworth Falls was the venue for 16-year-old Jack Bartlett’s show of supreme strength.
He found the target on the 467 metre par 5 17th.