Attention all golfers! Forget your birdies and eagles because there's a new bird in town causing a stir on the green. Meet the Condor - the golf term you never knew you needed in your life until now. Some say it's a myth, others swear they've seen it in action. So, what is this mystical creature and how can you harness its power for your game? Buckle up and get ready to soar to new heights with the Condor - the rarest, wildest, and most sought-after score in all of golf!
Read on... and get ready to be amazed!
What is a Condor in Golf?
Hey, there golf fanatics! Have you ever heard of the term "condor" in the golf world? First off, let's get one thing straight - a condor is not a birdie or an eagle. Nope, a condor is a rare and elusive bird indeed. But what is it really?
A Condor is a score of 4 under par on a single hole. That means a hole-in-one on a Par 5 or a score of 2 on a Par 6. And yes there are golf courses with a Par 6 although they are very rare.
Now you might be thinking, "How in the world is that even possible?" Well, my friends, it takes a combination of skill (a lot), luck, and maybe even a little bit of magic. Let's take a closer look at the history of the condor.
A Brief Golf History of The Condor
There have been only six recorded condors in golf's history and surprisingly none by professional golfers. Let's take a look at these one-shot miracles.
- The Year: 1962. The Course: Hope Country Club, Hope, AR. The Hole: No. 5, 480-yard Par 5. The Golfer: Larry Bruce was the first to put his name in the Condor Record Books. He bombed his drive over the trees at the sharp dogleg to the right cutting the hole down to size for the first hole-in-one on a Par 5.
- The Year: 1995. The Course: Teign Valley Golf Club located in Dartmoor, a national park in Devon, England. The Hole: No. 17, 496-yard Par 5. The Golfer: Shaun Lynch. The Club: With a 3-iron in his hands, Shaun launched his tee shot over a 20-foot high hedge (yes, you read that correctly, a 3-iron). Then the magic happened - the golf ball caught one heck of a downslope and started its legendary roll to the cup.
- The Year: 1973. The Course: Piedmont Crescent Golf Course, Burlington, NC. The Hole: No. 8, 456-yard Par 5. The Golfer: Dick Hogan, a former player at North Carolina State and a scratch golfer knew after hitting his drive at the eighth hole that it would be close to the green but he had no idea what he would discover. According to Golf Digest and an interview with the Times News in 2013, here's what Hogan had to say, “That thing was like an interstate highway.” “We were in a dry spell and the fairway was red clay." However, even 40 years later when talking to the Times News Hogan still had his doubts about the legitimacy of his condor. Was someone playing a joke on him? There were maintenance workers near the green when his golf ball allegedly rolled into the cup. Did they see it? Why didn't they say anything? Well if it was a joke its been a secret ever since and Mr. Hogan is credited with scoring the rarest bird of them all.
- The Year: 2007. The Course: Royal Wentworth Falls Country Club located in the Blue Mountains, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia. The Hole: No. 17, 511-yard Par 5. The Golfer: Jack Bartlett took the aggressive line cutting the corner of this 467-meter Par 5. The 16-year-old would be rewarded as the youngest golfer to ever record a condor by acing this severe dogleg.
- The Year: 2002. The Course: Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, Denver CO. The Hole: No. 9, 517-yard Par 5. The Golfer: Mike Crean was more than a capable golfer when he stepped to the tee-box at the ninth hole. In fact, he boasted a 4 handicap. He crushed his drive on the straightaway Par 5 to find a hole-in-one. Not only was he only the 4th golfer to ever record a condor but he also holds the distinction of having the longest hole-in-one on record. Granted he benefited from the mile-high altitude he didn't cut any corners on this straight par 5.
Achieving a condor on a Par 5 is about as rare as it gets but how about raising the stakes with something even more remarkable? First, you have to find a golf course with a par 6 hole which is a rarity in itself. Then the impossible - just knock it in the hole in 2 shots.
- The Year: 2020. The Course: Lake Chabot Golf Course, Oakland, CA. The Hole: N. 18, 667-yard Par 6. The Golfer: Kevin Pon was a 54-year-old golfer with a 10 handicap. He was a local boy having grown up in nearby Alameda and more than familiar with Lake Chabot having played it more than 100 times. According to CBS News, conditions were ideal that day. Condor translation - firm and super fast resulting in a 550-yard downhill drive that most likely benefited from some magical cart path bounces. For his second shot, Kevin was left with a 100-yard pitching wedge to an uphill green. A solid strike and 2 hops later Kevin had the first Condor ever recorded on a Par 6 golf hole.
What's With All The Bird References?
Fore! We've all heard the bird calls on the golf course, but have you ever wondered why these feathered creatures are so intertwined with the game? From birdies and eagles to albatrosses and even condors, it seems like golfers have a whole aviary of scoring lingo at their disposal. Is it just a coincidence, or is there something deeper at play here? We did some digging and uncovered the surprising truth behind all the bird references in golf. Get ready to spread your wings and soar into a whole new world of golfing knowledge, because this is one bird-brained conspiracy you won't want to miss!
According to Scottish Golfing History, it all started with the birdie. The term birdie which means 1 stroke under par came from early 20th-century American slang and more specifically the word - bird. The term bird was synonymous with anything excellent. So in the early 1900s, the term birdie came to signify a great shot and a great score of 1 under. The eagle, albatross, and condor soon followed in the birdies footsteps. Interestingly, as the scores get better (or lower) the bird gets larger.
By now you know how special and extremely rare a condor is. But what about the ace or those other rare birds? Let's dive into some of the numbers for the rarest feats in golf.
- PGA Tour Player registering a hole-in-one: 3,000 to 1
- Average player making a hole-in-one: 12,000 to 1
- Albatross or Double Eagle (a score of 3 under on a single hole): we've heard 1,000,000 to 1. We've also heard 6,000,000 to one.
- Condor or Triple Eagle: with only six ever recorded in golfing history bookmakers won't even provide any odds for scoring the most elusive of golf scores.
So, there you have it folks - the myth, the legend, the Condor. It may be rare, but it's out there, waiting for the right golfer to swoop in and claim it as their own. Whether you believe it's a true feat of skill or just a lucky shot, there's no denying the excitement and wonder that comes with chasing after the most elusive bird in golf. So next time you hit the links, keep your eyes on the skies and your clubs at the ready. Who knows, you might follow up that double bogey and be the one to land # 7 - that perfect shot and cement your place in golfing history as the Condor conqueror. Until then, keep dreaming big and aiming high, because, in golf, anything is possible - even flying with the birds.
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"Keep it in the short grass"