Some people might say that an albatross is the holy grail of golf scores. And they might be right - after all, it's one of the rarest things you can achieve on the golf course. In fact, scoring an albatross is about six million times harder than sinking a hole-in-one! So if you're lucky enough to pull it off, make sure you enjoy every minute of it!
How does one score an albatross?
To score an albatross you need to register a score of 3 under par on a single hole. Now that requires some serious skill and probably a bit of luck. So let's see how that looks.
You bomb your drive 300 yards down the fairway on the 520-yard par 5. You break out your trusty 5 wood and hole out your second shot from 220 yards out. Oh, so simple... right!
You're teeing off on a short 330-yard par 4. It's a dogleg left. You decide to break out the big stick and cut the corner. You crush the perfect draw over the trees. Your drive lands on the green and rolls into the pin for a hole-in-one. Amazing - an ace on a par 4 is also an albatross.
And finally, the rarest of rares. You're teeing off on a 680-yard par 6. Yes, there are par 6's on golf courses but they are extremely rare. You hit a monster drive and a perfect 3 wood, leaving you a wedge to the green. You hole out your wedge for a 3 under score of 3. This is by far the most difficult way to achieve an albatross because many golfers will go their golfing career without ever playing a par 6.
What are the odds of scoring an albatross?
As we mentioned before, the odds of scoring an albatross are 6 million to one according to the National Hole-In-One Registry. To put that into perspective, the odds of being struck by lightning in any given year are about 540,000 to one. So, you're more than 10 times more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to score an albatross!
To put this further in perspective, consider this. About 10 percent of people who play golf have the ability to reach a par 5 in two. So 90 percent of golfers don't even have the opportunity to try for an albatross let alone hole out their second shot
What's the difference between an albatross and a hole-in-one?
While both are amazing feats, there is a big difference between an albatross and a hole-in-one. A hole-in-one can be achieved by any golfer on any par 3, regardless of skill level. An albatross, on the other hand, can only be achieved by the most skilled golfers on much longer holes. In other words, while anyone can get lucky and achieve a hole-in-one, only the best of the best have what it takes to shoot an albatross.
The numbers confirm the story. The likelihood of the average golfer making a hole-in-one is 12,500 to 1. Or put another way - 1 to 2 percent of golfers register an ace each year. But with an albatross, we're talking 6,000,000 to 1, although we have heard from good sources that the odds may be closer to 1,000,000 to 1. Either way, we're talking about tens of thousands of aces per year versus a couple of hundred albatrosses.
So there you have it: everything you need to know about albatrosses in golf. Remember, they're extremely rare so don't get your hopes up too high. But if you manage to pull it off, it will be one of the most memorable moments of your golfing career!
If you're looking for a little more distance to reach those par fives in two and at least give yourself a shot at an albatross then you need to see below.