A condor is a golf scoring term that is used to describe when a player hits their ball four strokes under par on a single hole.
It’s rare for any golfer to score a condor, as there are only a few circumstances where it can be achieved!
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How can one score a condor?
There are only two ways to score a condor, and one of them isn’t possible on most common golf courses.
First off, you can score a condor by scoring a hole-in-one, or ace, on a Par 5 hole. Since most golf courses include multiple Par 5s, this option is a lot more likely than the next one.
And the second way is to score a 2 on a Par 6 hole; it’s rare to find a Par 6 to begin with, so this one is nearly impossible and has never been achieved.
Why is it called a condor?
In golf, four-under-par is considered a condor since it sticks to the theme of naming under-par scores as birds, increasing in size as the score gets lower.
Here’s the scoring and name breakdown:
- A score of 1-under on a hole is called a birdie.
- A score of 2-under on a hole is called an eagle.
- A score of 3-under on a hole is called an albatross.
- A score of 4-under on a hole is called a condor.
How rare are condors in golf?
It’s extremely rare, and almost never happens.
To put this in perspective, the odds of an amateur scoring a hole-in-one is 12,500 to 1, while the odds of scoring an Albatross is closer to 6,000,000 to 1.
Now, imagine how likely it would be to score a condor on a Par 5? At least 10,000,000 to 1, and probably much closer to 100,000,000 to 1.
How often do you hear of somebody scoring an ace, or hole-in-one, on a Par 5? I’ve certainly never seen or heard of one, but there are a few known instances of a condor happening!
Are there any condors in the history of golf?
At the time of writing this, there are only 6 proven condor scores in golf history:
- Larry Bruce (1962): 480-yard Hole 5 at Hope Country Club in Hope, Arkansas.
- Dick Hogan (1973): 456-yard Hole 8 at Piedmont Crescent Golf Course in Burlington, North Carolina.
- Shaun Lynch (1995): 496-yard Hole 17 at Teign Valley Golf Club in Christow, England.
- Mike Crean (2002): 517-yard Hole 9 at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver, Colorado.
- Jack Bartlett (2007): 513-yard Hole 17 at Royal Wentworth Falls Country Club in New South Wales, Australia.
- Kevin Pon (2020): 667-yard Hole 18 at Lake Chabot Golf Course in Oakland, California.