Explaining the Condor Golf Score (With Examples)

What is a "condor" in golf? That's the name given to an extremely rare, exceedingly rare — so rare that it almost never happens — score of 4-under par on a golf hole.

Every hole on a golf course has a par rating, with probably upwards of 99-percent of all holes being par-3, par-4 or par-5. The par number is the number of strokes an "expert golfer" is expected to need to play the hole. A small number of par-6 holes exist around the world, and a tiny number of par-7 (or higher) holes also exist.

If a condor means scoring 4-under on a hole, then right away we can see the first reason condors are so, so rare: they are impossible on par-3s and par-4s (4-under on a par-4 hole is zero, after all).

So for a golfer to score a condor, he or she must, first of all, be playing a par-5 hole or longer. And then they must make a spectacular hole-out on such a hole.

These are the specific scores required to claim that you made a condor:

  • Par-3 hole: Not possible.
  • Par-4 hole: Not possible.
  • Par-5 hole: A hole-in-one is a condor.
  • Par-6 hole: A score of 2 is a condor.
  • Par-7 hole: A score of 3 is a condor.
It should be obvious that close to zero golfers have ever scored a condor. But it has, in fact, happened: There are a very small number of holes-in-one recorded on par-5 holes. We are not aware of any golfer ever holing out with a second shot on a par-6 hole.

So you can think of "condor" as more of an inspirational golf term than a practical one. The other golf terms albatross, eagle and birdie have an avian theme, and condor was invented somewhere along the line, in keeping with the bird theme, to represent the 4-under-on-a-single-hole score.

Related definitions:

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