What Is A Birdie In Golf?

What Is A Birdie In Golf?

What Is A Birdie
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Learn what a birdie in golf is here.

What Is A Birdie In Golf?

There's no better feeling in golf than rolling in a birdie putt whilst playing with your mates. It can help your score, as well as give you bragging rights in the bar afterwards.

Some experienced golfers look to get as many birdies as they can in a round, whilst some are happy to get one every month.

But what is a birdie? We explain here.

What Is A Birdie In Golf?

For those not familiar, a birdie is when you take one shot less than the par of the hole. So, if you played a par-4 in three shots, that would be a birdie. Or, if you played a par-5 in four shots, that would also be a birdie.

Related: What Is A Bogey In Golf?

The term birdie comes from the American slang ’bird’ which meant something wonderful. It was apparently coined up at The Atlantic City Country Club, with a plaque at the club commemorating the occasion. The term became widespread in the 1910s.

What Is A Birdie

Jordan Spieth reacts after making his birdie putt on the 16th green during his first round on day one of The 149th British Open. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Although it is a common term, birdies are hard to come by; even the best players on Tour average five per round.

This may sound like a lot, but these are the best players in the world! If you look into how many birdies scratch golfers make, it is significantly lower with an average of 2.4.

Related: Where Does The Word Birdie Come From In Golf?

Statistically, the easiest holes to make birdies on for both professionals and amateurs are par-5's. This is due to having a bit more buffer with the par and bigger hitters getting nearer the green with their second shot.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x