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? (opens in new tab)

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? (opens in new tab)

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
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.