Skip to Content

What is a Birdie in Golf? A Beginner’s Guide to Scoring Like a Pro

Heorhii Rysak

What is a birdie in golf?

A birdie in golf refers to completing a hole in one stroke less than par, which is typically one stroke less than the expected number of strokes it should take to complete the hole. For example, getting the ball in the hole in one stroke less than par on a par-4 hole results in a birdie.

The Obscured History of the Birdie

The exact beginnings of the word “birdie” are a little uncertain, but there are two well-known explanations. According to the first theory, during golf tournaments, if players were questioned about the score they would have achieved on their previous hole (a par-three), and they responded with an odd number such as one or three, it was labeled as a birdie.

Regarding the name itself, the term “birdie” was initially a slang word in the early 1900s, derived from the word “bird”. It referred to something that was considered “wonderful” or “great”, hence achieving a birdie in golf was always seen as “something wonderful”. Although the exact origin of the term is unknown, it gained popularity in 1903 at the Atlantic City Country Club in New Jersey.

A birdie is a phrase used to describe a score of one-under-par in golf. This signifies that you have reached the green in fewer shots than the total number required for the entire course (either 18 or nine holes, depending on the golf course) and have scored below your designated handicap index number. To obtain a birdie, you can achieve a score ranging from 0 to two strokes, but any score exceeding three strokes will be considered an eagle instead. This explains why golfers frequently express their excitement for achieving a birdie through gestures like a fist pump or other celebratory actions.

Birdie score in golf

In order to accomplish this achievement, golfers need to minimize the number of putts and avoid making mistakes while on the putting greens or teeing off onto the fairway. Like any other sport, achieving excellence in golf requires practice. While scoring a birdie is challenging, it is possible to acquire the necessary skills and experience through practice.

To begin, the initial action entails arranging a direct and uninterrupted shot that successfully reaches the intended target. It is crucial not to deviate the ball from its desired trajectory, as this would necessitate extra attempts to bring it back on course. To achieve this, it is advised to employ the most efficient club in terms of power, enabling better control over the direction of the ball. When executing the swing, aim for a stroke that is as lengthy and straight as usual, but with a greater amount of force than you have ever applied before.


Birdies in Other Forms of Golf – What is a Birdie in Disc Golf?

Term Definition
Birdie In Disc Golf, a birdie is achieved when a player completes a hole in one stroke below par.
Par The expected number of throws for a skilled player to complete a hole in Disc Golf.
Bogey A score of one throw over par on a specific hole in Disc Golf.
Eagle In Disc Golf, an eagle is achieved when a player completes a hole in two throws below par.
Double Bogey A score of two throws over par on a specific hole in Disc Golf.
Albatross In Disc Golf, an albatross is achieved when a player completes a hole in three throws below par.
Hole-in-One Hitting the disc directly into the basket from the tee with a single throw in Disc Golf.
Ace An ace is another term used for a hole-in-one in Disc Golf.
Par-3 A disc golf hole designed to be completed in three throws for a skilled player.
Par-4 A disc golf hole designed to be completed in four throws for a skilled player.
Par-5 A disc golf hole designed to be completed in five throws for a skilled player.


In conclusion, understanding what is a birdie in golf, scoring one stroke under par on a hole, is a fundamental aspect of the game. It serves as a benchmark for players aiming to enhance their performance on the course.

Irrespective of your experience level in golf, achieving a birdie is a remarkable feat. It signifies precision, skill, and a deep understanding of the game. Scoring a birdie can generate a surge of confidence and motivation, propelling you to excel throughout the round.

By devoting consistent practice and unwavering determination, every golfer can strive towards scoring birdies and attaining their optimal performance on the course. So, embrace the challenge, set your sights on those birdies, and let them serve as a testament to your golfing prowess. You can also see our review of Best Golf GPS Watches here


What is the most common way to score a birdie in golf?

The most common way to score a birdie in golf is to complete a hole one stroke under par. This means the player takes fewer shots than the expected number for that hole. Scoring a birdie showcases skill and precision, and it is a goal that golfers strive for during their rounds. What is a Birdie in Golf is achieving this feat.

What is the average number of birdies scored by a professional golfer?

The average number of birdies scored by a professional golfer varies depending on their skill level and the difficulty of the courses they play. However, professional golfers generally aim to score multiple birdies per round.

Can a beginner golfer score a birdie?

Yes, a beginner golfer can absolutely score a birdie. While it may be less common for beginners, it is an achievable goal. With practice, improving skills, and understanding course management, beginners can strive to score birdies just like more experienced players.

What is the origin of the term “birdie” in golf?

The term “birdie” in golf is believed to have originated in the United States in the late 19th century. It is thought to have derived from the slang term “bird,” which referred to something excellent or successful. Eventually, “birdie” became synonymous with scoring one stroke under par.

Can a player score a birdie if they hit the ball into a bunker?

A: Yes, it is possible to score a birdie even if the ball lands in a bunker. Despite the challenging situation, if the player successfully gets the ball out of the bunker and into the hole with one stroke under par, they can still achieve a birdie. It requires skill, strategy, and overcoming obstacles to secure a birdie, regardless of the ball’s location. What is a Birdie in Golf is achieving this impressive score, bunker or not.