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What is Birdie in Golf? And how you can score it?

Beginners in golf come across a variety of interesting and funny terms to determine the scores and capability of the player. One such term, Birdie, is both intriguing and hilarious. but do you know how important is Birdie in golf?

At first, it may sound like something related to a beginner’s guide to bird watching but once you know its real meaning, you will understand how important it is in golf terms. So, who introduced the term “Birdie”? What’s the history behind this word? And most importantly, how can you score one? If you are a golf enthusiast, who is looking forward to improving your game then let’s dig deeper to find the actual meaning behind this important golf term.

What is Birdie?

Basically, when a player scores one stroke less than the declared par of any hole. For example, a par-3 hole needs to consume only two strokes to complete the hole.

This term comes from the American slang “Bird” which refers to something wonderful.

Birdie in Golf


So, when was “Birdie” first used in golf?

There are multiple theories that explain the origin of the term. One such theory states that golfers initially used the term “Birdie” which refers to a small bird.

At the time, leather balls with stuffed feathers were used to make Golf balls. Quite interesting indeed!

Apart from this, “Fifty Years of American Golf” by H.B. Martin, states that the story behind “Birdie” originates in 1899 when two brothers, named Ab and William P smith, and their friend George Crump was playing golf in Atlantic City. During the game, Ab hit a peach of a second shot that was within six inches of the hole on a par-4. Then he said with excitement:

“That was a bird of a shot, I suggest that when one of us plays a hole in under par he receives double compensation”

His brother and friend liked it and after that, all the scores of one under par were referred to as “Birdie”. The place where this game between the brother took place was The Atlantic Country Club and there is a plaque to commemorate this event as well.

Then, once the story went viral it didn’t take long for the term to spread and golfers adopted it all around the globe.

How to score a Birdie in golf?

Now that you know and understand what exactly a birdie is, let’s see how you can score it.

It’s true that scoring a Birdie comes with a lot of skill, experience, and patience and it can also be achieved with luck sometimes. However, it’s important to understand a few tips and tricks which will help you score some birdies easily!

  • Build your game by hitting straight, long, and on-target shots.
  • Use the kind of golf clubs that enhance your striking power and keep you in control.
  • Use putters that will make your golf ball navigate the green with great precision.
  • Practice makes the man perfect. So, make sure to practice your shots.
  • Relax before making any shot and offload all the negative energy.
golfer trying to score a birdie

Random facts about Birdie in golf

  • “Double Birdie” is two under par for any given hole, but the most common term for this is “Eagle”
  • A putt results in a score of one under par for a particular hole is a “Birdie putt”.
  • When you take one less shot than the par of the hole then you have “gross birdie”.
  • When your handicap allowance is applied to your score, a “net birdie” is scored.
  • The average record of Birdies made by professional golfers is around five.
  • The highest number of birdies made in one round is 13. Chip Beck from 1991, and Adam Hadwin from 2017, hold this record, when both of them made 59 scores.

Other scoring terms in golf:

  • Double eagle

A double eagle or an albatross is scored when a player completes a hole in three shots less than the par. This is usually scored on a par-5 hole.

  • Eagle

Eagle is scored if a golfer completes a hole in two fewer shots than the par.

  • Birdie

And of course! Birdie is scored if a golfer completes a hole in one less stroke than the par.

  • Par

Par is the number of strokes that a professional golfer takes to complete a hole.

  • Bogey

The bogey is scored when a player completes a hole by one shot over par.

Birdie in Golf


We hope this article helped you learn much about the term “Birdie” and what it means in golf. If you hear someone making a Birdie during the game, be sure to ask them more about it so that it adds more to your knowledge. You can check out other information on our website for more fun facts and history about golf rules, manners, and fascinating terms

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