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Home » What is a Birdie in Golf? – Ultimate Guide

What is a Birdie in Golf? – Ultimate Guide

What is a Birdie in Golf

Step foot on a golf course, and frequently you are immersed in a sprawling natural landscape full of trees, lakes, rivers, wildlife, and birdies. A birdie in golf might not have two wings, but scoring a birdie might be something to sing about. In this article, I will show you a complete guide about what is a birdie in golf?

Where Does the Term Birdie Come from in Golf?

The term ‘birdie’ comes from the early 20th-century American slang term ‘bird,’ which refers to anything excellent? It is said that three men, Ab Smith, his brother William P. Smith and golf course architect and hotelier George A. Crump, were playing golf at Atlantic City Club when Smith first used the term in this way.

On par 4, 2nd hole, Ab hit his second shot within inches of the hole and exclaimed, ‘That was a bird of a shot! After making the putt, the score was henceforth known as a ‘birdie.’

What does mulligan mean in golf?

The phrase mulligan refers to amateur golfers – not professional golfers. Sometimes amateur golfers can make poor shots on the 1st hole because they are nervous or don’t warm up properly. Instead of taking a bad note, players at casual matches will sometimes use mulligans to replay a previous shot without taking out an original bad hit. MULligan golf is technically against the Rules of Golf, but golfers often take advantage of it when they don’t participate in tournaments.

What is a birdie in golf?

A birdie in golf is a term for a score that is one under par. For instance, a birdie on a par four hole would be a score of 3. Par represents the standardized score for any hole relative to its length, so an under-par score means it took fewer shots than expected to hole the ball from start to finish.

The purpose of golf is to get the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible. Any golfer will tell you that they are trying to make a birdie on every hole they play. However, scoring a birdie is very hard to do, but it can create memories that last a lifetime when accomplished.

What is better than a birdie?

Some scores on golf are better than the birdie but it’s just more difficult and is often rated because of the golf player being very lucky or very good. This list is ranked in order:

Are Birdies Good in Golf?

Yes, scoring a birdie in golf is not just good; it’s great. To score a birdie, the golfer requires several things, and they are not mutually exclusive.


The golfer must have some level of skill and ability to hit a golf ball. The minimum number of strokes to record a birdie is two (on a par 3), so that means at least one of those shots had to be hit very well. To score a birdie on a par 4 or 5, the golfer is often required to hit two, three, or even four very good shots. However, there is always.


It cannot only overcome a golfer’s lack of skill, but it can also enhance it.  however, is certainly not something that can be relied upon. It often lies dormant until it appears out of nowhere like a sudden cool breeze on a hot summer day. Luck on the golf course usually comes in the form of a friendly bounce out of the rough or bunker into the fairway or a ricochet off of a tree, cart path, house, or rock that fortuitously comes to rest on the putting green. Golfers often never witness their lucky bounces because they are too far away or elevation changes or dense trees obstruct their view.

How to Score a Birdie in a Golf ball?

Since recording a birdie requires the golfer to hit at least one good shot per hole, let’s take a look at several different shots hit during play of a par four hole to provide tips for practicing and improving your chances of scoring a birdie.

First Shot:

A golfer will typically use a driver on a par four because it hits the ball the furthest. However, the golf course often requires the golfer to play more strategically because of the placement of bunkers, water hazards, trees, doglegs (refers to a hole that bends left or right, often looking like the shape of a dog’s hind leg).

Even the varied widths of the fairway are factors to consider when hitting your opening shot of the hole.


Here are some tips to improve strategic planning:

Judge Mother Nature:

Wind will affect the direction of the ball and how far it travels. For example, a ten mph headwind on a 140-yard shot may lose up to 12 yards (yds) of distance, while a ten mph tailwind at the same distance may add up to 7 yds of distance.

Pick a Target Where You Want the Ball to Land. The opening shot of a golf hole can be very intimidating, whether you are hitting in front of strangers or because the fairway looks like a dinner plate in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Either way, your brain, and your swing will respond better when given commands on where to go instead of where not to go.

Play from a Forward Tee:

Ideally, the shorter the hole, the easier it is. So if you are looking for more birdie opportunities per round, play from a shorter tee box and have more fun.

Second Shot:

Second shots on par 4’s are typically shorter in the distance than the first shot, so the golfer will often require an iron or wedge. Here are a few things to consider when hitting the fairway, also known as the short grass.

Where is the Flag Located?

Knowing where the flag is located on the green will help the golfer identify the best places to land the ball for the easiest putt. Remember that most distances provided on the golf course are to the middle of the green unless otherwise stipulated.

Front of the Green:

If the flag is on the front of the green, consider playing aggressively and going for it. If hazards and bunkers surround the sides and back of the green, consider a more conservative shot that lands short of the green allowing the ball to bounce or roll onto the green and next to the hole.

Back of the Green:

Play this a bit more conservatively as being too aggressive may cost you by hitting the ball over the green and getting into trouble.

Behind a Bunker:

If you can, figure out the distance needed to carry the bunker and make it five yds past that minimum yardage you want the ball to carry. You can hole out a bunker shot for birdie, but it is much harder than a putt.

Next to a Water Hazard:

Aim at the side of the green opposite the water. Again, it is much easier to make a putt than to hit a ball out of the water and into the hole.

Purchase a Golf Rangefinder:

Golfers are permitted to use range finders that tell the exact distance to specific targets like yardage to the hole or the carry distance over a bunker. Exact distances will help you judge which club to hit and may even help speed up play.

Third Shot:

You’ve made it to the shot where the ball must go in to record a birdie on a par 4. Here is how to handle a few situations you may encounter:

Ball on the Green, Close to the Hole – If your ball lies feet or even inches from the hole, do not take for granted that you will automatically make the putt. Stay calm, keep your head still, commit to the line of your putt, and listen for the ball to go in.

Ball on the Green, Far from the Hole – When faced with a long putt (over 25 feet), chances are you probably won’t make it, so most golfers hit what is called a lag putt, or a putt that is meant to get as close to the hole as possible, anything inside 3 feet is a good lag putt.


Like water, a ball will roll with the contour of the putting green. Since most putts are rarely straight, the golfer must judge how far right or left of the hole to aim to determine how much break or slope they perceive in the putt.

Speed is Everything

A putt hit too hard will roll through a break, while a putt hit too slow will break too much. Spend a few moments on the practice green before your round to learn how fast or slow the green speed is to be better prepared on the golf course.

Ball off the Green, but on the Fringe

The fringe is the area of short grass surrounding the green, and it is usually cut the same height as the fairway grass. If the ball is just onto the fringe, treat this shot like a putt and proceed as if you were on the putting green. However, if you find yourself several feet to several yards off the putting green, try using a 9-iron or pitching wedge to hit a low, rolling chip towards the hole. Remember that a ball rolling is more likely to go into the hole than a ball bouncing or flying into the hole.