A condor in golf occurs when a player gets the ball into the hole using four fewer shots than the par states. For example, a par five hole will result in a condo if a golfer made a hole-in-one shot. Getting a condor shot is one of the rarest occurrences on the golf course. It is so rare that it has only happened six times in golf’s history.
What makes the condor shot so rare in golf? Who are the people who made this shot? What are some ways to attempt this shot on the golf course?
Here is the complete breakdown of what a condor is in golf!
When Did the First Condor Occur?
Larry Bruce had the first official condor shot in 1962. The accomplishment took place on a 480 yard shot on the fifth hole going over the trees. The golf course where this took place was Hope Country Club in Arkansas, USA.
Why is it Called a Condor Shot?
Golf has many terms for golf shots that come from the names of birds. For example, you have a birdie, an eagle, and an albatross shot. A condor continues that tradition by keeping with the names of birds in golf.
Has Anyone Hit a Condor Shot in the PGA / LPGA Tour?
As of January 2022, nobody has hit a condor shot in the PGA tour or U.S. Open. However, there are instances where regular amateur golfers achieved this rare shot. A condor shot is a rare occurrence that experts give it at least a million to one chance it can occur on a golf course. However, those odds might be even greater than that!
How Many Times has a Condor Occur in Golf?
As of January 2022, there are only six confirmed and verified cases of this feat. Below is the list of official condors in golf, from the first to the most recent.
- Larry Bruce, in 1962, hit the first official condor shot at Hope Country Club in Arkansas.
- Dick Hogan shot a 456-yard condor shot on the Piedmont Crescent Course out in Burlington, North Carolina, in 1973
- Shaun Lynch hit a 496-yard hole-in-one on a par five in Christow, England, in 1995. The golf course was Teign Valley Golf Club.
- Mike Crean hit a 517 shot in Denver Green Valley Ranch Golf Club.
- Jack Bartlett was 16 and hit a hole-in-one on a par five at the Royal Wentworth Falls Country Club.
- Kevin Pon, in 2020, hit a 667-yard condor shot out in Oakland, California, on the 18th hole. This shot is the longest hole anyone has in a condor shot in golf history. The venue where this feat came from was the Lake Chabot Golf course.
How Do you Get a Condor in Golf?
While luck is the primary reason you get a condor, there are still two ways to help you achieve this next-to-impossible feat. First, you have to cut over the dogleg on the golf course, which is risky because you need to get the ball over the trees but not go so far that it goes past the hole. Second, you will need to have a hill and or wind that can help move the ball into the hole from a roll or get the help from a jet stream.
Can you Get an Up and Down and a Condor in One Shot?
Yes, you can score an up and down and a condor on the same shot. An up and down shot means that you got the ball in the hole on your second shot. Typically speaking, a golfer will send the ball deep on the fairway from a tee shot and only need to put the ball into the hole in two strokes. That means if the condor is a par 6, you can complete it within two strokes and get both accomplishments.
What Are Other Golf Shot Names to Know?
- Double Bogey: Meaning it took you two additional shots over par to score in the hole
- Bogey: Takes you one additional stroke over par to get the ball into the hole. For example, a par six hole took you seven strokes.
- Par: Meaning it took you the same number of shots as the golf hole requires. For example, it took you six strokes to get the ball into the hole on a par six.
- Birdie: Takes you one less stroke to get the ball into the hole. For example, it only took you three strokes to score on a par 4
- Eagle: Needing two strokes less than the par number to get the ball into the hole
- Double Eagle / Albatross: When you take three strokes less than the par to score. For example, on par 5, you only had two strokes to get the ball into the hole.
How Many Rounds of Golf Occur Each Year?
According to PGA.com, 450 million rounds of golf occur each year in the United States. A hole in one occurs about once every 3.5k times. To put that in perspective, hitting a condor shot is more like one in a million, which is mind-blowing when you consider that.
Conclusion: What is a Condor in Golf?
In summary, hitting a condor shot is one of the rarest things to occur in the golf world. As of January 2022, there have only been six official times that the golf course has verified that a player did achieve just that. To put that in perspective, you have about a one in a million shot of making a condor shot in golf.
To hit a condor shot, you have to have a mixture of skill and luck. Usually, you need to hit the golf ball over trees, have the wind with you, and have a favorable bounce when the ball eventually lands. Even a great shot that goes over the trees with the wind and has a good bounce still makes it incredibly rare for the ball to go into the hole. If you are on the golf course and hear or witness this occurrence, you are part of golf history.