Scoring a condor is the rarest event in golf. This is normally a hole in one at a par five (a two at a par six would also count, but this has never been done).
Only five condors have ever been recorded:
The most recent was Kevin Pon, who made a 2 on a par 6 at Lake Chabot Golf Course on the 10th December 2020. Pon was playing the 667-yard par-6 18th hole at the course, which has one of the few par-6 holes in the country. The 54-year-old came to the hole, which plays severely downhill, and he pounded a 540-yard drive flew, bounced, bounded and rolled out to leave him just 120 yards to the hole from the bottom of the hill. With a cart path that zig-zigs across the fairway, it’s almost certain Pon’s ball struck the path once or several times on the way.
The first occurred in 1962, when Larry Bruce drove into the hole over a stand of trees on the 480-yard dogleg right par-5 fifth hole at Hope Country Club in Arkansas, USA.
Another condor was achieved by “cutting the corner” of a dogleg par-5 by Shaun Lynch at Teign Valley Golf Club in Christow, England, in 1995, on the 496-yard 17th. Lynch aimed straight at the green with a 3-iron, clearing a 20-foot-high hedge and hitting a downslope on the other side, which allowed his ball to roll down to the green and into the hole.
Achieving a condor in the modern game is nigh on impossible. Should it happen, one imagines the player needs to think outside the box – and maybe take a leaf out of Bubba Watson’s book…
A condor was scored without cutting over a dogleg by Mike Crean at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver, Colorado, in 2002, when he holed his drive at the 517 yard par-5 9th. This is longest hole in one on record, although it was of course aided by the altitude and thin air of ‘mile-high’ Denver.
WGC – Workday Championship R4
The second most recent condor was achieved in Australia by 16 year old Jack Bartlett on the 467 metre par-5 17th at Royal Wentworth Falls Country Club, NSW, Australia, on November 3, 2007.
None of the above Condor’s were made during an official tour and neither were they played on a professionally accredited course, not that their feats are devalued in anyway shape or form. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to understand that a Condor is a rare occurrence.
To give you an idea of odds, it has been estimated a hole-in-one can reach up to 1 in 12,500 for an amateur player, while a double eagle has been assigned odds that have ranged between 1 in 1 million, and 1 in 16 million. The odds of scoring a Condor have not been officially worked out but you can imagine they are significantly higher than the double-eagle. A select number of online bookmakers, have in the past offered odds on double-eagles during championship events, not condors however. Clearly if you choose to place a condor bet with any bookmaker, make sure to get odds of at least above 1 million to one!
A condor is also known as a triple-eagle or a double-albatross, although these terms are, of course, mathematically incorrect.
There is no other explanation for the name ‘condor’ apart from its continuation of the ‘bird’ theme in naming under-par scores, and the size of the bird becoming bigger as the score gets lower (birdie – eagle – albatross – condor).