Golf A to Z - The 'Condor'

Scoring a condor represents one of the rarest of events in golf

The Condor – Golf A-Z

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 Condor – Golf A-Z

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.

The Condor – Golf A-Z

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.

The Condor – Golf A-Z

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.

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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).