What is the big deal about being able to hit a birdie? You may have seen experienced golfers make a shot and get excited when they hit a birdie. Now you’re wondering what is a birdie in golf. It occurs when a ball is hit 1-under par but the task isn’t as easy as it looks.
Being a new golf player on the green can be exciting and stressful, but the pros make it look so simple and you wonder how do they do it? What is their secret? How can I do that? Understanding how to hit a birdie is important since it can help better your score.
What Occurs during a Birdie
The term “birdie” is used to reference a golf play made 1-under par. To be more specific, a player makes a shot that is 1 less than par set for the hole. Holes on the golf course are rated based on the number of strokes expected by an advanced player.
Par refers to number of strokes necessary to hit the ball into the hole. Par on a hole can be a par-3, par-4, or par-5. An example of a birdie is if a player hits 3 on a par-4 hole. Players looking to improve their golf score welcome a birdie, but depending on your play ability they can be rare.
Handicapped players may not see too many birdies. This is normal but as your golf skills improve and handicaps become lower, you may increase chances of hitting one. When a birdie is played it is then recorded on the scorecard and it is based on the par set for the hole.
Scoring for a birdie is the number less than par. So, on a par-5 hole the score would be recorded as a 4. So why is this play known as a birdie? The term was born from the word “bird” during the early 1900s through a group of golfers that originally used it as a form of slang.
What is Necessary to Score a Birdie
Overtime, golfers develop a unique set of skills to help achieve plays including a birdie. Yes, some players get lucky when they hit a birdie, but there are a few things golfers can do to increase chances. To get started learn practical tips for golfers offered by the pros.
One aspect to keep in mind is to stay focused on keeping the shot straight. This is essential for long shots no matter the par. Work to land the ball as close as possible on the green near the target. When preparing for the second stroke, use your putter if playing a par-3 hole for better control.
When playing a par-4 or par-5 hole select a different iron that can get the ball closer to the target. The selection depends on the par, but it could be a mid-iron, long iron or fairway wood. In some cases a wedge may work, but keep in mind it is about your drive and distance control.
What Else Should You Know about Birdies?
When hitting the ball for the third time your putter may do the trick to sink a birdie on a par-4. Using your putter is important when the ball is on the green. Make sure to line up the ball when it is on the green before finishing your shot to get it in the hole.
Keep in mind approach shots need to be on point in order to hit a birdie. Keep your focus on the green instead of the pin. Watch your position behind the ball. If you hit 2 below par this is known as an eagle. A rare shot known as an albatross occurs on a 5-par ending with 2 strokes.
The most important aspect to remember if you want to hit a birdie is to practice. Work on your putting ability, driving from the tee, and how your shots are hit when playing the fairway. Review your play skills and determine areas to improve so you can see progress.
In understanding what is a birdie in golf it is crucial to know this play isn’t easy to come by without practice. Remember, this play occurs when the ball reaches its target when 1-under par. It occurs during par-3s, par-4s, and par-5s and each par may have a different approach.
Practice elements of your game such as swing, distance control, stance, and knowing the right club to use. Please comment if you have a question. Here are additional actions to take on hitting your first birdie:
- Know how far you can hit the ball. Practice this element by hitting a few balls as far as possible.
- Stay calm as you think about the shot. Think about mental strategies to help stay focused, but don’t doubt yourself.
- Practice smooth swing motion creating a pendulum.