Golf is unlike other sports when it comes to scoring—the player scoring the lowest wins. So, scoring might seem confusing to people new to the game. Like getting your ball into the green hole at each golf course hole by taking the fewest number of swings(stocks/shots) as you can. You should know what is a birdie in golf.

Thus, this article will focus on how the score is counted and maintained during the game. This is to clarify the concept of a birdie. There will also be some methods and advice that experts have emphasized to get the Birdie score. So, stay tuned!

The Scoring Mechanism In Golf

birdie in golf

Before you know what is a birdie in golf, you should the in-depth scoring practices in golf. So, here they are:

Stroke Play

In golf, recording scores is far easier than most people believe. The fascinating element is that the participants record their scores. Each player has a scorecard labeled in rows and columns to keep track of their score. A stroke occurs whenever a golfer swings at the golf ball to strike it. They count each stroke made by the golfer. Then the officials add the strokes used on each hole after the golfer has rolled the ball into the cup. So, that is the golfer’s hole score. In this scoring system, the player with the lowest score wins. You need to know this system if you wish to know what is a birdie in golf.

Match Play

The basis of a match play is keeping track of how many strokes are on each hole. Then, contrast it with your opponent’s performance, and note who wins each hole. You win the spot if you score four on hole one while your opponent makes a 5. So, the player who wins the most holes is the overall match winner.

Scoring Respective to Par

“Par” refers to the total strokes a professional golfer requires to complete the golf course. So, each hole of the entire course terms as a par. As an example, if you score six on Hole 1 and it possesses a three pa, you are 3-over par (here, six is more than three). And if you score four on Hole 2 and it has a par of 5, you are one under par. Finally, if you put a two on a par-2 hole, you are “level par.”

This also holds true for a golfer’s overall score during his whole round. You are 20 over par for the round if you shoot 92 and the course’s par is 72.

In golf, there resides a complete lexicon for par scores; a 1-under hole is a birdie, and a bogey is a 1-over. But don’t worry; you’ll learn the terms with time.

Stableford Scoring

Stableford scoring converts your score in connection to par into scores, and the number of total points (instead of strokes) is the winner.

What Does “Birdie” Refer To, And When Was It First Used?

Before understanding what is a birdie in golf, you must know the origin of its name. According to golf academics, the name “birdie” originated in the 19th century when the word “bird” stood in for “cool” or “great.” According to a course in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the phrase was first used there in 1903, indicating: a result one point below par. This is a brief history of the origin, and the following is a detailed one. Additionally, there are some facts related to this term.

Recording what is a birdie in golf demands talent from the moment you tee off until you make your putt. Birdies are the ambition of every golfer, from novices to pros. Following that, there will be a look at the history of what is a birdie in golf and how you may get one.

As opposed to bogey, a British invention of the golf lingo, Birdie is purely American. The creation of the birdie is commemorated with a plaque on a course in America. You can see this plaque in the Atlantic City Country Club in New Jersey.

Atlantic City was a popular vacation destination with beaches, a boardwalk, and various hotels. When the local economy failed in 1897, a group of local business people, primarily hotels, got together to brainstorm ways to restore it.

It planned to construct a golf course as an additional lure for the region. In time for that year’s summer season, the first nine holes of the 18-hole course and the clubhouse opened in June 1898. And the club was a hit and developed into a meeting place for influential people in the community.

There are various theories on how, where, and when the first birdie was made. However, everyone agrees it happened during a club game with bet money at risk.

According to some records, it was a foursome (opens in new tab) match, while others claim it was a three-ball. However, when one of the players, Abner or Ab Smith, struck his ball to within a few inches, he referred to it as a “bird of a shot” and offered it for the future.

If one of them won a hole with a score of under par, he would earn double the money. The other two agreed and invented the term “birdie” to characterize this score. However, according to some versions of the story, it happened on the second hole. And the participants agreed that the next time it happened, they would pay out. The following time was on the 12th; therefore, this was the first ‘birdie,’ not the second. In some tales, the original idea came on the 12th hole, and Smith’s freebie was the first birdie.

In any case, the club remembered the incident with a stone plaque at the 12th hole, which is currently the location of the chipping green.

Although the club officially dates this event to December 1903, several accounts indicate it happened a few years prior. Thus, now you know what is a birdie in golf.

Why is Scoring Birdie Significant in Golf?

In addition to its historical importance in the golf world, it is significant because it requires the golfer’s entire focus, attention, strength, and talent. The par is decided based on how many shots an expert need to get the ball in the hole. So, being one step ahead of them is significant. Hence, you need to know what is a birdie in golf to score the birdie with precision and why it’s important to do so.

How to Score a Birdie

what is a birdie in golf

Hopefully, you now have a clear idea about what is a birdie in golf. You can successfully score a birdie through talent, experience and sometimes luck. As such, you must work on the following areas to improve in scoring birdies:

1. Practice birdie by ensuring consistency and on-target shots:

Right-handed golfers should strike the ball to the right of the target; however, hitting the ball straight on is considered a push shot. If there is a divot, it will point to the right of your target line. And if you play golf left-handed, you should hit the ball to the right of the target. When there is a divot, it will point to the right of your target line. So, just knowing what is a birdie in golf is not enough, you must learn to execute it properly.

2. Utilize putters that’ll allow the control of the green course with absolute accuracy:

Putters are available in various colors and styles, with features and designs to fit every preference and enhance any game.

This checklist for putters offers something for every need, every style, and every degree of competence, but no one putter is the best for every golfer. So, it can for sure help you to hit a birdie.

  • The two most popular putter designs are blade and mallet. Consider a blade putter if you play golf with an arc stroke and consistently strike the sweet spot. A mallet head is better for golfers who want to hit the ball straight and don’t consistently strike the sweet spot. These often incorporate alignment aids to steer a putt and have a more prominent sweet spot, making it simpler to shoot better putts.
  • Most adult golfers find the standard putter shaft length, which ranges from 33 to 35 inches, optimal. You may do a quick test by standing like you would while making a putt and releasing a golf ball from your left eye. The center of the putting surface, where the ball typically lands, indicates that you have the proper length. You know the shaft length is too long if the ball lands between the putter and your feet. Therefore, you must search for a putter at the shorter end of the spectrum, 33 inches, or specifically tailored to your needs.

However, professional golfers who master how to use the driver club might recommend starting your Birdie. Why? Since it is the longest and results in a variety of movements so you will not be limited to any pacific set of actions, such as while using woods.

3. Keep practicing:

The same adage is true in golf. Practice your shots to become as accurate as possible.

4. Divert Negative Thoughts And Energy From Yourself:

The golf game requires a lot of mental effort. Many factors around the player can be considered when talking about negative thoughts. Weather and the effects of the other players in the game are two main factors. However, memory can play an essential role as well. So, overcoming unpleasant memories, particularly on a single hole that seems to keep stinging you, is one of the most challenging parts of golf.

It can come to the point where just glancing at the hole causes anxiety, leading you to assume that terrible shots are unavoidable. This scenario can immobilize us and fill our brains with pessimism. During this trying period, all we can think of it as a failure.

Understanding how to concentrate on the desired shot and the confidence that will come from making it happen is essential. So, you can reverse this way of thinking. Standing behind your ball and facing the hole, give your shot’s distance, trajectory, and landing zone your full attention. Consider how the ball will behave when it lands on the green to make it more challenging. Your objective is to completely lose yourself in the shot’s favorable conclusion, eliminating any room for uncertainty, anxiety, and “what-if” thoughts. And a strong statement or phrase should be included in this pre-shot graphic.

5. Use golf clubs that are specifically designed to help you get the most out of each stroke:

This one is equally essential to the skills you possess. So, try new clubs for a while. As a result, you’ll be able to find the club of your desire which is perfectly suitable for you.

6. To improve performance, clean your golf clubs and balls:

Properly maintaining your clubs can help them live longer for upcoming rounds. The performance of your golf game might also benefit from a tidy set of clubs. Also, don’t underestimate storage. Your clubs will perform better on your subsequent trip to the course if you keep them secure in between rounds.

As crucial as club maintenance is, golf ball maintenance is even more essential. The first benefit of cleaning the golf ball is it improves driver-ball contact. Second, it increases the trajectory and distance of the golf ball. Last but not least, filthy golf balls can increase the deterioration of the priceless driver head of your golf club.

So, a golf ball’s dimples coat in debris, mud, and dirt when it is dirty, which might compromise its aerodynamics. As a result, your golfing performance may deteriorate, and it might spoil your entire experience too. You can learn how to thoroughly clean your golf balls and ensure they perform better with each swing depending on the dirt type.

  • To clean the light dirt: The dishwashing detergent and hot water work well to eliminate dull surface debris on golf balls.
  • To clean moderate dirt: soaking the ball is the best way.
  • To clean heavy dirt: using a pressure machine is the best method.

7. Understand Your Typical Golf Club Distances

Each Club Has Its Own Distance As Shown Below:

ClubShort HitterMid HitterLong Hitter
Driver200 yds230 yds260 yds
3 Wood180 yds215 yds235 yds
5 Wood170 yds195 yds210 yds
3 Hybrid163 yds190 yds205 yds
3 Iron160 yds180 yds200 yds
4 Iron150 yds170 yds180 yds
5 Iron140 yds160 yds170 yds
6 Iron130 yds150 yds160 yds
7 Iron120 yds140 yds150 yds
8 Iron110 yds130 yds140 yds
9 Iron95 yds115 yds130 yds
Pitching Wedge80 yds105 yds120 yds
Sand Wedge60 yds80 yds100 yds
Lob Wedge50 yds70 yds90 yds

8. Wear golf clothing that is both comfortable and functional:

The most crucial thing is to feel at ease in your clothing. Clothing has both physical and psychological effects. Simply feeling good about yourself will significantly enhance your golf game. So, take your golf apparel purchases carefully. Remember to dress comfortably, stay warm, stay dry, and, most importantly, enjoy the game. An example of clothing can be the hat.

A person’s golf game is also affected by the sun above. So, choosing the right hat will be crucial. It would help if you looked for a comfy hat because this directly relates to your concentration in the game so that you can shoot accurately. Therefore, you might score a Birdie easier.

9. Improve your game by taking golf lessons:

People who want to be professional for a short time should enhance their practice with some lessons.

10. Set yourself up for victory by hitting a long and straight shot off the tee:

It’s challenging to hit a golf ball straight. One of the most challenging sporting undertakings was initially mentioned in a “USA Today” article as hitting a long, straight tee shot. So, for most golfers, slicing or hooking their shots is the most annoying thing.

The mechanics of your swing are the key to hitting a straight shot. So, to consistently hit the ball straight, you may need to give up a little power for precision. Hence, we will now give you a brief explanation of how to do so:

  • Use golf clubs with the right measure of flexibility for your strength and distance from the stroke.
  • Ensure your grip on the club is firm. And to strengthen your grip, now, looking at your hands, turn it right (if you are a right-handed person) or the left (if you are a left-handed person).
  • Put yourself in an excellent swinging position. Your knees should be slightly bent, your legs should be shoulder-length apart, and your shoulders and legs should be parallel to your aim.
  • Place yourself properly concerning the ball. And it would be best if you placed the ball across from your rear foot when you instep it. This will ensure that your club is planted and will make good contact, so step back from the ball.
  • To decrease slicing and extend your distance, speed up your swing.
  • Keep in mind that if you cock your wrist at the top of your backswing, you will shift the angle of your swing.

11. Understand the golf shot and club to utilize for each hole:

Scoring a Birdie can be a bit easier when you have a clear idea about the connection between the hole position, club type, and swinging angle. Although some people might be lucky enough to get a Birdie with no hard effort, scoring a Birdie with previous intention can make you more passionate about the game.


So, we have come to the end of this article. Hopefully, all the info necessary was easy to comprehend. Nonetheless, we thank you for reading till the end and being so patient. All in all, keep practicing, and you will score that birdie! Now you know exactly what is birdie in golf!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a birdie, a bogey, and an eagle?

Ans: A birdie is a hole score of one under par (for example, scoring 4 on a par-5).A bogey is one stroke over par on a hole. And an eagle is a score of two under par on a hole.

How many strokes is a birdie?

Ans: Birdie is a golf term that refers to scoring one stroke less than the declared par of any given hole. Assume you have a par-3 hole in front of you. To score a birdie, simply complete the hole in two (2) strokes or less.

What is the name for a perfect golf score?

Ans: The perfect round (a 54 on a par-72 course) is most commonly described as making a birdie on all 18 holes, but no player has ever recorded a perfect round in a professional tournament.

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