The Golf Albatross – A Historical Perspective

One of the most famous birds in golf is the golf albatross. It has been called the “ultimate survivor” of the bird world because of its ability to live for more than a century and a half. Although it is rare, you can even find some adult albatrosses in the wilds of Australia and they can be seen as long as ten kilometres away. It is believed that this long-lived bird can be traced back to the formation of the Southern Island of New Zealand in the year 1911. Since then, there have been around eighty sightings in the area.

The Golf Albatross – A Historical Perspective


In golf, the albatross is the standard number of strokes that an expert golfer needs to make to finish a hole, a full round, or even a tournament. The game of golf can be played by anyone – beginner, intermediate and professional golfer. The only thing a golfer cannot do without is a set of albatross-shaped wings for the purpose of turning while playing. Hence, this bird is also referred to as the “ultimate golf animal.”


This remarkable bird’s name is probably derived from its ability to stay afloat for a very long time. Its wings may be found a foot apart from each other so that it can turn rapidly. It can also probably be heard to chirp at high altitudes and spend most of its time above water level. Its white body and bright red eye are very noticeable during the day.

A golf albatross can flap its wings a thousand times in one day and still not lose its balance. That is why this bird is called the “albatross with a difference.” Because it can stay afloat for days, it feeds on different foods than other birds. It catches fish, small crustaceans, insects and algae. On top of that, it can be found almost everywhere in the ocean, except in bodies of water that have too much deep-water. This is why when a golf player is trying to hit a shot on a sand trap, he will not be able to find a mark because the entire surrounding area is covered with sand.


In golf terms, a golf albatross has the highest score in the game. Its nine-game winning streak, which was snapped by none other than Robert von Hagge in 1970, remains the all-time record. But this feat of brilliance came at a price. A single albatross will usually take nine years just to mate and give birth. This means that a player who tries to beat this record will have to win the game within nine days.


This feat and its record made the albatross a symbol to many players especially those who play golf and who are masters at the game. As golf was becoming more popular, its courses were starting to develop. However, the golf course at Honfleur was not one of them. For this reason, the golf albatross became more than a symbol to some players and became a real threat to some golfers. As a result, the game was altered so that the albatross could not finish the course.


As a result, they were excluded from the tournaments. The reason being, the holes would be increased so that there would be a better challenge for the albatross to accomplish. In its place, they were to play holes where they would need to use a lot of energy, such as holes two, holes five and holes eight. As a result, the albatross was left out of these tournaments. After several years, they were allowed back into the golf courses, but they were no longer permitted to participate in the prestigious hole-in-one golf competition.


Another version of the tradition is seen in the United States where a golfer has to shoot a hole from the tee box into a hole on the green, without going over the par of the course. The American version of this game is now known as the double eagle. Here, the player who shoots the farthest number of balls into the green wins the game. The British version of the game has had a different rule implemented, where a golfer has to shoot a hole from the tee box into a hole on the green, without going over the par of the course.