A birdie is the name given to a golf score which is one below the par set for the hole. Birdie or better refers to a player scoring one or more under par, and can be used in a variety of bets of golf matches. The standard bets on golf tournaments tend to be on a particular player to win, or perhaps on the spread of how many under or over par a player will be after a particular number of holes or rounds, or at the end of the entire tournament. If you’re keen on betting on birdies with the best golf betting sites then you may want to read on more!
Birdie or better tends to be an in play bet, which is to say that a bettor places the bet after a player has started their round. A bet on a player to score a birdie or better means that they will have to score at least one under par for the bet to pay out. By opting for birdie or better, rather than simply birdie, the bettor increases the chance of a successful bet, as an eagle or albatross will also deliver the result.
Placing successful birdie or better bets relies on watching the play closely in order to determine which players are in form, which are the most likely to benefit from the prevailing weather conditions and which holes are offering the best scoring opportunities. Birdie or better bets range from simply betting that a player will score below par on the next hole, to selecting both players, either player or neither player contesting a hole to score birdie or better. In all cases, the odds will shift during the course of a round, enabling bettors who follow the action closely to pick their bets carefully throughout the day’s action.
“Birdie” refers to a score of one stroke less than Par. It is derived from the American slang term, “bird”, which means anything exceptional in the early 20th Century. Maclean Magazine’s September 1911 issue described a golf shot like a “bird” straight down the fairway, approximately two hundred and fifteen meters.
Atlantic City’s Country Club was the first to use the term ‘birdie’, according to the USGA website. A conversation was reported by the US greenkeepers magazine in 1962. He told how he was playing at the par-fourth hole in Atlantic City with his brother William P Smith and George A Crump. His second shot missed the hole by just inches. Smith claimed that “that was a bird-of-shot” and demanded double money if the winner was one under par. This was accepted. Smith holed his putt and won with one under par. The three of them later referred to this score as a “birdie”. The Atlantic City Club dates the event back to 1903.
The term had already crossed the Atlantic by 1913. Bernard Darwin wrote in the September 1913 issue Country Life about a trip to the USA. “It takes a few days for an English observer to grasp that a “birdie” is a hole played in one stroke under par.
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The “eagle” score, which is two under par for any given hole, was clearly an extension of the theme “birdie for good scores”. American golfers would naturally think of the Eagle, their national symbol. The term was only developed shortly after the “birdie”.
The term was first introduced to Britain in 1919 by Mr H D Gaunt, who explained the difference between a birdie and an eagle that he had encountered in Canada. Eagle was introduced many years ago as American terms. Cecil (Cecilia Leitch) described a putt for a 3-on-a par-5 hole as “securing what is known as an Eagle” in American golfing parlance (Golf XII 1922, p 202).
Albatross, which is the term for three-under par, is a continuation from the birdie/eagle theme but is actually a British term. Ab Smith stated that his group used the phrase “double eagle” for three under (see Birdie below), which is still used by most Americans. It also serves as the name for their Double Eagle Club, which invites only.
Three points under par is very rare, and an albatross a rare bird. Although the exact origin of this bird is unknown, it was first mentioned in 1929. John G Ridland, who won an ‘albatross in India in 1934, suggested that this score was made common by the introduction of steel shafted club in the 1920s.
E E Wooler, a South African golfer, scored the first ever ‘albatross score’ reported in the media. He made the hole-in-one on the 18th green of the Durban Country Club, which is a par-4. He would have been astonished to learn that it cost him PS40 for drinks, but he wouldn’t have thought of making history.
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