Definition: "Birdie" is the term for scoring 1-under par on any individual golf hole. Par, remember, is the expected number of strokes it should take an expert golfer to complete a hole. Golf holes are generally rated as par-3s, par-4s and par-5s, which means that an expert should need three strokes, four strokes and five strokes, respectively, to play those holes.
So a birdie is a very good score on a hole, one that mid-handicappers don't see often and high handicappers rarely see. For recreational golfers, making a birdie is a thing to celebrate.
"Birdie" means that you have:
- Made a 2 on a par-3 hole
- Made a 3 on a par-4 hole
- Made a 4 on a par-5 hole; or
- Made a 5 on a par-6 hole (par-6 holes are rare, but they do exist)
Golf History FAQ: What is the origin of the terms "birdie" and "eagle"?
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Also Known As: Bird, 1-under, 1-under par
Common Misspellings: Birdey, birdy
Examples: "Did you get a birdie on that last hole?"
"I made a 4 on the par-5, write down a birdie."