Saturday, April 12, 2008

Animals In Golf

Some animal references in golf aren't a good thing. You don’t want to be in the kitty litter or in the frog hair, but, when it comes to scoring, the more animals the better. Every course is laid out with 9 or 18 holes. Each hole is a different length from tee box to pin (or flag). The number of shots the course designers believe are necessary to make it from tee box to pin is called par. (Golf course designers are the most optimistic people on earth.)
If you hole out one shot below par, you've scored a "birdie." I remember the first time I had the opportunity to score a birdie. As I wasted time, pretending to study the putting green so I could calm my nerves, my sister said, "Hey. Did you know that if you make this putt, you'll make birdie. I don't think you've ever done that before." Needless to say, I still haven't.
If you sink your ball two strokes below par, you’ve Eagled. Makes sense. An eagle is a larger and grander animal than a mere birdie. So what is it when you shoot 3 strokes below par? Here in the United States, it is generally called a Double Eagle, but once upon a time it had a more interesting name. 3 under par used to be called an Albatross – a much larger and grander animal than a mere eagle.
When Samuel Coleridge wrote his poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” the albatross went from being a bird of good fortune to being an omen of misery, a burden. And so, an albatross in golf became a double eagle. After all, what golfer wants to hang an albatross on his score card? 

No comments: