What Is a Hole in One Called on a Par-4?

Simon Mire

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Hole In One Called On A Par-4

In golf, a hole-in-one is a magical once-in-a-lifetime thrill. But holing out a long par-4 in a single shot is a near-impossible feat even for pros. 

So when this golf unicorn actually happens, what do you call it? Unlike the standard “eagle” for an ace on a par-3, there is no single agreed name for a par-4 hole-in-one in the sport. 

This bizarre debate has divided golf insiders for decades between formal terminology and popular usage. On one side are traditionalists insisting on “double eagle”, in keeping with naming conventions. 

On the other are fans pushing for the vivid metaphor “albatross” to capture its rarity. This article will delve into golf’s peculiar naming conundrum, from the history to the conflicting arguments on both sides. 

While a par-4 feat of this magnitude has no simple moniker, its elusive name aptly reflects how stupendously tough and memorable this shot is for the few who achieve it.

What Is a Hole in One Called on a Par-4?

For so many reasons people get confused about what is a hole-in-one on a par 4 called. In golf, a hole-in-one occurs when a player hits the ball from the tee box into the cup on their first stroke on a given hole. 

Typically, holes in one happen on par 3 holes, as these are shorter holes designed to be reachable in one shot by professional players. Holes in one on longer par 4 or par 5 holes are extremely rare. 

When a golfer does make a hole-in-one on a par 4 hole, it is referred to as a “double eagle” or an “albatross”. This is because the golfer has completed a par 4 hole in 2 shots under par. 

A hole-in-one on a par 4 requires an extremely long and accurate shot to reach the green and also requires the ball to find the cup on the fly. 

Due to the difficulty, double eagles are much rarer accomplishments in golf compared to a standard hole-in-one on a par 3. 

Making a double eagle is an exceptionally rare feat that only a handful of professional golfers have ever accomplished, requiring extreme skill and some luck to achieve.

The Rare Achievement of a Hole-in-One on Par 4

The Rare Achievement of a Hole-in-One on Par 4

Here is a more detailed explanation of the rare achievement of making a hole-in-one on a par 4 hole in golf:

  • Par 4 holes are longer holes designed to be reached in two shots by professional players. They range from 250 yards to over 500 yards. Making a hole-in-one requires reaching the green from the tee in one shot.
  • Achieving a hole-in-one on a par 4 is extremely rare, even for professional golfers. The distance required to reach the green in one shot on a long par 4 is very challenging.
  • Some key factors that allow a golfer to achieve this feat:
  • The golfer needs to strike the ball with immense power and distance off the tee. This requires exceptional club head speed.
  • Precise and accurate ball-striking is essential to hit the green from such a long distance. Any deviation from the target line will miss.
  • The golfer needs some luck on their side too – factors like a helping wind and favorable bounces on the green to get the ball close to the hole.
  • When it does happen, it’s an incredible accomplishment. Golfers who have made a par-4 hole-in-one include pros like Tom Gandy, Skip Alexander, and Alejandro Cañizares.
  • A hole-in-one on a par 4 is known as a “double eagle” or an “albatross” since the golfer finishes two shots under par on that hole.
  • It’s one of the rarest feats in golf. Even most professional golfers play their entire careers without ever accomplishing it.

Making a double eagle demonstrates exceptional power, precision, and skill from a golfer. It’s a remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime achievement for any golfer.

The Terminology for a Hole in One Par 4 Name

Here are the key details on the terminology for a hole-in-one on a par 4 in golf:

  • Par 4 holes in golf are designed to be reachable in two strokes by professional players. They typically range from 250 to 500 yards.
  • The formal name for a hole-in-one on any par 4 hole is a “Double Eagle”.
  • A double eagle is also commonly referred to as an “Albatross”. Both terms are used interchangeably.
  • The “double eagle” terminology comes from the fact that holing out a par 4 in one stroke equates to finishing two strokes under par for that hole.
  • An “albatross” is named after the large seabird, referring to how rare and difficult it is to achieve, just like sighting an albatross.

Other Analogous Golf Terms

  • Hole-in-one on par 3 = Eagle
  • Hole-in-one on par 5 = Condor
  • While a hole-in-one on a par 3 is difficult, doing so on a par 4 is monumentally more challenging.
  • Even among professional golfers, a double eagle is an exceptionally rare accomplishment, requiring long driving distance and expert precision.
  • Golfers remember every double eagle they make for the rest of their careers as a special achievement.

So in summary, the formal name is “double eagle”, while “albatross” is the most commonly used colloquial term for a hole-in-one on a par 4 hole in golf. Both refer to the same exceedingly rare feat.

Golf Courses with Par-4 Hole in Ones

Golf Courses with Par-4 Hole in Ones

There are a lot of golf courses with Par-4 hole-in ones. Here is a list of the notable golf courses where rare par-4 hole-in-ones or double eagles have occurred:

1. Pebble Beach Golf Links

This iconic oceanside course in California has hosted 6 US Opens. The scenic par-4 10th hole hugs the rugged coastline at just 309 yards, making it one of the few reachable par 4s. 

The short length and wide fairway have yielded some historic double eagles over time, including by pros like John Miller and Simon P. Brown.

2. Augusta National Golf Club

Home of The Masters Tournament, Augusta is known for its very long par 4s. 

But in the final round in 2009, Phil Mickelson hit a rare albatross on the par-4 13th hole by holing out his second shot from the pine straw with a 6-iron from 209 yards. His eagle propelled him to victory.

3. Harbour Town Golf Links

This seaside course on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina hosts the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage each year. 

The par-4 10th hole features a makeable 332-yard distance from the back tees. In 2004, Davis Love III scored a double eagle there by holing out from 283 yards.

4. Spyglass Hill Golf Course

Part of the Pebble Beach rotation, Spyglass Hill’s short 360-yard par-4 4th hole tempts pros to go for it. Multiple hole-in-ones have happened there over the years during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am event.

5. TPC Sawgrass

Home of The Players Championship, Sawgrass has an iconic island green 17th hole. The reachable 381-yard par-4 12th has also surrendered some rare albatrosses over time, including by Miguel Angel Jiménez in 2002.

6. PGA West Stadium Course

Known for hosting the CareerBuilder Challenge in the California desert, PGA West’s wider fairways and short par 4s have produced some aces. 

Legends like Arnold Palmer and Raymond Floyd, along with Craig Stadler and Skip Alexander, have made holes-in-one on par 4s there.

Tips for Achieving a Hole-in-One on a Par-4

Tips for Achieving a Hole-in-One on a Par-4

Here are some tips for achieving the rare feat of a hole-in-one on a par-4 golf hole:

Select the Right Hole

Choose a par-4 hole no longer than 350 yards with a wider, more forgiving fairway. This allows some margin for error. 

Downwind holes are ideal, as the wind at your back will maximize distance. Avoid tightly tree-lined fairways that offer no wiggle room.

Optimize Distance Off the Tee

Maximizing your drive distance is crucial. Use your longest, most lofted driver to achieve maximum carry in the air. 

Tee the ball higher than normal. Swing out of your shoes for added clubhead speed. A lower-spinning ball will run farther. Any extra yardage off the tee gets you closer to the green.

Play in Favorable Conditions

Windy days when the course is playing shorter improve the odds. Downwind is optimal. 

Firm, fast greens that allow balls to run out to the hole also help. Soft conditions after rain hurt your chances. Wait for ideal conditions.

Precise Approach Shot

Use a mid-iron that allows you to land the ball softly on the shortest part of the green. Aim small at a very specific target, safely avoiding bunkers and water hazards around the green. The slightest miss will ruin the ace.

Visualize the Shot

Picture in your mind the exact shot shape, trajectory, and roll-out required to hole the par-4. Envision your ball landing at the target, bouncing, and tracking into the cup. Pre-shot visualization breeds confidence.

Smooth, Free Swing

Don’t overswing trying to muscle the ball. Making your normal smooth, free swing generates optimal distance and accuracy. Rushing the downswing or hitting from the top loses control and precision.

Believe It’s Possible

Have the focus, confidence, and mental will that you can pull off this rare feat. Elite golfers have the capacity to hole out par-4s. With skill, strategy, and a pinch of luck, you can join the elite few to ace a long par-4.

The Debate and Controversy Regarding Par 4 Hole in One Name

The Debate and Controversy Regarding Par 4 Hole in One Name

For sure, there are many odds of getting a hole-in-one on a par 4. A hole-in-one on any par 4 hole is an exceedingly rare feat in golf. 

So rare that there is debate and some controversy regarding what to actually call it when it happens. There are two main schools of thought:

Double Eagle Camp

  • Those in favor of “double eagle” point to consistency with naming conventions. A hole-in-one on a par 3 is an eagle, par 4 is double eagle, and par 5 a triple eagle.
  • Double eagle adherents argue this parallels the common terms birdie (one under par) and eagle (two under par). A double eagle is three under par for the hole.
  • Traditionalists believe formal golf terminology should be systematic and not conform to flashy trends or marketing.

Albatross Camp

  • Proponents of calling it an “albatross” compare the rarity to seeing the large ocean bird, hence the metaphor fits.
  • They point out albatross is the commonly used term among modern golfers, broadcasters, and writers to describe the feat.
  • Calling it a double eagle is antiquated and stodgy. Albatross is more descriptive of the remarkable rarity.
  • Some argue that since the double eagle is already used in card games, albatross avoids confusion between sports.

Debate Shows Difficulty of the Feat

Ultimately, the debate itself reflects just how rarely albatrosses happen in golf. Usage of both terms remains mixed, with double eagle as the formal name and albatross the colloquial variant. 

The discussion simply underscores how incredible and memorable holing out a long par 4 truly is.


How rare is a hole-in-one on a par 4?

A hole-in-one on a par-4 is an exceptionally rare feat in golf. Professional golfers, let alone amateurs, rarely achieve this accomplishment due to the longer distance and increased difficulty of reaching the green in just one shot.

What is a hole-in-one on a par 4 called?

A hole-in-one on a par-4 is often referred to as an “albatross” in golf terminology. 

This term is reserved for scoring three strokes under par on a single hole, emphasizing the extraordinary nature of achieving such a remarkable feat.

What do you call a hole-in-one on a par 4?

A hole-in-one on a par-4 is specifically called an “albatross.” This term distinguishes it from the more common hole-in-one on a par-3, known simply as an “ace.”

The rarity of this achievement adds to the prestige of being called an albatross.

What are the odds of a hole-in-one on a par 4?

The odds of scoring a hole-in-one on a par-4 are incredibly slim. The longer distance and increased difficulty of navigating hazards make it a highly improbable event. 

The odds are significantly lower than achieving a hole-in-one on a par-3, making it a golfing rarity.

Wrapping Up

So whether you prefer the formal “double eagle” or the popular “albatross,” both terms refer to one of golf’s rarest accomplishments. Holing out a par-4 tests the absolute limits of distance and accuracy. 

The controversy over its name simply reflects the feat’s difficulty and mystique. Next time you step up to a long par-4, picture your tee shot tracking straight into the hole—a mind-bending shot only a fraction of golfers will ever achieve. 

For any amateur or pro who pulls off this once-in-a-lifetime rarity, their double eagle or albatross will be a golf story for the ages. 

So dream big on those long par-4s and remember—uniting the golf world on one name might prove even tougher than the shot itself.

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Simon Mire

Hi, I am a golf expert at Curated. I have been playing golf for more than 10 years and have a deep understanding of the sport. I am passionate about the game and love to help people improve their game. I write articles on golf tips, equipment reviews, and other related topics for various websites. LinkedIn

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