A Birdie in Golf: What is it?

Golf is a sport that combines precision, strategy, and finesse. Within the world of golf, there is a term that brings joy and satisfaction to players – the birdie. A birdie refers to scoring one stroke under par on a hole. In majority of golf courses a par represents the expected or average number of strokes to complete the hole. This is based on distance and difficulty level, therefore to achieve a birdie means you are hitting above average on that hole.

Importance of Birdies

Birdies, as mentioned, are scoring 1 below par in a hole. They require very skilful shots in order to make the holes in under par. Birdies contribute to a players overall score and can significantly improve their standings in tournaments. Securing birdies on holes will enable you to climb the leaderboard above those just making par.

Birdies on Different Holes

A Birdie on a Par 3 Hole

  • Typically Par 3’s are shorter in length and an “easier” hole to acheive a birdie.
  • An accurate iron shot and solid putting skills are key to secure a birdie on a par 3 hole.
  • Choosing the right club based on the distance of the par 3 will enable you to hit the green and secure a good distance from the pin.
  • A precise putting stroke will then be needed to sink the birdie putt and go under par.

A Birdie on a Par 4 Hole

  • Par 4 holes are typically longer in nature and require a longer initial tee shot and a precision approach shot.
  • A suitable hybrid or driver should be selected at the tee to enable a long drive, with a good chance of hitting the green in 2.
  • A precise chip shot will then be required from the fairway (ideally) to hit the green and have a chance to putt for birdie.
  • It’s key to prioritize accuracy over distance in par 4’s. Although distance is necessary to achieve the birdie, positioning yourself favorably for approach shots is key for success on a Par 4.

A Birdie on a Par 5 Hole

  • Par 5 birdies may be the most difficult. It is great for longer hitters as they should be able to reach the green in two shots, however those with a shorter driver may struggle to secure a birdie on these.
  • A combination of a powerful tee shot, well-placed second shots and accurate long skilful putting can help to result in a birdie on a Par 5 hole.
  • Its key on a Par 5 to analyze the layout of the hole and assess the risks and rewards of going for the green in two.

Tips to Achieve a Birdie

Consistency is Key

  • Consistency in swing mechanics and shot execution is crucial for securing those birdies.
  • Practice regularly to develop a repeatable accurate swing which you can rely upon to increase your chances of hitting accurate shots.
  • Work on tempo and rhythm to achieve a consistent ball strike.

Risk vs Reward

  • Need to weigh up the risk vs reward of trying to achieve a birdie on particular holes.
  • Analyze the layout of the hole and assess the likelihood of hitting certain shots to enable a birdie putt.
  • Need to make calculated decisions that maximize your chances of achieving a birdie while minimizing the potential for mistakes to drop shots.
  • You must consider and take into account your skill level and the hole situation and play aggressive or safe.

Master the Short Game

  • The key to birdies is to master the short game- this includes chipping and putting.
  • Dedicate time to practice and improve your skills specifically on the greens. You may be able to hit the green in 1 or 2 shots but pulling off a long difficult putt may be required to secure a birdie.
  • Chipping techniques should be tested to enable a repertoire of various styles which can be used in situations to get the ball as close to the pin as possible.


A birdie in golf terms is a shot under par. It is the symbol of excellence in golf and represents ability and skill of the player. Achieving birdies requires a combination of skill, strategy, and mental fortitude. By understanding the significance of birdies on different holes and implementing the detailed tips mentioned above, you can enhance your chances of consistently achieving this remarkable feat. Remember Driving for Show & Putting for Dough!


What score is a Birdie in golf?

  • Par 3: Typically, a birdie on a par 3 hole would be a score of 2.
  • Par 4: For a par 4 hole, a birdie would be a score of 3.
  • Par 5: On a par 5 hole, a birdie would be a score of 4.

How many swings is a Birdie?

  • Par 3: A birdie on a par 3 hole would require completing the hole in two swings.
  • Par 4: On a par 4 hole, a birdie would be achieved by completing the hole in three swings.
  • Par 5: For a par 5 hole, a birdie would require completing the hole in four swings.

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