Showing posts from March, 2021

When Pterodactyls Roamed the Golf Course

What do golfers call a score of 3-under par on a single hole (scoring 2 on a par-5, for example)? We call that either a double eagle (in the United States) or an albatross (most other places). But that wasn't always true. In fact, there was a time in golf when such a score was so rare there was no generally accepted, broadly used term for it. But one word that was used for that score was "pterodactyl." A pamphlet published in 1922 in the United States included definitions of scoring terms, including the common-by-that-time birdie and eagle. And it also included pterodactyl, which it defined as "a hole made in three strokes under par. This would be where a second shot with a brassie was holed out on a par 5 hole. It is rare enough to warrant the name." How common was pterodactyl as a golf term? Not very, it appears. A quick check of our usual sources for historical golf research did not turn up a single other use of it. Which doesn't mea