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I hit another birdie.

Birds play an oversized role in golf.

A birdie occurs when a golfer finishes a hole one stroke under par. It’s a difficult feat but not exactly rare. I’ve scored at least five birdies this year and witnessed many more.

An eagle indicates a golfer has finished a hole two strokes under par. For example, an eagle on a par-4 hole is achieved with two strokes, and on a par-5 hole, three strokes.

I scored my first eagle this year after hitting a tee shot on a short par 4 to within 110 yards of the hole and then miraculously rolling my approach shot into the cup.

An albatross, also known as a double eagle, is a rare and impressive feat in golf that occurs when a player finishes a hole three strokes under par. This can be accomplished by making a hole-in-one on a par-4 or sinking the ball in two strokes on a par-5.

I have never scored nor witnessed an albatross firsthand. It is a rare bird indeed.

Also, actual birds sometimes play an oversized role in golf, at least when it comes to me.

I killed a bird midflight about a decade ago with a tee shot. As my friend Tom described, the bird first seemed to hang in the air momentarily, as if to say, “Goodbye, cruel world!” before plunging to its death.

About a year later, I hit a duck on a hill. The duck seemed to roll over before returning to its feet and flying away. My friend couldn’t stop laughing for the next two holes.

A couple of weekends ago, while playing with my friend, Andrew, in Rhode Island, I hit a tee shot onto the left edge of the fairway in the vicinity of a flock of crows. As my ball came down, the birds took flight.

“Did I…?”

“Yes,” Andrew said. “You hit another bird. I think it’s okay.”

It was.

Last weekend, I hit a tee shot so close to a bird that my friend, Jeff, shouted, “Look out!”

Presumably to the bird.

The bird – a swallow – actually changed direction to avoid the ball, which might have clipped its wing.

Lest you think I am the only golfer hitting our winged friends with golf balls, Charlie hit a goose in the ass last year. A flock of geese was scattered on the fairway, well beyond what I thought was his range, but he somehow managed to hit his best shot of the day, smacking the goose hard enough for it to produce a honking sound before taking flight.

Charlie and I collapsed in hysterics.

The father and son who were playing with us walked away. Completely abandoned us with two holes to play. We never saw them again.

They apparently did not find the incident as amusing as we did.