May 31, 2022

What Is An eagle In Golf?

“What is an eagle in golf?” I know, I know – Golf and its many jargons and rules, right? When playing on a golf course, or watching a game unfold on the television, you can hear words like “birdie”, “bogey”, and “par”. Honestly, it can be confusing for a beginner to know what every term means.

One term you probably heard of is “Eagle”. Maybe a golfer was overjoyed at having scored it and the crowd is going kinda wild too. Are you asking yourself what an eagle is in golf? Well, ask no more because here is what it means and why you should care:

What does scoring an Eagle mean?

In simple terms, an eagle is when a player shoots two strokes below par on a hole.

  • So, for example, if it took you two strokes to get a ball into a par-4 hole, then that would be called an eagle.
  • If it took you 3 strokes for a 5-par hole, then that would also be called an eagle.

It’s that simple.

Technically, hitting 1 stroke on a par-3 course can also be called an eagle but that’s almost always called a hole-in-one – getting a ball into the hole with a single stroke.

An eagle is most common on a par-5 course: taking a driver to get the ball on the fairway, another stroke to get it on the green, and a final one to make the putt.

Such maneuvers are uncommon and challenging. It’s usually performed by professionals or by amateurs having an especially good day. Luck plays a big part in whether or not a player scores an eagle. 

Origin of the term:

The term “eagle” originated from the term “birdie,” which means shooting one stroke below par on a hole. A birdie is really good and happens often, an eagle is even better but only happens once in a blue moon.

What is a double-Eagle?

While an eagle is hard enough to accomplish, many golfers go their entire lives without ever achieving a double- eagle. 

A double-eagle occurs when you shoot three shots below par on one hole.

This means that a player either got a hole-in-one on a par 4 hole or managed to accomplish a par-5 hole in 2 strokes (in keeping with the theme of birds, this shot is also referred to as an albatross, or double eagle). Not an easy task to say the least.

Bottom line… 

Making scores like these automatically makes you infamous. Their rarity means that only the luckiest and most skilled golfers manage to pull them off. It is also a big boost in confidence. 

Related: How Golf Scoring Works

If you managed to score an eagle at any point of your life as a golfer, then hats off to you. If you managed to score a double-eagle, then you’re probably going to be a legend. 

But if you’re a beginner, know that an eagle does not define you as a golfer. Skill, not lucky shots, is what makes a winner. So keep practicing and just focus on making each stroke count.

About the author 

Linda Parker

My name is Linda Parker, I’ve been around golf since I was born, and I’ve been golfing since I was four years old!

I’m here to share my love of the game with you, so please do let me know if you have any questions!

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