Just How Rare Is An Eagle In Golf? Analyzing The Odds And Feats

In golf, an ‘eagle’ is a score of 2 under par on a given hole. But while eagles are coveted accomplishments, they are rare and elusive even for pros. So just how uncommon is it to card an eagle in golf?

In this in-depth guide, we’ll break down the true odds and special skills needed to achieve this feat.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Eagles occur in about 1-3% of all par-4 and par-5 holes played, even by pros. So they are very rare compared to pars and birdies.

Eagle Definition in Golf Scoring

When it comes to golf scoring, an eagle is a highly coveted achievement on the course. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly constitutes an eagle and how it compares to other scores.

What is an Eagle?

In golf, an eagle is a score that is two strokes under par on a single hole. This means that if a hole is a par 4, an eagle would be achieved by completing the hole in just two strokes. Similarly, on a par 5 hole, an eagle would be accomplished by finishing the hole in just three strokes.

Eagles are considered to be a remarkable accomplishment in golf and are often celebrated by players and spectators alike. They require a combination of skill, precision, and a bit of luck to achieve.

How it Compares to Other Scores

When looking at golf scores, it’s important to understand how an eagle compares to other scores on the course. Here’s a breakdown of some common golf scores:

Score Description
Bogey A score that is one stroke over par on a hole.
Par The standard score for a hole, typically set based on its length.
Birdie A score that is one stroke under par on a hole.
Eagle A score that is two strokes under par on a hole.
Albatross A score that is three strokes under par on a hole.
Ace A hole-in-one, where the ball is sunk in just one stroke.

As you can see, an eagle sits between a birdie and an albatross in terms of score. While birdies are more common and achievable by many skilled golfers, eagles are rarer and often considered a notable accomplishment.

According to statistics from the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), the average number of eagles per round for professional golfers is approximately 0.3. However, it’s important to note that these statistics may vary depending on the specific course and player skill level.

So, the next time you hear someone mention an eagle in golf, you’ll now have a better understanding of just how impressive that score truly is!

Eagle Rates for Pros

Eagles, those elusive and remarkable feats in golf, are truly a sight to behold. Scoring an eagle means completing a hole in two shots under par, and achieving this feat requires a combination of skill, precision, and a bit of luck.

Let’s delve into the eagle rates for professional golfers and see just how rare this accomplishment truly is.

PGA Tour Stats

On the PGA Tour, where the world’s best male golfers compete, eagles are certainly a rare occurrence. According to the PGA Tour’s official statistics, the average number of eagles per round for professionals is just around 0.1.

This means that, on average, a professional golfer will make an eagle once every ten rounds. Considering the difficulty of the game and the level of competition, it’s no wonder that eagles are considered such extraordinary achievements.

However, it’s important to note that the eagle rates can vary depending on the specific tournament and golf course. Some courses may be more forgiving and offer better opportunities for eagles, while others may present more challenging conditions.

Regardless, eagles are always celebrated and cherished by both the players and the spectators.

LPGA and Champions Tours

The LPGA Tour, which showcases the talents of the world’s best female golfers, also experiences a similar rarity when it comes to eagles. Though statistical data specifically for eagle rates is not readily available, it is safe to assume that the rates would be comparable to those of the PGA Tour.

The Champions Tour, on the other hand, is where professional senior golfers continue to display their skills and compete at a high level. Just like their younger counterparts, the eagle rates for these seasoned golfers are also quite rare.

While statistical data for eagle rates on the Champions Tour may not be easily accessible, it is safe to say that eagles are still considered exceptional accomplishments in this competitive arena.

Eagle Rates for Amateurs

High Handicappers: <1%

For high handicappers, achieving an eagle on the golf course is a truly remarkable feat. With a handicap of 18 or higher, these players are less experienced and typically have a harder time achieving lower scores. The odds of an eagle for high handicappers are less than 1%.

This means that for every 100 rounds of golf played, a high handicapper can expect to achieve an eagle once or less.

While the odds may seem discouraging, it’s important to remember that golf is a game of skill and practice. Even for high handicappers, with dedication and improvement in their game, the chances of achieving an eagle can increase over time.

Low Handicappers: 2-3%

For low handicappers, who have a handicap of 5 or lower, the odds of achieving an eagle are slightly higher. These players have honed their skills and are capable of consistently shooting lower scores. On average, low handicappers have a 2-3% chance of achieving an eagle during a round of golf.

Low handicappers often have the advantage of being able to hit the ball longer and more accurately, which increases their chances of reaching a par 5 in two shots or a par 4 in one shot. Additionally, their overall understanding of the game and strategy helps them make better decisions on the course, leading to more opportunities for eagles.

It’s important to note that these statistics are general estimates and can vary depending on individual skill levels and playing conditions. In some cases, certain golf courses may present more opportunities for eagles, while others may be more challenging.

Furthermore, advancements in golf equipment technology have also contributed to an increase in the number of eagles being achieved by players of all skill levels.

To learn more about golf statistics and handicaps, you can visit websites like usga.org or pgatour.com which provide valuable insights and resources for golfers of all levels.

Making an Eagle – Key Factors

Scoring an eagle in golf is a rare and impressive feat that every golfer dreams of achieving. It requires a combination of skill, strategy, and a little bit of luck. Let’s take a closer look at the key factors that contribute to making an eagle.

Long Drives

One of the essential factors in making an eagle is the ability to hit long drives. Long drives give golfers an advantage by allowing them to reach the green in fewer shots. Golfers who can consistently hit the ball long distances off the tee have a higher chance of setting themselves up for an eagle opportunity.

It’s no surprise that many of the players who frequently make eagles on the PGA Tour are known for their impressive driving distance.

Accurate Approach Shots

Another crucial factor in making an eagle is the ability to hit accurate approach shots. Once a golfer has positioned themselves within striking distance of the green, they need to be able to hit their approach shot close to the pin.

This requires precision, control, and a good understanding of the conditions and the course. Golfers who can consistently hit their approach shots close to the pin increase their chances of sinking a birdie or even an eagle putt.

Great Putting

Finally, great putting is often the deciding factor when it comes to making an eagle. After hitting a good approach shot, golfers need to be able to read the green and sink their putt from a distance. The ability to judge the speed and break of the putt accurately is crucial in converting birdie opportunities into eagles.

Professional golfers spend countless hours practicing their putting skills to develop the touch and consistency required to make those clutch putts.

While long drives, accurate approach shots, and great putting are the key factors in making an eagle, it’s important to remember that luck can also play a role. Sometimes a well-executed shot can bounce off a tree or take an unexpected roll, leading to a fortunate outcome.

The rarity of an eagle in golf is what makes it such an exciting and celebrated achievement.

For more information on golf statistics and achievements, you can visit websites like PGATour.com or GolfDigest.com.

Notable Eagle Feats

Double Eagles

Double eagles, also known as albatrosses, are one of the rarest and most impressive feats in golf. This occurs when a player scores three strokes under par on a single hole. To put it into perspective, the odds of achieving a double eagle are estimated to be around 1 in 6 million for an average golfer.

It requires a combination of exceptional skill, precision, and a bit of luck. The feeling of accomplishing a double eagle is indescribable, and it is considered one of the most memorable moments in a golfer’s career.

One of the most famous double eagles in golf history was achieved by Gene Sarazen during the Masters Tournament in 1935. On the par-5 15th hole, Sarazen hit a 4-wood from 235 yards, and the ball miraculously found its way into the hole for a double eagle.

This incredible shot helped him to catch up and eventually win the tournament in a playoff.

Another notable double eagle was recorded by Louis Oosthuizen during the 2012 Masters Tournament. Oosthuizen’s shot on the par-5 2nd hole from 253 yards bounced once on the green, then rolled into the cup.

This impressive feat became known as the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” and solidified Oosthuizen’s place in golf history.

Multiple Eagles in a Round

While double eagles are extremely rare, multiple eagles in a single round are also a remarkable achievement. This occurs when a player scores two or more eagles throughout the course of 18 holes. The odds of achieving multiple eagles in a round are difficult to calculate accurately, but it is safe to say that it is a rare occurrence.

One notable instance of multiple eagles in a round was achieved by Tiger Woods during the 1999 Johnnie Walker Classic. Woods managed to score three eagles in just one round, which is a remarkable feat.

This exceptional performance showcased his exceptional talent and solidified his status as one of the greatest golfers of all time.

It’s important to note that while these eagle feats are incredibly rare, they are not impossible. With enough practice, dedication, and a bit of luck, any golfer has the potential to achieve these incredible milestones.

So, the next time you step onto the golf course, keep in mind that you too could have the chance to join the exclusive club of golfers who have accomplished these remarkable eagle feats.


For even the best players, the eagle is an elusive prize that only comes together through long drives, perfect approaches, and clutch putting. While pros may card eagles slightly more often, amateurs will likely achieve only a few in their lifetimes.

The rarity of eagles is what makes them so meaningful and memorable. Any golfer who can snag an eagle has accomplished something remarkable indeed.

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