What’S An Eagle In Golf?

In the world of golf, players strive to complete each hole in the fewest number of strokes. Scoring terminology adds excitement, with terms like birdie and eagle denoting excellent play. But for newcomers, what exactly does eagle mean in golf?

Understanding golf scoring provides insight into this popular sport.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: In golf, an eagle refers to completing a hole two strokes under par.

Definition of an Eagle

In golf scoring, an eagle occurs when a player completes a hole two strokes under par. It is a significant achievement that showcases exceptional skill and precision on the golf course. The term “eagle” is derived from the bird of prey, symbolizing the player’s ability to conquer the hole with grace and finesse.

In golf scoring, an eagle occurs when a player completes a hole two strokes under par.

Par is the predetermined number of strokes that a skilled golfer is expected to complete a hole. It is based on the length and difficulty of the hole. For example, on a par 5 hole, sinking the ball in 3 strokes results in an eagle.

This means the player has completed the hole in fewer strokes than anticipated, demonstrating exceptional performance.

For example, on a par 5 hole, sinking the ball in 3 strokes results in an eagle.

An eagle is a rare occurrence in golf and is considered a remarkable achievement. It requires not only skill but also strategic decision-making and precise execution. Players who achieve an eagle often experience a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment, as they have surpassed expectations and outperformed their competitors.

An eagle demonstrates outstanding play, two strokes better than expected.

An eagle showcases a player’s ability to navigate the course effectively, making strategic shots and capitalizing on opportunities. It is a testament to their talent and dedication to the sport. Achieving an eagle can be a turning point in a golfer’s round, boosting their confidence and momentum as they continue to pursue success on the course.

Next time you watch a golf tournament, keep an eye out for those remarkable eagle shots. They are a testament to the skill and precision required to excel in the sport.

Origins of ‘Eagle’ Golf Term

The term “eagle” is a commonly used term in golf to describe a specific scoring achievement. But have you ever wondered where this term originated from? Let’s take a closer look at the origins of the term “eagle” in golf.

The term eagle originated in the late 1800s from a Scottish newspaper.

The term “eagle” was first used in the late 1800s in a Scottish newspaper called The Scotsman. It is believed that the newspaper coined the term to describe a remarkable golf shot that required two strokes under par to complete a hole.

This achievement was seen as quite impressive, and the term “eagle” was used to signify this exceptional feat.

It was used to describe a hole played ‘in two strokes under par.’

When the term “eagle” was first introduced, it specifically referred to a hole being played “in two strokes under par.” In golf, par refers to the expected number of strokes a skilled golfer should require to complete a hole.

So, if a player managed to complete a hole in two strokes less than the expected number, it was referred to as an eagle.

The name likely links completing two under par to the impressive predation of the eagle bird.

The reason why the term “eagle” was chosen to describe a score of two strokes under par is not entirely clear. However, it is believed that the name was inspired by the predatory nature of eagles. Eagles are known for their exceptional hunting abilities, swooping down and capturing their prey with precision and speed.

In a similar vein, completing a hole in two strokes under par is seen as a skillful and impressive feat, just like the predatory prowess of an eagle.

So the next time you hear someone mention the term “eagle” on the golf course, you’ll know that it refers to a remarkable achievement of completing a hole in two strokes under par. It’s a term that has been in use for over a century and continues to be a symbol of excellence in the game of golf.

Other Golf Scoring Terms

Aside from the eagle, there are several other scoring terms used in golf to describe a player’s performance on a particular hole. These terms help golfers keep track of their progress and compare their scores to the par of the course. Let’s take a look at some of these terms:

Birdie – one stroke under par on a hole.

A birdie is a fantastic achievement in golf and signifies that a player has completed a hole with one stroke less than the par score. For example, on a par 4 hole, a player who scores a 3 will have made a birdie.

It’s a reason to celebrate and feel a sense of accomplishment, as birdies can often be challenging to achieve.

Bogey – one stroke over par on a hole.

A bogey is the opposite of a birdie and occurs when a player completes a hole with one stroke more than the par score. So, if a player scores a 5 on a par 4 hole, they would have made a bogey. While it’s not as ideal as making par or better, bogeys are still considered acceptable scores for recreational golfers.

Double bogey – two strokes over par.

When a player scores two strokes over par on a hole, it’s referred to as a double bogey. For example, if a player scores a 6 on a par 4 hole, they would have made a double bogey. Double bogeys can be frustrating for golfers, but they happen to even the best players from time to time.

Triple bogey – three strokes over par.

A triple bogey occurs when a player needs three strokes more than the par score to complete a hole. It’s often an unfortunate outcome and can be a setback in a golfer’s round. For instance, if a player scores a 7 on a par 4 hole, they would have made a triple bogey.

Understanding these scoring terms can help golfers keep track of their performance on the course and measure their progress. Whether it’s celebrating a birdie or accepting a bogey, each of these terms adds to the excitement and challenge of the game.

Rarity of Eagles

Eagles are less common than lower-scoring birdies. While birdies are celebrated by golfers, scoring an eagle is considered a remarkable achievement. The rarity of eagles adds to their prestige and makes them even more exciting for players and spectators alike.

The eagle’s relative rarity adds to its prestige.

Scoring an eagle is no easy feat. It requires exceptional skill, strategy, and a bit of luck. The fact that eagles are harder to come by than birdies makes them more special. Golfers who manage to score an eagle can’t help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.

It’s a moment that they will remember and cherish for a long time.

On Par 5 holes, 2-3% of players score an eagle.

On Par 5 holes, where the distance to the green is longer, the chances of scoring an eagle increase slightly. According to statistics from the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), approximately 2-3% of players manage to score an eagle on Par 5 holes.

This means that out of a hundred players, only a few will have the opportunity to celebrate this incredible achievement.

Par 4 eagle frequency is even lower, <1% of players.

Scoring an eagle on a Par 4 hole is even more challenging. The distance to the green is shorter, and the margin for error is smaller. As a result, the frequency of eagles on Par 4 holes is incredibly low, with less than 1% of players able to achieve this remarkable feat.

It takes a combination of exceptional skill, precise shot-making, and a touch of luck to score an eagle on a Par 4 hole.

Notable Golf Eagles

Young Tom Morris scored 12 eagles en route to winning the 1868 British Open.

One of the most impressive displays of eagles in golf history was by Young Tom Morris during the 1868 British Open. Morris, considered one of the pioneers of the sport, managed to score an incredible 12 eagles throughout the tournament.

This remarkable feat played a significant role in his victory and solidified his status as one of the greatest golfers of his time. It showcased Morris’ exceptional skill and ability to make the most of his shots on the course.

His performance serves as an inspiration to golfers around the world, reminding them of the impact that eagles can have on their overall game.

Tiger Woods tallied an eagle on the 15th hole of the final round of the 2019 Masters.

The 2019 Masters will forever be remembered for Tiger Woods’ triumphant comeback and his incredible eagle on the 15th hole of the final round. After a perfectly executed second shot, Woods sunk a 30-foot putt to secure the eagle.

This pivotal moment not only showcased his exceptional skill and precision but also ignited the crowd with excitement and anticipation. It was a testament to Woods’ ability to rise to the occasion and deliver under pressure.

This eagle played a crucial role in his victory, propelling him to win his fifth Masters title and marking one of the greatest comebacks in golf history.

Isao Aoki famously eagled the 18th hole at the 1980 U.S. Open.

In the history of the U.S. Open, few eagles have been as memorable as Isao Aoki’s on the 18th hole in 1980. Aoki, a Japanese golfer, faced a challenging situation as he approached the final hole. However, with nerves of steel, he managed to hit a remarkable approach shot that landed just inches from the cup, resulting in an eagle.

This incredible display of skill and composure allowed Aoki to tie with Jack Nicklaus for second place, just two shots behind the champion, Jack’s rival, and fellow American, Jack Nicklaus. Aoki’s eagle on the 18th hole showcased his ability to perform under pressure and left a lasting impression on the golfing world.

These notable golf eagles serve as reminders of the impact that eagles can have on a player’s performance in a tournament. They showcase the skill, precision, and ability to rise to the occasion that is required to achieve such remarkable feats.

Whether it’s Young Tom Morris’ 12 eagles in the 1868 British Open, Tiger Woods’ clutch eagle in the final round of the 2019 Masters, or Isao Aoki’s memorable eagle on the 18th hole at the 1980 U.S. Open, these moments continue to inspire golfers and fans alike.


In summary, an eagle in golf is defined as completing a hole two strokes under par. Rarer than lower-scoring birdies, the gravitas of the eagle in golf echoes the power and rarity of its avian namesake.

While all golfers strive for that elusive eagle, only the most skilled players can clinch this iconic feat of precision and excellence.

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