Achieve Under Par: What Is an Eagle in Golf Explained

In the world of golf, achieving an eagle is a significant accomplishment that every golfer strives for. But what exactly does the term “eagle” mean in golf? Let’s dive into the definition, scoring terms, and terminology surrounding this impressive feat.

Key Takeaways:

  • An “eagle” in golf refers to scoring 2-under par on a hole.
  • The number of strokes required for an eagle depends on the par of the hole.
  • Eagles are most commonly achieved on par-5 and par-6 holes.
  • Other significant scores in golf include birdies, albatrosses, and condors.
  • Understanding golf scoring terms is essential for tracking scores accurately.

How Rare is an Eagle in Golf?

Making an eagle in golf is an impressive accomplishment that showcases a player’s exceptional skills and strategic prowess. Achieving an eagle involves scoring two shots below par on a single hole. While eagles are not as common as birdies or pars, they can significantly impact a golfer’s overall score.

Eagles are most frequently achieved on par-5 or par-6 holes, where the longer distances provide more opportunities for players to gain an advantage. These holes allow golfers more room for error and offer greater chances to hit their shots accurately and close to the hole. As a result, par-5s and par-6s are considered the ideal scenarios for attempting an eagle.

Professional golfers, who possess remarkable abilities and experience, record an average of around two eagles per year. This statistic demonstrates the rarity and difficulty of scoring an eagle, even among the world’s best players.

An eagle is not only a testament to a golfer’s skills but also serves as a confidence booster and momentum builder. The excitement and sense of achievement that accompany an eagle can motivate players to push their limits and strive for even greater success. It adds a layer of excitement and unpredictability to the game, making golf a thrilling and challenging sport.

While eagles are rare, they are cherished by players and celebrated as remarkable achievements in the world of golf. The next section will delve into the fascinating history behind the term “eagle” and its evolution within the golfing lexicon.

The History of the Term “Eagle” in Golf

The term “eagle” in golf holds a rich history and has become an integral part of the sport’s vocabulary. Originating in the United States during the early 1900s, the term “eagle” was introduced as an extension of the popular scoring term “birdie.” This adoption of avian-themed scoring terms added excitement and a touch of whimsy to the game of golf.

“Eagle” emerged as a way to describe a score that surpassed a birdie, representing a significant achievement in golf. Just as the birdie indicated a score of one stroke under par, the eagle denoted a score that was even better.

Over time, the term “eagle” gained traction and recognition, becoming a staple phrase in the golfing world. Its use in golfing terminology became widespread, transcending borders and being adopted by golfers worldwide. The bird-related theme of scoring terms continues to resonate with players, adding character and a sense of tradition to the sport.

Understanding the historical significance of the term “eagle” enhances the appreciation of its meaning within the context of golf. It represents a remarkable achievement on the course, signifying exceptional performance and a score better than the already impressive birdie.

eagle in golf meaning

Evolution of Golfing Terms

The introduction of the terms “birdie” and “eagle” to golf scoring were crucial moments in the evolution of the game’s terminology. These avian-themed terms not only reflect the natural beauty of the sport but also add an element of lightheartedness. They serve as a way for golfers to communicate their achievements, share their experiences, and celebrate their successes on the course.

Scoring Term Meaning
Birdie A score one stroke under par
Eagle A score two strokes under par

The development of these terms showcases the ongoing evolution of golf’s scoring system and the desire to create a standardized and universally understandable language. As golfers strive for excellence, the satisfaction of achieving an eagle serves as a testament to their skills, precision, and dedication to the sport.

Tips for Attempting an Eagle

While eagles are rare, there are a few strategies that golfers can employ to increase their chances of attempting an eagle. The best opportunities for making an eagle are typically on par-4 and par-5 holes, particularly on shorter holes within those categories. Golfers can maximize their odds of achieving an eagle by becoming more precise with their approach clubs, such as long irons and fairway woods. Additionally, increasing driving distance can make shorter par-4 and par-5 holes more easily reachable, presenting more opportunities for eagle attempts.

golf scoring system

One way to improve precision with approach clubs is by practicing controlled swings and incorporating proper technique. This allows golfers to accurately gauge the distance to the hole and select the appropriate club for the shot. It’s also important to consider factors such as wind speed and direction, the condition of the playing surface, and any obstacles in the path to the green.

Another aspect to focus on is increasing driving distance. This can be achieved through a combination of regular practice, physical fitness, and proper swing mechanics. Building strength, flexibility, and speed can help golfers generate more power and achieve greater distance off the tee. A longer drive can significantly reduce the number of strokes needed to reach the green on shorter par-4 and par-5 holes, increasing the chances of attempting an eagle.

It’s worth noting that attempting an eagle requires a balance between risk and reward. While being ambitious and aiming for an eagle can potentially result in a lower score, it also carries the risk of errant shots and increased difficulty in par or worse. Golfers should consider their skill level, course conditions, and the potential impact on their overall score before attempting aggressive shots in pursuit of an eagle.

Ultimately, attempting an eagle in golf requires skill, strategy, and favorable circumstances. By focusing on precision with approach clubs, increasing driving distance, and making calculated decisions, golfers can improve their chances of achieving this rare and exciting feat.

Other Scores in Golf

In addition to an eagle, there are other scores in golf that represent different levels of achievement. Scoring one stroke under par is called a birdie, while scoring three strokes under par is known as an albatross or double eagle. Making a hole-in-one on a par-5 hole or taking two strokes on a par-6 hole results in a rare score called a condor. These scores are even more uncommon than an eagle and are considered remarkable accomplishments in the game of golf.

Score Description
Birdie One stroke under par
Albatross (Double Eagle) Three strokes under par
Condor Hole-in-one on a par-5 or two strokes on a par-6

Scoring Markings for an Eagle on the Scorecard

When it comes to keeping track of scores in golf, scorecards play a vital role. They allow golfers to record their scores for each hole, making it easier to track progress and compare performance. To accurately represent an eagle on the scorecard, a specific scoring marking is used.

An eagle, which signifies scoring 2-under par on a hole, is represented by encircling the score with two circles on the scorecard. This marking system is consistent with the overall scoring system, where circles and squares are used to indicate different scores.

Let’s take a closer look at how scoring markings are used on a scorecard:

Scorecard Symbol Score Meaning
golf scoring symbols Eagle – 2-under par
golf scoring symbols Birdie – 1-under par
golf scoring symbols Par – Even par
golf scoring symbols Bogey – 1-over par
golf scoring symbols Double Bogey – 2-over par

The use of circles and squares to indicate different scores on a scorecard is a common practice in the United States. However, it’s worth noting that scoring marking systems may vary in other countries and during televised events.

The Most Eagles on the PGA Tour

When it comes to making eagles on the PGA Tour, the numbers can vary significantly from year to year. As of the conclusion of the 2022 PGA Tour season, one player stands out for having the most eagles to his name. Patrick Rodgers holds the record for the most eagles made on the PGA Tour, with an impressive total of 21 eagles in 89 rounds played.

This achievement showcases Rodgers’ exceptional skills and ability to score below par consistently. The fact that the leader in the “Total Eagles” category changes each year suggests that the number of eagles recorded is influenced by factors such as individual players’ performances and the conditions of the golf courses they play on.

Patrick Rodgers’ record-setting number of eagles is a testament to his talent and precision on the course. It serves as an inspiration for aspiring golfers and highlights the remarkable feats that can be accomplished through dedication and skill. Rodgers’ accomplishment also adds excitement and intrigue to the PGA Tour, as fans eagerly await each season’s new leaderboard of eagle-makers.

golf eagle definition

PGA Tour Eagle Leaders

Player Total Eagles
Patrick Rodgers 21

Other Golfing Terms

In addition to the scoring terms discussed above, there are several other golfing terms that players should be familiar with. Understanding these terms is essential for effectively navigating the game of golf and keeping track of scores.

  • Bogey: Refers to a score one over par. It indicates that a golfer took one more stroke than the standard score for the hole.
  • Par: Represents the standard score for a hole. It is the number of strokes that an average golfer is expected to take to complete the hole.
  • Double Bogey: A score that is two over par. It means a golfer took two more strokes than the standard score for the hole.
  • Triple Bogey: A score that is three over par. It indicates that a golfer took three more strokes than the standard score for the hole.

The Role of Handicapping and Scoring

The development of scoring terms in golf, including eagle, was influenced by the need for a standardized handicapping system. Handicapping allows golfers of different skill levels to compete on an equal footing. Scoring terms like birdie, eagle, and albatross help golfers understand the level of their performance and contribute to the overall scoring system. By assigning specific scores to different levels of achievement, handicapping becomes more accurate and fair, ensuring a balanced playing field for all participants.

Handicapping is an integral part of golf, as it allows players of varying skill levels to compete against each other on an equal basis. It takes into account a golfer’s ability and adjusts their score accordingly. This system ensures that players with higher handicaps receive a handicap stroke on certain holes, leveling the playing field and making the game more enjoyable for everyone involved.

The scoring terms used in golf, such as birdie, eagle, and albatross, play an essential role in handicapping. These terms represent different levels of achievement and allow golfers to track their progress and measure their performance. For example, a golfer who consistently scores birdies and eagles is likely to have a lower handicap than a golfer who only scores pars or bogeys.

Handicapping and scoring go hand in hand, as they provide a framework for evaluating a golfer’s skill and performance. By understanding the scoring system and striving to achieve birdies and eagles, golfers can improve their handicap and become more competitive on the course.

In addition to handicapping, scoring terms also add excitement and a sense of achievement to the game. When a golfer makes an eagle, it signifies a remarkable accomplishment and is often celebrated with joy and enthusiasm. The thrill of scoring an eagle motivates golfers to continue striving for excellence and pushing their boundaries on the course.

Overall, handicapping and scoring are crucial elements of the game of golf. They provide structure, fairness, and a sense of achievement to players of all skill levels. Whether it’s aiming for a birdie, an eagle, or any other scoring term, golfers can find inspiration and motivation in these goals, enhancing their love for the sport and their pursuit of excellence.

Celebrating Golfing Achievements

Achieving an eagle in golf, along with other exceptional scores like birdies and eagles, is a cause for celebration. These scoring achievements not only reflect a golfer’s skill and precision but also have consequences for their overall score and competitive advantage. While eagles are rare, they serve as milestones of accomplishment that distinguish golfers and contribute to the excitement of the sport.

Recognizing and celebrating these achievements is an integral part of the golfing culture and adds to the thrill of the game. Golfers who achieve eagles have reason to be proud as they showcase their ability to navigate the course and execute precise shots. Whether it’s sinking a long putt for an eagle on a par-5 or hitting a spectacular approach shot to secure an eagle on a par-4, these moments deserve to be cherished and shared among fellow golf enthusiasts.

Furthermore, celebrating golfing achievements not only honors the individual golfer but also inspires others to push their limits and aim for similar successes. It fosters a supportive and competitive environment that motivates golfers to strive for excellence. Golf clubs and tournaments often recognize outstanding performances, such as eagles, birdies, and hole-in-ones, with ceremonies, awards, or mentions on their websites and social media platforms. These celebrations not only generate excitement but also serve as a reminder of the remarkable feats accomplished in the sport of golf.


What is an eagle in golf?

An eagle in golf refers to scoring 2-under par on a hole. The number of strokes needed for an eagle depends on the par of the hole.

How rare is an eagle in golf?

Eagles are considered rare in golf, as they require exceptional ball maneuvering skills. They are more commonly achieved on par-5 or par-6 holes.

What is the history of the term “eagle” in golf?

The term “eagle” originated in the United States in the early 1900s as an extension of the term “birdie.” It became popularized and has since become a staple phrase in the sport.

What are some tips for attempting an eagle in golf?

Golfers can increase their chances of attempting an eagle by focusing on shorter par-4 and par-5 holes and becoming more precise with their approach clubs. Increasing driving distance can also make shorter holes more reachable.

What are other scores in golf?

Other scores in golf include birdie (1-under par), albatross or double eagle (3-under par), and condor (a hole-in-one on a par-5 or 2 strokes on a par-6 hole).

How are eagles represented on a scorecard?

On a scorecard, an eagle is represented by encircling the score with two circles. This marking system is commonly used in the United States.

Who holds the record for the most eagles on the PGA Tour?

As of the conclusion of the 2022 PGA Tour season, Patrick Rodgers holds the record for the most eagles made, with a total of 21 in 89 rounds played.

What are some other golfing terms?

Other golfing terms include bogey (1-over par), par (standard score for a hole), double bogey (2-over par), and triple bogey (3-over par).

What is the role of handicapping and scoring in golf?

Handicapping and scoring in golf are essential for creating a fair and balanced playing field. Scoring terms like eagle, birdie, and bogey help golfers understand their performance and contribute to the overall scoring system.

How are golfing achievements celebrated?

Achieving an eagle, along with other exceptional scores, is a cause for celebration in golf. Recognizing and celebrating these accomplishments adds to the excitement and thrill of the game.