Golf is notorious for its extensive vocabulary that includes a wide range of terms and expressions to describe different situations in the game.
However, one of the most popular terms that a lot of new players are curious about is “eagle”. So what is an eagle in golf?
In today’s article, we’ll walk you through a quick guide that explains this expression, how to score an eagle, and how common it is. Let’s dive in!
What Exactly Is an Eagle in Golf?
To understand what Eagle means, you first need to know what a par in golf is. For those who don’t know, a par is a predetermined number of strokes (hits) that a capable golfer should take to get the ball in the hole per round in a course.
For example, a hole that is labeled “par 4” means that a zero-handicap or scratch golfer should take only 4 strokes to get the ball from the tee to the hole.
An eagle means to score “2 under par”. In other words, you get the ball in the hole with two strokes less than the par.
How to Score an Eagle in Golf
Depending on the par of the golf course or round, here’s how to score an eagle:
- In 3 par round: score from the first stroke. In that case, it’s better known as a “hole in one”
- In 4 par round: score from 2 strokes
- In 5 par round: score from 3 strokes
- In 6 par round: score from 4 strokes, and so on
Why Is It Called Eagle?
Similar to Eagle, finishing a round with a score of 1 under par was known as “Birdie” or “Bird”. In the late 19th century, these words were slang for “excellent”.
For that reason, players kept using a “fancier” bird name to describe even better shots, which led them to use eagle to describe 2 under par.
How Common Is an Eagle in Golf?
For the average golfer, Eagle is quite a rare score and memorable moment. In fact, for some players, an Eagle can be as rare as 0.5% to 1%, which means that you score an eagle for every 100 to 200 courses that you clear.
However, for pro golfers, eagles are much more common, with some golfers hitting eagles at a rate of 15 to 25% at a time, such as Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, and Cam Davis
What Are Other Score Names in Golf?
As previously established, different scores in golf have unique nicknames that vary in rarity. Here’s a quick list of the score terms in golf:
- Albatros: Score 3 under par
- Condos: Score 4 under par
- Bogey: Score 1 over par
- Double bogey: Score 2 over par
- Triple bogey: Score 3 over par
Scoring Eagle means that you’ve successfully potted your golf with a score of 2 under par on a certain hole of the course.
As you can see, Eagle isn’t particularly rare like Albatross, Condor, or Hole in One, but it’s still an incredible feat that grants you bragging rights!