Deciphering Eagle Scoring in Golf: Full Guide

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Getting an Eagle in golf is something many players strive for, amateurs and professionals alike. If you are wondering, what is an eagle in golf, it is a term for a score.

But what is the number of strokes for eagles? And how can someone obtain this rare golf score?

In this article, I will focus on explaining everything related to Eagles to you clearly. Please keep reading to learn all about the Eagle, its history, and related items questions!

What Is an Eagle in Golf?

Before you learn what an Eagle is, let’s discuss the par. It is important to note that a hole’s par is the number of strokes it is standard for putting that particular hole. For example, for a par 3 hole, it means that it should take 3 shots for professional golfers to get the golf ball inside such a hole.

The scores of golf are usually calculated relative to the par.

This brings us to the Eagle. The term eagle indicates a certain point you may make when playing golf. Getting it means you have scored 2 below the par of a hole. To elaborate, it means that you have taken two shots less than the par of the hole.

Take the case of playing a par five hole, for example. As a professional golfer, you have managed to put that hole with just three shots. This means you scored 2 under the par. So, you have scored an Eagle.

Why Is It Called an Eagle?

The golfing terminology Eagle comes from another term, ‘birdie,’ which comes from American golfers. In the book “Fifty Years of American Golf,” H. B. Martin provided an account of a golf match played in the Country Club of Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

After a player got a hole with one score under the par, a player exclaimed, calling the shot ‘a bird of a shot,” and since then term birdie has been used to refer to one score less than the par in golf.

Subsequently, the golf scores below the par kept getting more bird-related names based on their rarity or importance. What are Eagles? A big bird, of course. Scoring two under the par is called an Eagle because it is a ‘big birdie’ (LiveAbout).

Wait, it keeps going on. Scores under the par all follow the avian theme. If a golfer manages to get a score of three under par, it is known as a double eagle or an Albatross.

Albatross is an extremely rare bird, and so it also is a very rare score. Such a score is considered to be a significant accomplishment, and most golfers strive to get one someday.

You may also go over the par, which will earn you scores such as the bogey, double bogey, or even quintuple bogey. The golf term bogey means going over the par, and you can guess what ‘double’ and ‘quintuple’ mean.

How to Score an Eagle in Golf

Here are a few ways you can score Eagles in golf –

Hole in One

If a golfer gets a hole in one (as in, putting the hole with just one stroke) for a par 3 hole, then it is an eagle too. This is because for a par 3 hole, getting a hole in one means the score is two below the par.

For this, you have to put the given hole with the tee shot or first shot. Holes in one are a less common way of getting eagles.

Par 5 Holes

Getting an eagle on a par 5 hole is the easiest way to get eagles. Most eagles happen on a 5 par hole and it a great score during a golf round for amateur golfers.

For this, you have to put the ball with three strokes on a par 5 hole. The second shot is crucial for the golfer because it will make way for the third shot. If you want to try your hand as an average golfer, start practicing par 5 ones.

Remember, four strokes will result in a birdie.

Par 4 Holes

You may also get eagles from a shorter par, such as par 4. In the golf course, try to put the ball with two strokes on a par 4 hole, and you will get an eagle.

Strategies and Skills Required

You have to increase your skill level by practicing your strokes to get eagles. If you are an amateur golfer, start by practicing birdie and using maximum power in your strokes. Also, hone your maneuvering skills with a golf club you’re comfortable with.

Most holes in any golf course would be eligible for practicing eagles, as you can get a 2 below on any hole.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does An Eagle Have another golf term?

No, it does not. But you can call it descriptive names, such as two strokes under par on a hole.

How To Mark An Eagle On A Golf Scorecard?

An eagle can be marked on a golf scorecard by putting two circles around the score for that particular hole.

Is it possible to score better than an eagle?

Yes, it is. An Albatross or a double eagle is rare and has a better score than an eagle. Getting an Albatross requires perfect play from a good golfer, as each golf shot is critical.
You can get a double eagle by getting 1 score on a par 4, or a 2 score on a par 5. Par 3 holes are not eligible for a double eagle.

How often do pros score an Eagle?

Not very often. Getting eagles is actually quite rare, even for professional golfers. You see, the par is the standard for expert golfers, so it is tough to score below it in a game of golf. It is hard to reach most holes with fewer strokes overall and takes a lot of skill. Most eagles happen under very fortunate circumstances.
For example, if you want to make an eagle using the hole in one method, you have about 1 in 3000 chances. Getting an eagle involves hitting quite long shots, as you need the golf ball to travel as far as possible. The final shot ends up being around 130-140 years, which is a difficult feat. 
This is even rarer for amateur and hobbyist golfers. You are more likely to get a bogey than an eagle, So, if you want to get eagles even as an average golfer, you need a lot of practice and strategizing. It also helps if you are a long hitter. Start with scoring a birdie in holes, and that you can move on to eagles.

What Does An Eagle Mean In Golf: Conclusion

I hope by now you have a very clear answer to ‘What is an eagle in golf?’ Throughout this article, we have covered a range of examples where you can make eagles during your golf rounds. Despite being a rare achievement in terms of golf scoring it is something that with practice and time and effort you can add to your golf scorecards from time to time.

Now, pick up a golf club, find golf courses, and start practicing eagles.

Until the next time!