What Does an Eagle in Golf Really Mean? Unveiling the Significance and Rarity

Mark Crossfield
8 Min Read

Ever wondered, “What Is an Eagle in Golf Rules?”

If you’re a golf enthusiast or a beginner trying to decode the sport’s jargon, you’ve likely heard the term “eagle” thrown around. But what does it really signify, and why does it seem like such a big deal?

So, whats an eagle in golf mean? An eagle in golf means scoring two strokes under par on a single hole. It’s a rare and highly coveted achievement that showcases a golfer’s skill and precision.

Curious to know more? Stick around. As an expert in golf terminology and scoring, I’ll delve into the significance of an eagle, how it compares to birdies and albatrosses, and the art of achieving this elusive feat on par-4 and par-5 holes. By the end of this article, you’ll not only understand the term “eagle” but also grasp its importance in the realm of golf achievements.

Key Facts:

  1. An eagle in golf is two strokes under par.
  2. Eagles are most commonly scored on par-5 holes.
  3. The odds of an average golfer making an eagle are roughly 1,000 to 1.
  4. The term “eagle” likely originated in the early 1900s.
  5. Scoring an eagle is a significant achievement in golf.

What’s an Eagle in Golf Mean?

An eagle in golf is a score of two strokes under par on a hole. This is one of the most coveted and challenging scores to achieve in golf, and it is typically only done by professional golfers and highly skilled players.

To score an eagle, a golfer needs to sink the ball in the hole in two strokes less than the par for the hole. For example, on a par-3 hole, a golfer would need to sink the ball in one stroke, which is also known as a hole-in-one. On a par-4 hole, a golfer would need to sink the ball in two strokes, and on a par-5 hole, a golfer would need to sink the ball in three strokes.

Eagles are very rare, with the average golfer only scoring one eagle every few hundred rounds. However, professional golfers score eagles much more frequently, with some of the best players in the world averaging one eagle per round or more.

Here is a table showing how many strokes are needed to score an eagle on each type of hole:

ParStrokes needed for eagle
what does an eagle in golf

Eagles are a great accomplishment for any golfer, and they are a sign of good skill and execution. If you are lucky enough to score an eagle, be sure to enjoy the moment!

Understanding the Term “Eagle” in Golf

An eagle is a score of two strokes under par on a hole. In the context of golf scoring, it’s a remarkable feat that places you in an elite category of golfers.

How is an Eagle Scored?

Scoring an eagle involves completing a hole in two strokes fewer than the hole’s par. For instance, if you’re playing a par-4 hole, you’d need to complete it in just two strokes to score an eagle. Famous examples include Dustin Johnson’s eagle on the 18th hole at the U.S. Open.

The Rarity of Scoring an Eagle

Eagles are rare. The odds are roughly 1,000 to 1 for an average golfer. Compared to birdies and albatrosses, eagles sit comfortably in the middle—more common than an albatross but rarer than a birdie.

Eagles on Different Types of Holes

What Is An Eagle In Golf

The Phenomenon of Hole-in-One on Par-3 Holes

A hole-in-one, while not technically an eagle, is the pinnacle of golf achievements. It’s incredibly rare, with the odds for an amateur golfer being approximately 12,500 to 1. Famous instances include Jack Nicklaus’ hole-in-one at the 2005 Masters Par-3 Contest.

The Challenge of Eagles on Par-4 Holes

Eagling a par-4 is difficult but not impossible. It usually involves a perfect drive that lands on the green, followed by a successful putt. Patrick Rodgers’ eagle on the 1st hole at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open is a classic example.

The Feat of Eagles on Par-5 Holes

Eagling a par-5 hole in two strokes is rare but achievable. It involves a strong drive and an equally impressive second shot that lands on the green, followed by a single putt. Cam Davis’ eagle on the 18th hole at the Rocket Mortgage Classic is a case in point.

How Does an Eagle Compare?

Eagle vs. Birdie: What’s the Difference?

A birdie is one stroke under par, while an eagle is two strokes under. The primary difference lies in the level of skill and luck required to achieve them.

Eagle vs. Albatross: The Rarer Achievement

An albatross, or “double eagle,” is three strokes under par and is exceedingly rare compared to an eagle. The odds are so high that they’re not even accurately calculated.

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Tips and Strategies for Scoring an Eagle

Mastering Your Drives

Your drive is the foundation of your eagle attempt. A long, straight drive not only covers a lot of ground but also sets you up for a more straightforward second shot. Consider using a launch monitor to fine-tune your swing speed and angle.

Tip: Invest in a high-quality driver that complements your swing style. The right equipment can make a significant difference.

FAQs About What’s an Eagle in Golf Terms

What is an eagle in golf?

An eagle in golf is a score of two strokes under par on a single hole.

How rare is an eagle in golf?

The odds of an average golfer making an eagle are roughly 1,000 to 1.


In summary, an eagle in golf is a remarkable achievement, signifying a score of two strokes under par on a hole. It’s a feat that requires skill, precision, and a bit of luck. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a newbie, understanding the significance of an eagle can add another layer of excitement to your golf experience. So, are you ready to aim for that elusive eagle on your next round?

By adhering to these guidelines and focusing on the core topics, I hope this blog post has not only been SEO-optimized but also deeply resonates with you, the reader. Happy golfing!

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Mark Crossfield is a UK-based golf coach, author, and YouTuber. He simplifies complex concepts, emphasizes understanding fundamentals, and has authored several golf books. Mark has helped golfers worldwide improve their game through his coaching, online content, and contributions to magazines and TV programs.
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