What is An Eagle in Golf? Meaning & Definition

Do you know what an eagle in golf is? If you have been playing the sport for a while, this term is likely, not new. However, if golf is foreign to your world, understanding exactly what it means when someone says they ‘made eagle’ can be confusing without further context.

An eagle in golf is an incredible feat that rarely happens and carries great weight when made during the competition. To fully outline this definition and explain its importance, let’s dive into the meaning of scoring an eagle on a golf course!

What is An Eagle in Golf?

An eagle in golf is achieved when a player completes a hole in two strokes less than par. This means that if a hole is a par 5, an eagle is achieved when the player completes the hole in just 3 strokes. For a 2-under-par rule, an eagle can be achieved in the following ways:

  • A 3-par hole – with one stroke (or “hole in one”)
  • A 4-par hole – with two strokes
  • A 5-par hole – with three strokes
  • And finally, a 6-par hole requires four strokes to obtain an eagle.

It’s an impressive feat that requires skill, precision, and a bit of luck. So the next time you’re watching a golf tournament and hear the announcer shout, “He’s got a chance for an eagle!” you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about.

Maybe you are interested: What Is An Albatross In Golf? Origin, Definition & Meaning

Where Did the Term Eagle Come From?

an Eagle in Golf
We may not know the exact origins of the term “Eagle” 

The term “eagle” in golf may lack a definitive history, but it is fascinating to consider the possible link between it and the term “birdie.” Developed in the 19th century, “birdie” describes something cool or impressive.

If we follow that logic, “eagle” would logically mean something even more amazing. And in golf, that’s exactly what an eagle is – a truly stunning shot.

So while we may not know the exact origins of the word, we can certainly appreciate the significance of achieving an eagle on the course.

How Rare Is An Eagle In Golf?

Scoring an eagle shot in golf may seem unattainable for many players, but it can be accomplished with practice and skill. Although it is rare in simple gameplay, mastering your maneuvers and strategies can lead to more successful shots on the green.

One way to increase your chances is to aim for holes with a higher par, such as par 5 or 6, giving you more opportunities to impact your overall score significantly. The road to achieving an eagle shot may be long and challenging, but the result is worth it. Not only will it enhance your gameplay, but it could also lead to more noticeable accomplishments on the golf course.

Why Does Achieving Eagles Matter?

tiger woods achieved an eagle
Tiger Woods Achieved An Eagle In the 2018-2019 PGA Tour Season

Achieving an eagle is important and often celebrated due to its difficulty compared to other scores. Since most golf courses are designed with a par of 3 or 4, scoring two strokes under par on any given hole is considered a great accomplishment.

It is also seen as a sign of mastery for advanced players who can navigate the course’s various challenges and finish with an eagle.

In competitions or tournaments, achieving an eagle can be crucial to a golfer’s success. When competitors’ scores are determined by counting all cumulative strokes added up at the end, an eagle can make or break a score in stroke play. An eagle is not only seen as a great accomplishment on its own, but it also comes with special recognition and rewards.

Professional golf tournaments often have holes dedicated to the achievement of an eagle; these holes are known as “Eagle Challenges.” Hitting an eagle on one of these holes typically results in a prize for the player in the form of merchandise or money. Overall, an eagle is a great accomplishment in golf and should be celebrated!

How to Achieve An Eagle in Golf?

What are Eagles in Golf
It’s Not Easy To Achieve An Eagle

For golfers, nothing quite beats the feeling of scoring an eagle. But what does it take to achieve this feat?

First and foremost, proper club selection is crucial – choosing the right club for the distance and terrain can make all the difference. Of course, accuracy and skill are also essential when hitting the shot, aiming for the green and avoiding any hazards. And let’s not forget about luck – sometimes, a shot can bounce just right and land perfectly on the green.

But the key to scoring an eagle is to remain focused and confident throughout the entire hole, from the tee shot to the final putt. With the right combination of technique and mindset, you can achieve this elusive achievement on the golf course.

What is A Double Eagle?

Double Eagle is a rare triumph for golfers that can make or break their game. This achievement, also known as an albatross, is earned when a player sinks their ball in the hole in three strokes fewer than par on a single hole. This means that if a hole is a par 5, a double Eagle is achieved when the player completes the hole in just 2 strokes. With only a small percentage of players ever accomplishing this feat, double eagles are highly prized in the golfing world.

The term “double eagle” is often used interchangeably with “albatross,” depending on the region you’re playing in. Regardless of what you call it, there’s no denying the thrill and excitement of hitting one of the most impressive shots in golf.

What is A “Condor”?

In the world of golf, achieving a double eagle on a hole is impressive, but have you ever heard of a condor? It’s the ultimate feat for any golfer and only achievable on a 5 or 6-par hole.

Scoring four under par seems like an impossible dream, but some have achieved this elusive goal. To get a condor, you need to sink a hole-in-one on a 4-par or score two strokes on a 6-par. It’s a challenging feat, but it’s worth pushing for this ultimate challenge if you’re a true golf enthusiast.

Other Types Of Golf Shot

Ace – Hole In One

An ace, or hole-in-one, is the highest possible score one can get on a single golf hole. An ace requires the golfer to hit their ball into the cup in only one stroke, making it both incredibly rare and extremely impressive.

A hole-in-one is so rare that it’s considered to be one of the greatest accomplishments in golf and many courses offer prizes for achieving such a feat.

Albatross (Double Eagle)

The term “albatross” is less commonly used than the term “birdie”, but it is just as important in the sport of golf. An albatross, sometimes called a double eagle, refers to a score of three under par on a single hole. It’s an extremely rare and impressive accomplishment.


In the sport of golf, the term “birdie” refers to a score of one under par on a particular hole. The name “birdie” was coined in the late 19th century and is believed to come from the American slang term “bird”, which at the time meant anything excellent or outstanding.

Achieving a birdie requires skill and precision, as the golfer needs to complete the hole in fewer strokes than the allotted par score, making it a significant accomplishment during a round of golf.


“Par” is a standard measure in the game of golf that indicates the number of strokes that a proficient or “scratch” golfer is expected to take to complete a hole. This par value is determined based on the difficulty and length of each hole. For instance, a par 3 hole is expected to be completed in three strokes, a par 4 in four strokes, and so on.

Scoring a par on a hole is considered an achievement for most golfers, both amateur and professional. If a golfer mentions that they play “par golf”, it means that their scoring average is typically around 72, which is the standard par for most golf courses


Bogey is the reverse of a birdie, and occurs when a golfer scores one stroke over par on any given hole. It’s considered to be an average score and usually not very impressive compared to all the other golfing accomplishments mentioned above.

While bogeys may not seem like much, they are still important to note as they can make or break a golfer’s overall score on any given hole.

Double Bogey

Similar to the bogey, a double bogey is when a golfer scores two strokes over par on any given hole. This can be especially damaging to one’s score if it occurs on an easy hole, as these are usually used as opportunities to make up for worse holes in the round. Double bogeys should be avoided at all costs if one wishes to have a successful round of golf.

Triple Bogey

The last score we will discuss is the dreaded triple bogey. This occurs when a golfer scores three strokes over par on any given hole, making it one of the worst scores one can get during a round of golf.

Triple bogeys usually indicate that something went wrong during the shot or putt and that corrective measures should be taken in order to improve the golfer’s technique. It can also be a sign that the hole is too difficult for the golfer’s skill level, in which case they should consider playing an easier course or tee-box.

Final Thoughts

After considering the insightful information presented in this article, it’s easy to see why eagles are considered a remarkable achievement in golf. An eagle is an incredible feat that adds to the sport’s illustrious history of excellence and ultimately helps define what it means to play golf.

As we know now, an eagle requires a stroke of luck, but even more so, a combination of skill and concentration that can only be attained with dedication and practice. Every time a golfer nails an eagle, they should feel proud knowing they achieved something extraordinary. This same pride is experienced by viewers when witnessing a masterful shot – it’s why we continue to seek out greatness with every round. From here on out, let’s all note what an eagle in golf is: an elevated moment worth celebrating on any green.


Is Eagle or Birdie Better in Golf?

If a golfer can complete the hole par-5 in only three strokes, this is known as an “eagle.” It’s quite a feat, as it’s even better than achieving a birdie, which is one stroke higher. Similarly, on a par-3 hole, a golfer who completes it in one stroke has achieved an “eagle.” This score is often referred to as a “hole-in-one” or an “ace,” and it’s something that every golfer dreams of achieving.

Could An Eagle Be The Highest Score in Golf? 

An eagle is not the highest score in golf.  The highest score in golf is a “condor,” which is four strokes under par. This is an extremely difficult feat, only achieved in a very small minority of cases.

What Happens if You Get an Eagle on A Par 3 Hole? 

If you get an eagle on a par 3 hole, then it is known as a “hole-in-one” or an “ace.” This is the lowest score possible on a par 3 hole and is an extremely rare and impressive accomplishment. Generally, when a golfer achieves this, they are celebrated by the other players on the course.


  • Alvin Daniel

    Hello everyone, I'm Alvin Daniel. I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when I was 16 years old. I started playing golf at that age and have loved it ever since. I turned professional when I was 21 and have been working as a golf instructor and guide ever since. My goal is to help everyone know more about this great game of golf. And, hopefully, through my instruction, they can improve their skills and enjoy the game even more.

Leave a Comment