What Is An Eagle In Golf, And How Common Is It?

What Is An Eagle In Golf, And How Common Is It?

In golf, an “eagle” is when a player scores two under par on a hole. An eagle shot is considered to be very good, and it’s not as common as you might think. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what an eagle shot is, how common it is, and some fun facts about this impressive feat while playing golf.

I. What is an eagle in golf?

In golf, an “eagle” is a score on a hole that is two strokes under par. This means that the golfer was able to complete the hole in two strokes less than the designated par for that particular hole. 

So, on a par-4 hole, an eagle would mean completing it in just two strokes. Likewise, on a par-5 hole, getting an eagle means finishing it in only three strokes. Eagles are seen as impressive achievements in golf and are celebrated by players.

Eagles are considered excellent achievements in golf and are relatively rare for most golfers. They are typically celebrated as a significant accomplishment during a round of golf.

II. What is Net and Gross Eagle?

Net eagle: In golf, a net eagle occurs when a player scores two strokes under the hole’s par, factoring in their handicap strokes. 

For instance, you’re an 18-handicap golfer playing a par 5 hole. If you achieve a birdie on this hole, your handicap would adjust the score by one shot, effectively giving you a net eagle. 

Gross eagle: A gross eagle is when you score without taking any handicap strokes into account. 

For example, on a par 5 hole, you’d need to finish the hole in just 3 shots to achieve a gross eagle. It’s about making the score without any adjustments or assists from your handicap.

III. The origin of the term

To understand where the term “eagle” in golf comes from, it’s helpful to start with the origin of the term “birdie.” “Birdie” emerged in America in the early 1900s, borrowing from the slang of the time where “bird” was used to signify something excellent. 

This gave rise to “birdie” as a term for completing a hole in one stroke under par. Now, as for “eagle,” its name isn’t as mysterious. It’s simply because eagles are large birds. So, when a golfer completes a hole two strokes under par, it’s dubbed an “eagle.”

IV. How many strokes do you need to score an eagle in golf?

To score an eagle in golf, a player must shoot two under par on a hole. Moreover, scoring an eagle means sinking the golf ball in:

1) A single stroke on a par-3 hole 

Scoring a single stroke on a par-3 hole in golf is popularly known as a “Hole in One,” but technically, it is also considered an Eagle. However, the odds of an average player achieving a Hole in One are significantly lower at 12,000 to 1 compared to an Eagle at 1,000 to 1. This highlights that getting a Hole in One is an exceedingly rare feat.

2) 2 strokes on a par-4 hole

Earning an eagle on a par 4 hole requires completing the hole in just two strokes fewer than the designated par score. Golfers can achieve this by driving the ball onto the green and making the putt or by holing a long approach shot or chipping in from off the green. While it is still a challenging feat that requires a high degree of skill and accuracy.

3) 3 strokes on a par-5 hole

Golfers can score Eagles in various ways, but most commonly, it involves hitting a long drive followed by a precise approach shot onto the green, then sinking the putt for a total of three strokes. Players with solid driving and approach skills have higher chances of scoring Eagles, particularly on Par 5s. Unlike Par 4s, where driving close to the green is a challenge, golfers have more opportunities to chip in for an Eagle on a Par 5.

4) 4 strokes on a par-6 hole

Par-6 holes are not frequently seen on golf courses, but if a player can complete the hole in just four strokes on par-6, it is considered an eagle or 2-under par. Most amateur golfers consider scoring four strokes on a par-6 hole as an excellent achievement, regardless of the hole’s par rating. Achieving this score is a testament to a player’s skills, accuracy, and decision-making on the course, and it is highly sought after by golfers.

V. Tips to get a golf eagle shot on shorter holes

One of the most exciting things that can happen during a game of golf is making an eagle shot. This occurs when the golfer hits the ball two strokes under par. Playing on shorter holes makes it possible to get an eagle shot by hitting the ball close to the hole.

Here we have mentioned some tips on how to make an eagle shot on shorter holes.

Tip 1

The first tip is to choose the right club. When you are choosing a club, you should take into account the wind speed and direction, as well as the distance of the shot.

For example, if you are hitting a strong wind, you will need to use a higher lofted club so that the ball does not go too far. If you are hitting a headwind, you should use a lower lofted club so that the ball does not go too high.

Tip 2

The second tip is to make sure that you hit the ball in the sweet spot. The sweet spot is the area on the clubface where you will get maximum distance and accuracy. If you hit the ball off-center, it will result in a loss of distance and accuracy.

Tip 3

The third tip is to ensure that your grip is firm but not too tight. A firm grip will help you control the club and hit the ball where you want it to go. However, if your grip is too tight, it will cause your shots to be inaccurate.

Tip 4

The fourth tip is to keep your head down and your eyes on the ball. If you take your eye off the ball, you will not be able to hit it where you want it to go.

Tip 5

The fifth tip is to follow through with your swing. A good follow-through will help you hit the ball further and straighter.

These are some tips that will help you make an eagle shot on shorter holes. Remember to practice these tips so that you can execute them perfectly when you are playing a game.

VI. Which PGA tour player makes the most eagles?

At the end of the 2022 PGA Tour Professional season, Patrick Rodgers played 89 rounds of golf and successfully hit 21 birdies. This is a noteworthy achievement and shows a considerable improvement in the “Total Eagles” category compared to the past leaders.

In 2021, Cam Davis was the leader with 20 Eagles, while Collin Morikawa held the top spot in 2020 with only 16 Eagles. Patrick Rodgers‘ performance in the 2022 season has put him at the top of the leader board for this category.

VII. Notable Eagles in Golf History

In the golfing world, an “Eagle” is a coveted achievement, and most professional golfers would be thrilled to score even one during a round at the prestigious Master’s Tournament. Here is a list of a few notable eagles in golf history. 

Golfer nameYearEvent
Tiger woods1997, 2019Masters
Webb Simpson2012U.S. Open
Phil Mickelson2010Masters
Dustin Johnson2015Masters
Gene Sarazen1935Masters

VIII. What Style Of Hole Results In The Most Eagles?

In golf, players have the best chance to score an Eagle on Par 5 holes that are shorter and can be reached in two shots. However, there are certain holes with natural features that make Eagles more likely to happen. For instance, some courses have fast fairways that allow the ball to roll farther, while others have greens that are shaped like a bowl, guiding the ball toward the hole once it reaches the putting surface.

Additionally, changes in wind direction can make drives and tee shots longer than usual, creating more opportunities for players to score an Eagle. These natural elements add an element of unpredictability to the game and make it more challenging for golfers. Moreover, they also provide players with the chance to showcase their skills and potentially score an Eagle.


Making an eagle shot can be an exciting moment during a game of golf. Eagles are most commonly scored on par fives, which makes sense because those are the holes where players have the chance to hit the ball the farthest. Moreover, by following these tips, you can increase your chances of making an eagle shot on shorter holes.


1. What shape is used to mark an eagle on the scorecard?

Golfers use symbols on the scorecard to represent their score on each hole. A circle denotes a birdie, while two circles represent an eagle, and a triangle represents a hole-in-one.

2. What is a Condor?

In extremely rare cases, a player might score what’s called a triple eagle or a condor. These are both shots that are four-under-par. A condor is when a player scores four-under par on a hole that’s longer than par five. 

3. Is there anything better than an eagle in golf?

Yes, in golf, there’s one accomplishment that tops an eagle: a hole-in-one. This occurs when a player sinks the ball directly into the cup with just one shot on any par hole.

4. When to attempt an Eagle?

For most average golfers, the ideal opportunities to aim for eagles come on shorter Par 4s and Par 5s.

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