Even if you’ve never played golf before, you’ve probably heard of pars, birdies or bogeys. A slightly more obscure golfing term, however, is the eagle. An eagle is one of the most difficult things to achieve on a golf course. Put simply, to score an eagle, you must finish a hole two strokes under par – a seriously impressive feat. But what does that mean? To understand an eagle and what makes it so impressive, you first need to learn about pars and birdies.
You won’t be scoring any pars, birdies, or eagles any time soon unless you get out on the course and play, so here’s a site to help you find a course near you.
In golf, every hole is given a par rating. This is determined by the length, terrain, obstacles, and general makeup of the hole. Par is the regulation number of strokes it should take a proficient golfer to make it to the green and finish a hole in two putts. Generally, you’ll see par 3, par 4 and par 5 holes on a golf course, with par-3s being the shortest and easiest, and par 5s being the longest and most difficult.
When a golfer finishes a par 4 hole in four strokes, he has achieved a par for that hole. Just because it’s the expected score for a proficient golfer, scoring a par is no easy feat. For many amateur golfers, scoring a par is the highlight of their day on the course.
To score a birdie, you must finish a hole in one stroke under par. For a par 4 hole, this would mean finishing in just three strokes. Scoring a birdie is a huge accomplishment for many golfers, as they are rare and difficult to pull off. To score a birdie, you must play a hole perfectly, generally only putting once. Usually, to score a birdie on a par 4 hole, you would get to the green in two strokes, and make the putt in one stroke.
According to legend, the name “birdie” came about because Americans used the term “bird” to mean outstanding or excellent in the 19th century, and because scoring one stroke under par is such an outstanding feat, the name caught on.
One of the most impressive feats in the game of golf is an eagle, which is scored when you complete a hole two strokes under par. This would be three strokes on a par 5, two strokes on a par 4, or a hole in one on a par 3. Eagles usually occur on short par 5 holes, when the golfer makes it to the green in only two strokes, then finishes the hole with only one putt.
Achieving an eagle is an extremely tall task, even for the most experienced and seasoned golfers. In 2022, the number of eagles achieved on the PGA Tour averaged around two per player. These are the best of the best, and it’s still an incredible accomplishment. For an amateur golfer, scoring an eagle once may be the highlight of their entire golfing life.
How to score an eagle
Even though eagles are very rare, there are some ways you could try to increase your chances of scoring one.
Focus on your approach
Since eagles generally happen on short par 5s, hitting powerful approach shots is very important. To reach the green in two shots, you’ll need a powerful and accurate approach shot. You’ll need to practice with your best “approach clubs” to hone your skills.
Go for distance
To reach the green of a par 5 in only two strokes, your drive needs to be long and accurate. You’ll need to practice hitting the ball farther. There are many ways to do this, including using swing speed tools, doing golf-specific workouts, and simply spending more time at the driving range.