What Is A Double Eagle In Golf?

Ever wonder about golf's most elusive achievement, the double eagle?

It's a score of three strokes less than par on a hole, a feat rarer and more celebrated than a hole-in-one.

More commonly known around the globe as an albatross, its scoring is a pinnacle moment in a golfer's career.

But what makes it so special and why is it often a source of debate among enthusiasts?

Keep reading for an in-depth dive into this captivating part of golf lore.

Digging into the Double Eagle

Ready to take a swing at understanding the double eagle?

This coveted achievement, which means scoring three strokes less than par on a single hole, is an exciting moment in any golfer's game.

It's as rare as it is thrilling, so let's delve into what it truly means to score a double eagle, how it's achieved, and the celebration it warrants.

What Does it Mean to Score a Double Eagle?

Scoring a double eagle, or an albatross, is an incredibly rare event in golf.

It means that a golfer has managed to complete a hole with three strokes less than par.

This is a feat that requires both skill and a bit of luck. It's not simply about making a good shot; it's about making an exceptional shot.

The euphoria one experiences when scoring a double eagle is almost unparalleled in the game.

It’s a moment when all the practice, patience, and precision pay off in an extraordinary way.

How is a Double Eagle Achieved?

Achieving a double eagle depends on the par for the hole.

On a par-5 hole, it means holing out on your second shot.

This typically involves a powerful and accurate drive off the tee, followed by an extraordinarily precise second shot that lands the ball directly in the hole from the fairway. Quite a challenge, right?

On a par-4 hole, scoring a double eagle is synonymous with a hole-in-one.

This means getting the ball from the tee box into the hole in a single stroke.

It's a rare and exhilarating feat that requires the right blend of power, accuracy, and favorable conditions.

The Rarity and Celebration of a Double Eagle

You've probably heard about hole-in-ones, as they are a rare and celebrated feat.

However, scoring a double eagle is even less common and, therefore, more celebrated.

It's been accomplished only 18 times in major tournaments as of the time of writing.

To put that in perspective, there are more hole-in-ones during a single season on the PGA tour than double eagles in the history of major tournaments!

When a golfer scores a double eagle, it's a cause for major celebration.

It's a testament to their skill and, indeed, a bit of good fortune.

Among golfers, it's often a story that gets retold time and time again, reliving the incredible moment of achieving this exceptional feat.

Double Eagle vs Albatross: A Lingual Debate

Is it a double eagle or an albatross? Depending on where you're playing golf, you may hear one term or the other.

This linguistic debate has been par for the course since 1935, creating an interesting divide between American and international golfers.

Let's explore this disagreement that's been as gripping as the game itself.

A double eagle, also known as an albatross, is a term used in golf to represent a score of three strokes under par on a hole.

The debate over what to call this rare achievement has been ongoing for years, and it largely comes down to geographical differences and interpretation of golfing terminology.

In the United States, the term “double eagle” is preferred and widely used.

This term originates from the scoring system used in golf.

An “eagle” is two strokes under par, so it was thought that a score three under par should be called a “double eagle.”

This term has stuck around in American golfing culture and is widely recognized and used today.

However, the rest of the golfing world, especially in the UK and other parts of Europe, prefers the term “albatross.”

The word “albatross” is borrowed from the bird of the same name, signifying something extraordinary and rare, just like the bird itself.

In golf, an albatross is something exceptional, an achievement that only a few can claim.

Therefore, international players and golf associations have adopted this term to honor such an extraordinary feat.

It's important to note that the term “double eagle” has received some criticism for its mathematical inconsistency.

Technically, a double eagle would imply a score that's twice as good as an eagle, or 4-under par, which isn't possible on any hole on any golf course.

Despite this, the term remains widely used, particularly in the United States.

In the end, whether you call it a double eagle or an albatross depends largely on where you are, and both terms are understood among golfers globally.

Despite the linguistic debate, everyone agrees on one thing: achieving a double eagle or an albatross is a spectacular moment in any golfer's career that deserves high recognition and celebration.

Double Eagles in Professional Golf

If the double eagle is such a rare bird, how often does it actually appear in professional golf?

Despite its elusive nature, there have been instances where golfers have hit that sweet spot and added their names to the small, exclusive list of double eagle achievers.

Let's look at the frequency of this feat in major tournaments and revisit some of the most unforgettable double eagles in the history of the sport.

Total Number of Double Eagles in Major Tournaments

As of now, there have been only 18 recorded double eagles, or albatrosses, in major professional golf tournaments.

This rarity underlines how challenging it is to achieve this feat even for the best golfers in the world.

It's a testament to the combination of skill, precision, power, and of course, a dose of good fortune, that comes into play in achieving a double eagle.

Memorable Double Eagles

Among the few double eagles scored in professional golf, a couple of them stand out for their significance and the circumstances surrounding them.

Louis Oosthuizen's Double Eagle: Louis Oosthuizen, the South African golfer, had a memorable moment at the 2012 Masters Tournament.

On the second hole, a par-5, Oosthuizen hit an unbelievable 4-iron from 253 yards that landed on the front of the green.

The ball took a friendly roll and ended up finding its way into the hole for a double eagle.

Oosthuizen's reaction was priceless, and the moment remains one of the highlights of his career.

Phil Mickelson's Double Eagle: Another unforgettable moment in the annals of golfing history was Phil Mickelson's double eagle during the final round of the 2010 Masters Tournament.

On the par-5 4th hole, Mickelson hit a 6-iron that flew straight into the cup without a bounce, marking one of the most dramatic moments in Masters history.

These memorable instances of double eagles highlight the sheer thrill and joy that comes with achieving such a rare feat.

They serve as an inspiration to golfers worldwide, pushing them to strive for this extraordinary achievement.

As we round off this golfing journey, remember that whether it's a double eagle or an albatross, this feat represents a golfer's moment of ultimate triumph on the course.

The Thrill of the Chase: The Pursuit of the Double Eagle

For every golfer, there's a tantalizing target that keeps them coming back to the green – the thrilling pursuit of a double eagle.

This exceptional achievement, as elusive as it is exhilarating, is a golfing feat that demands a deep dive.

Let's embark on this final leg of our journey and explore the allure of the double eagle, how golfers chase this rare glory, and the grand celebrations it incites when accomplished.

The Allure of Achieving a Double Eagle

The double eagle, or the albatross, is seen as the Holy Grail in golf.

Its rarity, combined with the skill, precision, and element of luck required to achieve it, makes it a prize achievement for golfers at all levels.

The allure lies not just in the sheer statistical rarity, but also in the moment of perfect synergy it represents – when skill, strategy, and circumstance align perfectly.

The chase for a double eagle adds an extra layer of excitement to the game.

It keeps golfers constantly pushing their boundaries, improving their swing, sharpening their focus, and hoping for that perfect moment when they can join the exclusive ‘Double Eagle Club.'

How Golfers Strive for this Rare Feat and How it's Celebrated

Despite the formidable odds, golfers continuously strive for the double eagle.

The pursuit begins with enhancing one's skills – mastering the long drive, perfecting the fairway wood or long iron shot, understanding the nuances of the course, and gaining a keen eye for strategy.

Yet, even with these, there's an understanding that a double eagle requires an element of luck – the wind direction, the course layout, the bounce and roll of the ball, all have to conspire favorably.

And when that extraordinary moment arrives, the celebration is nothing short of jubilant.

The golfer is often swarmed by their peers, high fives and cheers echo, and the moment is etched into the annals of golf history.

It becomes an anecdote told and retold, inspiring others to keep striving for their own moment of golfing glory.

So there you have it. The double eagle is not just a scoring term.

It's a symbol of excellence, a testament to the thrill of the game, and a beacon that keeps golfers pursuing the remarkable.

Whether you're a golfer or a fan, the chase for the double eagle is a captivating aspect of golf that adds to its global allure.


And so, we arrive at the 18th hole of our exploration of the double eagle, or albatross, in golf.

An achievement as elusive as it is celebrated, it represents a perfect storm of skill, strategy, and serendipity.

Whether you're an avid golfer or an enthusiastic fan, the chase for this rare feat adds a unique thrill to the game.

It's a testament to the magic and allure of golf, and an inspiring reminder that even in the most challenging situations, extraordinary moments are possible.

Happy golfing, and who knows, maybe you'll be the next to join the illustrious Double Eagle Club!