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Why is it called an eagle for a two under par play?

There is also the term birdie. Was golf originally invented by bird shooters who were competing to take down the biggest bird with the least shots?
  • Industry/Domain: Sports
  • Category: Golf
  • Created: 19:00, 31 December 1969

Answers (2)


Here's what I found - in 1899, three golfers — George Crump, William Poultney Smith (founding member of Pine Valley), and his brother Ab Smith — were playing together when Crump hit his second shot only inches from the cup on a par-four hole after his first shot had struck a bird in flight. Simultaneously, the Smith brothers exclaimed that Crump's shot was "a bird." Crump's short putt left him one under par for the hole, and from that day the three of them referred to such a score as a "birdie." In short order, the entire membership of the club began using the term.

14:22, 11 April 2011


Hmm... my last answer seems to have gotten cut off. Here it is without all the fancy link stuff: The term "eagle" when used in reference to two strokes under par in golf actually came after the term "birdie." In the US during the 19th century, the term "bird" was slang for "cool," so a birdie (which refers to a shot that leads to a less-than-par score) just meant a cool or great shot. "Eagle" was later introduced to golf slang, and was chosen because it sticks to the same paradigm of bird-related terminology. Hope that helps!

21:41, 10 April 2011

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