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What do you consider a "true" eagle?


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The thread about first ever birdie's got me thinking yesterday. I honestly don't remember my first birdie, but I definitely remember my first eagle - and my first "true" eagle! Allow me to clarify...

I netted my first eagle a few years after I had taken up the game of golf. It was a 270 yard par 4, and I smacked a beautiful drive to the back fringe of the green. I sunk a 30-foot right to left downhill putt and voila! My first ever eagle. But was it a "true" eagle? For some reason - perhaps due to the short nature of the hole or perhaps the course itself (9 holes, par 29), I could never bring myself to proudly admit my accomplishment. It was almost as if I was ashamed that my eagle had come on such an easy hole/course.

It wasn't until several years later that I would have an opportunity to wash away the doubt. After a blistering drive and a slightly thin, but accurate 4 iron brought me to the green in 2 on a par 5, I holed a 12 foot putt for my first "true" eagle. It was like a weight off of my shoulders. I was no longer an eagle imposter, but could proudly tell me friends, my dad, my boss that "yeah, I got an eagle yesterday."

Does anyone else feel this way, or was I just being crazy?

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Would you have considered your first eagle a "true" eagle if you had driven it into a sand trap...and then sunk it by hitting it 30 ft out of the sand trap?

An eagle is an eagle the way I see it, great job!

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I rank an eagle on a par 5 (that isn't 350 yards) higher than one on a short par 4, but a two is a two.
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Originally Posted by Zeph

I rank an eagle on a par 5 (that isn't 350 yards) higher than one on a short par 4, but a two is a two.

I think you have to go a little higher than 350 more like 450 but I wouldn't consider 270 unreasonably short I would count 270 as a par 4.

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My first one was on a 380 yard par 4 from 150 yards out, pretty crazy!

Almost had another one on a par 5 that is listed as 500  yards but it is down hill so I was able to hit it in 2 with a 3 wood and hybrid (I am not a big hitter but the hole does not play anywhere near 500 yards, maybe more like 450). I missed a 7 foot eagle putt unfortunately but I would have "counted" that one as well.

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Don't discount the difficulty of short holes.  We just had a long thread about the unfortunate loss of shorter par 3's.....

A properly designed short hole, offers reward, but at significant risk.  An eagle on such a hole means you accepted that risk and hit a very good shot.  It could have just as easily back fired and turned into a double.....

What is a "true" eagle?  Easy, any hole in which you honestly hole out in 2 strokes below par.

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Originally Posted by Big C

Does anyone else feel this way, or was I just being crazy?

You're not crazy.  I play a course that has a 250 yd. par 4, straightaway, with little risk around the green.  I've driven the green and driven over the green before ... if I ever happen to make an eagle there I won't rank it in the same category as my other eagles.

Another course I play - 9 hole beginners quasi pitch and putt - has a 210 yard hole that they call a par 4.  It's not easy ... a lot of carry over water if you go straight at the green, but it's not a par 4.

That said, you can rank your first eagle on a tier below your 'legit' one, but it is still an eagle!

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If it is over 250 yards, it is a legit par 4. If you put it in the cup in 2 shots, it is an eagle. And it is just as good as any other eagle, on any other hole. There is no rule that says a par 4 has to be 400 yards to count. I've played many short, but very challenging holes, as well as lonjg, but easy ones. An eagle is an eagle. If im 2 under on a hole, its an eagle, and one to be proud of, period.

This 'its not a real eagle/its not a real 79' crap is just that, crap./ If its a regulation course with a legit rating and slope, then the score is legit, period. Anyone who says otherwise is either jealous or foolish.

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Here's on for you guys, would you consider this legit?

I got my very first eagle back in February on a very tough par 5. The course was so wet and sloppy that we were using the lift, clean and place rule. Hit a great drive down the middle of the fairway, pull up to my tee shot and noticed it was plugged, I then proceeded to lift, clean and place. 2nd shot was about 230 yds out, hitting a 3 wood which I hit it fat, ending about 35 yds short in the rough, I then proceeded to lift clean and place due to all the mud caked on the ball. My 3rd shot was a nice pitch onto the green and rolling about 10 feet into the bottom of the cup.

Just curious if you guys would consider it legit, since we were playing the lift, clean and replace rule.

A month later though I got my 2nd eagle on a fairly easy par 5. 2nd shot with a 4 hybrid from rough about 205 yds, rolling to about 5 feet from pin!

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Lift, clean and place is a rule that is used so you can play normal golf on wet conditions. I wouldn't take anything away from it. There's no difference between hitting a firm and nice fairway with a clean lie, and hitting a soft fairway where you lift, clean and place the ball. You still have to hit the shot. One eagle I don't call a true eagle was at a small six hole course. The hole was perhaps around 180 yards long, to an uphill green. A par 3 you probably say, but it was a par 4. The green was sitting pretty high up and tall trees protected the entire green. To hit the green you'd either have to hit it really high, or shape it around the trees. I made a 2 with a 4 iron off the tee or something like that.
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Originally Posted by PhillyMac

Here's on for you guys, would you consider this legit?

I got my very first eagle back in February on a very tough par 5. The course was so wet and sloppy that we were using the lift, clean and place rule. Hit a great drive down the middle of the fairway, pull up to my tee shot and noticed it was plugged, I then proceeded to lift, clean and place. 2nd shot was about 230 yds out, hitting a 3 wood which I hit it fat, ending about 35 yds short in the rough, I then proceeded to lift clean and place due to all the mud caked on the ball. My 3rd shot was a nice pitch onto the green and rolling about 10 feet into the bottom of the cup.

Just curious if you guys would consider it legit, since we were playing the lift, clean and replace rule.

A month later though I got my 2nd eagle on a fairly easy par 5. 2nd shot with a 4 hybrid from rough about 205 yds, rolling to about 5 feet from pin!


When playing lift clean and place don't you only get to do it when the ball is in the fairway?  That is what the USGA specimen "local rule" on preferred lies says.  So if that was the case then no it would not be a "legitimate" eagle since you would not have been entitled to lift clean and place the ball in the rough after your second shot.

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Most people cannot drive the ball 270 yards, its a par 4 for a reason.

Of course here on a golf forum, the percentage of people that have a chance to reach a 270 yard green in one goes up exponentially.

Hell I eagled a 290 yard hole after driving the green last weekend, and I'm a bogey golfer.

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Most people cannot drive the ball 270 yards, its a par 4 for a reason. Of course here on a golf forum, the percentage of people that have a chance to reach a 270 yard green in one goes up exponentially.

Most guys on the internet would probably hit a 3-wood, as they carry 300 with the driver and would hit it too far.

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At the end of a scramble today I was about as far from the club house as I could be so I just decided to play in the last hole.  I played a par 5 from the most forward  tee box (about 400 yards).  I hit driver, sand wedge, and then 2 putter for birdie.  I think If I would have recorded an eagle I wouldn't have considered it my first eagle.  For me there has to be some reasoning to the distance.  Par 4 over 250, and par 5 over 450

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Mine was on a 258 yard par 4, but the pin was at the back a long green.  It was cold, the ground was hard and my drive ended up 4 feet from the hole...testy putt, holed it.  Check that one off the golf bucket list, now to break 90.  I honestly consider it a fluke.  If I do it again with the swing I have now I'll have a more accepting attitude.

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I don't remember my first,  but there is one in particular that I do remember.    My parent's house growing up was on the 11th green which was a par-5,   550 yards from the tips  (just had to look that up)   There is a pond on the right,  with a bunker just left of it,  but if you can carry the bunker/pond,  you can cut a significant portion of the hole off.   I would always go for  it since I was reasonably long off the tee anyways,  and I probably had 180 in or so,  and I was THREE INCHES from making the albatross....    Ball was past the hole by a few inches,  and just to the right/left of it  (don't remember which,  but I remember looking at it for a long time wondering if I lipped it etc)

I've never had a hole-in-one either,  but have come somewhat close.....  I think it's just one of those things,  that if you play enough,  you're improving your odds of something amazing happening  (and I was playing every-day for 5-10 years at that point)

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