If you hole out one shot below par, you've scored a "birdie." I remember the first time I had the opportunity to score a birdie. As I wasted time, pretending to study the putting green so I could calm my nerves, my sister said, "Hey. Did you know that if you make this putt, you'll make birdie. I don't think you've ever done that before." Needless to say, I still haven't.
If you sink your ball two strokes below par, you’ve Eagled. Makes sense. An eagle is a larger and grander animal than a mere birdie. So what is it when you shoot 3 strokes below par? Here in the United States, it is generally called a Double Eagle, but once upon a time it had a more interesting name. 3 under par used to be called an Albatross – a much larger and grander animal than a mere eagle.
When Samuel Coleridge wrote his poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” the albatross went from being a bird of good fortune to being an omen of misery, a burden. And so, an albatross in golf became a double eagle. After all, what golfer wants to hang an albatross on his score card?
Photo: Gonzalo Vasquez