Are Americans slowly ditching ‘double-eagle’ in favour of ‘albatross’?

Most American media are now using ‘albatross’ instead of the numerically unsound ‘double-eagle’.

During the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, two albatrosses were carded.

The first was by Daniel Berger using a 4-iron during the third round at the par-5 6th hole. The second was by 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson using a 5-iron from 188 metres during his final round at the par-5 16th hole.

Two albatrosses in one golf tournament is incredible*, but the most remarkable thing for us was the difference in the media of reporting this rare feat.

Traditionally, and somewhat stubbornly, the Americans have generally stuck to their guns and referred to three-under-par as a ‘double-eagle’. As the commentators did in both video clips (above and below). But in the written press, there was barely any mention of the nonsensical term.

Devil Ball Golf and Golf Channel’s articles only referred to albatross, ESPN golf’s site made sure readers knew what an albatross was, and Stephanie Wei went further by telling her readers that “Americans mistakenly refer to as a “double eagle”.”

The term ‘double-eagle’ doesn’t make any sort of numerical sense, and has always irked golf enthusiasts outside of North America. But perhaps times are a changing.

We notice some of the players and commentators are still using ‘double-eagle’, but the switch to ‘albatross’ among the written press is noticeable.

Is there a ban on using the term ‘double-eagle’ along with the ban on anchoring coming into effect next year? Perhaps US TV commentators should start getting used to it as soon as possible.

* We wonder if the albatross is becoming more common with the increase in distance the golf ball is travelling? 

3 thoughts on “Are Americans slowly ditching ‘double-eagle’ in favour of ‘albatross’?

  • Seriously, you’re worried about what they call it. Call it a ‘bloody miracle’ if you like as it really doesn’t matter.

  • Off course it matters what you call it; don’t think anyone would accept say a ‘triple negative bogey’ even though it makes more numerical sense than a double eagle. Anyone who understands the game knows what an albatross is and it makes sense.

    Good article.

  • You can even see Johnson’s caddy doing the “albatross dance”. He knows what it should be called.


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