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Where Do Golf Terms Come From?

BLAINE, Minn. (WCCO) -- It's all eyes on the Twin Cities this week as golfers and fans from around the world get ready to watch the 3M Open on Thursday.

It will be a week full of birdies, bogeys and hopefully a few eagles. Those are all well-known terms but kind of strange words when you think about it.

So WCCO went to find out: where do golf terms come from?

Sure, their meanings are clear: a birdie is one under par, an eagle is two under par and a bogey is one over par.

But the origins -- well, that's where it gets complicated. Even to the pros.

"Yeah, I've got no idea? Does anybody have the answer to it yet?" PGA golfer Dominic Bozzelli said.

Yes, yes she does. Sharon Shin is a PGA scoring official, who explained how the Scottish game acquired new phrases through the years.

"So the word birdie came in the 1900s and was actually a slang term used in America, called the bird and often it meant wonderful or great so it's very appropriate for the term that means one under par," she said.

She says the term "eagle" is a spinoff phrase.

And the word "bogey"?

"It came from a song called the bogey man and the word boogie actually means something of a goblin or a devil, so it's appropriate for the word bogey which means one over par," she said.

Sharon says "par" was a term that transitioned over from the stock market meaning level or even.

So, as it turns out, golf is a mind game.

For tickets and more information on the 3M Open, click here.

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