The golfer may be out a ball from the unusual encounter, but given the tumultuous history bald eagles have had with humans, it's hardly a huge offense.
Despite being America's national animal, the species was targeted by trappers and hunters until the practice was made illegal in the 1940s. That, coupled with the widespread use of the now-banned pesticide DDT which poisoned their food supply, reduced the bald eagle population to just 412 pairs in the contiguous 48 states - down from an estimated 500,000 in the 18th century.
After gaining protections under the Endangered Species Act in 1967, however, the species began to recover. By the early 1990s, bald eagles had rebounded back to around 100,000 individuals, repopulating regions where they hadn't been seen in decades.
By 2007, the species had recovered sufficiently enough to be delisted - ending a remarkable comeback story a floundering golfer could only dream of.