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Comprehending golf scoring lingo

What is a bogey in golf?If you are a golfing beginner you have probably asked, What is a bogey in golf? which may be confusing in understanding how these terms fit into the game of golf.

Like any competitive sport, golf has evolved over the years and the scoring system has thrown up a unique terminology referring to good and bad results.

A question that gets asked a lot is ‘What is a bogey in golf?’

What is a bogey in golf?

Golfers use different scoring terms, and a bogey is one of them. When playing a round of golf you would have noticed on the scorecard that each hole is allocated a par.

This is the number of strokes a scratch handicap player should complete the hole in.

This is what makes golf such a great game as the handicap system balances out a player’s abilities allowing a novice with a handicap of twenty-eight to compete against a more experienced player with a handicap of fifteen. Tips here on golf etiquette and slow play.

A bogey is defined as a one-stroke score over par on a hole.

These ratings continue increasing, consequently, a double bogey is a score of two shots over par; a triple bogey is three over par, and so on.

No one knows for sure but the word bogey has an association with the term ‘bogey man’ or something to be avoided.

It is now universally accepted as a dropped shot, or bogie on the score. Most standard club players use a scoring system called Stableford, click here for more info.

How does a bogey fit into the scoring in a round of golf?

The winners of most other sports strive to achieve the highest scores they can, but this is the complete opposite in the game of golf. Contenders are trying to complete their rounds in the fewest number of strokes.

So bogies at any stage of the game need to be avoided because a bogey will add a shot to the hole thus increasing your score by increasing the number of strokes taken to complete the round.

A quick start guide to the rules of golf.

What is a bogey in golf? is avoiding shooting one over parGolfers aim to give in the least possible score in a round of golf to triumph.

Every stroke a golfer takes stands for a score of one. Thus, the number of strokes for every shot is added together, and the lowest wins.

The more strokes you make, the higher your score (bogey) over par on a hole.

A rangefinder will help with distance and club selection.

How do you win?

Avoid taking more strokes. Golf is a unique game, and only the lowest scores win. But this is where the handicap makes up and adjusts the scores.

For example, a player with a handicap of eighteen receives one shot on every hole.

So if a hole is a par four and this player completes it in five strokes it still represents a par rather than a bogey to the player’s final score.

The reverse of a bogey is a Birdie which is one stroke under par for the hole.

So if a particular hole is a par four and a player with a handicap of eighteen completes it in four strokes it is classified as a Birdie or one under par.

If the same player completes the hole in three it is referred to as an Eagle, and on very rare occasions a three-under-par is referred to as an Albatross or Double Eagle.

Tips here on the best golf balls for high handicappers.


Even as you focus on having the lowest score, it is necessary to keep in mind that par will be different from one hole to another.

Each golf course is made up of a mixture of par three, par four, and par fives.

Each hole is allocated a stroke index which indicates the degree of difficulty.

It is important for a player to take note of the stroke index to determine his shot allowance against the handicap of the player. Further info here on golf scoring.