A bogey in golf is a score that is one stroke higher than a par on any hole. For example, if a hole is a par four, taking five strokes to complete the hole would result in a bogey. If a hole is a par five, a score of six would be a bogey. The term refers to the score relative to par on that particular hole, not a specific scoring number. Bogey means the same thing on every golf course, regardless of the difficulty of the course. A bogey is always a score of one stroke over par on a hole.
So, why do players and fans even call it a bogey? What does a bogey golfer mean? Is scoring a bogey bad in a golf match? What does a double bogey mean? Is there anything worse than a double bogey?
Here is the complete guide to what a bogey is in golf.
Why is it Called a Bogey?
Bogey has its origin with golfers in Scotland in the 1800s. At the time, the bogey score was the same as the ground score. In those days, the ground score is what we consider par today.
During that time, the ground score was difficult to attain, and golfers began referring to trying to get that score as “Chasing Mr. Bogey.” Mr. Bogey was a mythical character who lived in the shadows and taunted passersby with the phrase “I’m the Bogey Man, catch me if you can.”
Eventually, golf courses and golf scores improved in the years since the term bogey first appeared. Around 1910, golf associations (most notably the United States Golf Association/USGA) began using the word par as the score an expert golfer, playing the hole well, should be expected to achieve. Over time, par replaced the ground score as the indication of a good score, and bogey meant one shot worse than par.
What is a Bogey Golfer?
A bogey golfer would average one stroke over par on each hole during a round. In a nine-hole competition, that person’s average score would be nine over par. The bogey golfer’s score would be eighteen over par in an eighteen-hole competition.
A bogey golfer does not necessarily make a bogey on each hole. For example, they may have three double bogeys, three pars, and three bogeys on a nine-hole round. They would wind up with a score of nine over par, which is what bogey golfers would be expected to score during a nine-hole round.
By comparison, if someone is a scratch golfer, they would most likely shoot a score of even par, whether for nine or eighteen holes.
Is Scoring a Bogey Bad?
A bogey is not necessarily a bad score – it depends on the golfer’s skill level. A professional or scratch golfer would consider a bogey a lousy score, as they expect to shoot par or lower.
However, for many average golfers, a bogey is considered acceptable. For example, a bogey golfer playing on a par 72 course would expect to shoot a 90 (eighteen over par.) Only 50% of those who golf regularly shoot under 100, so this would mean that a score of 90 is a good one compared to the rest of the golfing public!
So, whether or not a bogey is reasonable depends on the player’s talent and perspective.
What is a Double Bogey?
A double bogey score is two over par on any given hole. A score of five on a par three would be a double bogey, as would a score of six on a par four.
Professional golfers try to avoid double bogeys at all costs, as one (or more) of these during a tournament moves them farther away from the leaders.
Professionals generally have a level of skill that help them play a complete eighteen-hole round without any double bogeys. The exception to this tends to be open championships, where the course layout and distance are the most demanding and challenge even the world’s best golfers.
What is a Triple Bogey?
A triple bogey score is three over par on any hole. A score of six on a par three would be a triple bogey, as would a score of eight on a par five.
While it is rare for a professional golfer to have a triple bogey, it is common for those golfers who have limited experience to have a few of these on the scorecard at the end of their round.
What is a Quadruple Bogey?
A quadruple bogey occurs when a golfer records a score of four over par on any given hole. Getting a seven on a par three would be a quadruple bogey, as would getting an eight on a par four.
Beginners and inexperienced golfers can expect to have a quadruple bogey or two when they first start playing. These scores should become less frequent as they become more experienced and learn how to use their golf clubs more effectively.
What is the Difference Between a Par and a Bogey?
A par is what a member of the PGA Tour or a good golfer expects to get on any hole. A bogey is one stroke higher than par on a hole, which is what an average or recreational golfer may consider acceptable.
Par scores vary from hole to hole, with the primary consideration being distance. Par-3 holes are usually shorter, par-4 holes are generally moderate in length, and par-5 holes are the longest. Occasionally, an extremely long hole may be a par-6, but they are rare.
Determining what makes up par on each hole generally allows for a tee shot and two putts on a par three, a tee shot, a fairway shot and two putts on a par four, and a tee shot, two fairway shots and two putts on a par five.
Conclusion: What is a Bogey in Golf?
In summary, a bogey is always one stroke higher than par on a hole, regardless of what the par is. A bogey on a par three would be a four, a bogey on a par four would be a five, and a bogey on a par five would be a six. The number of strokes is always related to the par score of the hole.
Also, it is worth noting that you don’t need to hit a bogey on every hole to end up with a bogey score. If, for example, you play nine golf on a par three course, you can have a few rounds where you get par and double bogeys. Since the par-three score on a nine-round whole is 27, you would end up with a 36 if you got a bogey on average.