What is a Bogey in Golf?

by | Last updated Apr 19, 2024

what is a bogie in golf

Ever hit a ball around a grassy field with a bunch of holes? That’s golf!

It’s a fun outdoor game where you try to hit a small white ball called a golf ball into each hole using various clubs in as few swings as possible.

Those swings are like tries and the fewer tries you take, the better you are!

This guide will explain what is a bogie in golf, a term recreational golfers hear a lot. We’ll also touch on other terms like double bogie (not ideal!) and even double eagle (super impressive!).

So, grab your clubs (or your imagination), and let’s tee off on understanding golf scoring!


Bogeys in Golf

  • Bogey = 1 stroke over “par” (the average score for a hole).
  • Bogeys are normal, especially for beginners!
  • Track bogeys to see your progress as you get better.
  • Bogeys = stepping stone to even better scores (birdies, eagles).
  • Don’t stress about bogeys, focus on having fun and improving!

Bogeys and Par

Picture a golf course. It’s got those neatly trimmed grassy areas, weird sand traps (we’ll get to those later), and of course, holes marked by little flags. Each individual golf hole has a special number called “par.

What is a Bogey in Golf

What is ‘Par’?

  • Think of par as the average number of strokes a decent golfer should take to get the ball in the hole.
  • There are different pars: par-3 holes (3 strokes), par-4 holes (4 strokes), and even par-5 holes (yup, 5 strokes!).

Now, Where Do Bogeys Come In?

  • A bogey is simply one stroke over par.
  • So, on a par-4 hole, if you take 5 strokes to finish, that’s a bogey.

Par is Your Target, Bogey is Just a Little Off

Think of it like playing a target-shooting game. Par is the bullseye, and a bogey is still hitting the target, just not dead center. It’s okay! Even good golfers get bogeys sometimes.

And What About Those Other Terms?

  • Double Bogey: Ouch! This is two strokes over par.
  • Triple Bogey: Three strokes over par… you get the idea.
  • Quadruple Bogey: It gets worse, but let’s not focus on that right now!

Why Does This Matter? All these terms are like a scoreboard for golf, helping you track how you’re doing on each hole.

Beyond the ‘Basic’ Bogey

Okay, so you’ve got the idea of a regular bogey: one stroke over par. But golf loves to keep things interesting (and sometimes a little frustrating!) with even more scoring terms.

  • Double Bogey: The ‘Ouch’ Moment
    • This means you took two extra strokes more than par. Not the best feeling, but it happens!
  • Triple Bogey (and Worse): The ‘Let’s Move On’ Score
    • This means three strokes over par, and you can even get quadruple bogeys, quintuple bogeys… the higher it goes, the rougher the hole was for you.
  • Why These Terms Exist
    • Think of them as a quick way to understand your score on each hole. Did you have a good hole, a decent one, or one you’d rather forget?

It’s not Just Numbers

Here’s where it gets a little more interesting:

  • “Bogey Golfer”: This means someone who usually scores a bogey on most holes. It’s a totally normal place for beginners to be!
  • The Upside of ‘Bigger’ Bogeys: Even though they sound bad, tracking double and triple bogeys helps you figure out where you need to practice more.

Fun Fact: The term “bogey” actually comes from an old song about the “Bogey Man”! Some think it referred to a good golfer others had to beat. There are lots of interesting stories about where golf terms came from.

Why are Bogeys Important for Beginners?

You might think bogeys sound like a bad thing, but when you’re starting out in golf, they’re actually your friends! Here’s why:

  • Bogeys Set Goals: Don’t compare yourself to the pros you see on TV. For beginners, a bogey on each hole is a great achievement!
  • Tracking Your Progress: As you practice more and get better, you’ll start getting fewer bogeys. This shows you’re improving, which feels awesome.
  • The “Bogey Golfer” Milestone: Remember that term we talked about? Well, getting to be a “bogey golfer” (averaging a bogey on each hole) is a big deal when you’re learning!

Understanding Your Game

Bogeys aren’t just about the score. Think about WHY you got a bogey:

  • Was your first shot off target?
  • Did your short putts miss the hole?

Analyzing this helps you know what specific skills to practice – that’s how you get better scores later on!

What is a Bogey in Golf

The Upside of Bogeys (Yes, Really!)

Okay, bogeys might not sound super exciting, but trust me, there’s a good side to them:

  • Everyone Gets Them: Even the best golfers in the world sometimes get bogeys. It’s a normal part of playing golf!
  • Bogeys Teach You: Did that double bogey happen because you landed in a tricky sand bunker? Now you know to practice hitting out of the sand! Bogeys help you figure out where to improve.
  • Celebrating Small Wins: Maybe you always used to get triple bogeys on a difficult hole, but now you’re getting double bogeys. That’s amazing progress!

Remember: Golf is About Having Fun!

Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. But the most important thing is to enjoy being out on the golf course and trying your best. A bogey doesn’t mean you’re a bad golfer, it just means you have room to grow!

Going Beyond the Bogey (Birdies, Anyone?)

So, you’ve got a handle on bogeys and feel at home on the golf courses. What’s next? Here’s where golf gets extra exciting:

  • Birdie: The Sweet Spot
    • A birdie is one stroke under par. It’s like the opposite of a bogey!
    • Getting a birdie means you used fewer strokes than expected on that hole – awesome job!
  • Eagle: The Super Score
    • An eagle is two strokes under par. These are rarer, especially for beginners, but super thrilling when you land one!
  • The Road to Improvement
    • As your golf skills grow, you’ll start practicing for birdies, eagles, and maybe even the super-rare “hole in one”! These might happen on links golf courses or the course right in your neighborhood.

Important Note: Don’t worry if these terms still sound a little complex. Getting these scores takes time and practice with your golf clubs. For now, focus on those bogeys and celebrate them as stepping stones along the way!

Tips to Reduce Your Bogeys

What is a Bogey in Golf

Okay, you understand bogeys, but who doesn’t want to get even better scores in your golf matches? Here’s the thing: there are no magic shortcuts in golf. But, these tips can help you make progress:

  • The Short Game is Your Friend: Putting (getting the ball in the hole) and chipping (short shots near the hole) often make the biggest difference in your score. So, practice these a lot on the golf course!
  • Consistency is Key: Even pro golfers don’t hit perfect shots all the time. Focus on steady, consistent swings, especially on your tee shot. That’ll help you avoid those frustrating bogeys.
  • Don’t Get Fancy: When you’re starting out in golf, stick to the basics. Trying crazy trick shots will likely lead to worse scores, not better ones. Work your way up to becoming a scratch golfer!

Important Note: Improving your golf game takes time. Here are some more things you can do:

Remember: Progress, not perfection, is the goal in any kind of match play!


Remember, a bogey golf is just one part of the exciting game of golf!

It’s a way to track your scores on each individual hole. Don’t get discouraged by bogeys, especially when you’re first starting out. They’re totally normal!

Focus on having fun, practicing regularly, and celebrating your progress.

What is a Bogey in Golf

Before you know it, you might be getting fewer bogeys and even some of those sweet birdies!

And hey, who knows? Maybe one day you’ll even try out some of those fancy bogey competitions, or take a golf trip to those famous courses in the British Isles!

The possibilities are endless.

Looking Ahead: If you want to learn more about advanced golf scoring, keep an eye out for future articles where we’ll talk about birdies, eagles, and all that good stuff!

Until then, keep hitting the golf course and enjoying yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a bogey and a par?

Par is the average number of strokes needed for a good golfer to complete a hole. A bogey is one stroke over par.

Is a bogey a good score?

It depends! For beginners, a bogey is a great score. As you improve, you’ll aim for scores below par, like birdies and eagles.

What does a double bogey mean?

A double bogey means you took two strokes more than par to finish a hole.

What is a bogey golfer?

A bogey golfer is someone who averages roughly one bogey per hole (an overall score of 18 over par for the round). It’s a common skill level for recreational players.

Can I still have fun if I get bogeys?

Absolutely! Golf is about enjoying the outdoors and improving over time. Don’t stress too much about individual scores, especially when you’re starting out.

Fahim Joharder

Fahim Joharder


An avid golfer and author, merges his passion for the sport with insightful writing, offering readers a unique perspective on golf.

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