Bogey in Golf: A Golfer’s Imperfect Companion

A bogey in golf is when you complete a hole with one stroke over the designated par. It’s a common term in golf scoring that every golfer, whether beginner or seasoned, should know. While it’s not the ideal outcome, scoring a bogey isn’t necessarily bad, especially for recreational players. However, consistently scoring double bogeys or worse can negatively impact your overall score.

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Are you ready to tee off and hit the links? If so, then you need to understand the language of golf, including golf scoring terms like bogey.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned golfer, it’s essential to know what this term means and how it affects your overall score. Golf is a sport that’s all about precision and accuracy, but even professional golfers make mistakes. The goal of golf is to complete an 18-hole round in as few strokes as possible. Each hole on the course has a par rating, which is the number of strokes an expert golfer should take to complete it.

For example, a par-3 hole typically requires just one stroke, while a par-5 hole may require three or four. So what exactly is a bogey in golf scoring? A bogey occurs when you complete an individual hole with one stroke over par. For example, if you take five strokes to complete a par-4 hole, then your score is considered a bogey.

Similarly, if you take four strokes on a par-3 hole or seven strokes on a par-6 hole, both scores would also be considered bogeys. While no one wants to score over par on any given hole during their round of golf, making bogeys isn’t necessarily bad either.

"A bogey occurs when you complete an individual hole with one stroke over par. For example, if you take five strokes to complete a par-4 hole, then your score is considered a bogey."

In fact, for many average golfers with higher handicap ratings, scoring consistently at or around bogey can be quite an accomplishment! Bogeys are often seen as acceptable scores for most recreational players because they are much easier to achieve than birdies which means one stroke under par (you can read what a birdie is here), pars which means an exact match with the course rating, or eagles which is two strokes under par.

However, consistently scoring double bogeys which is two strokes over par or worse, can be frustrating and have negative impacts on your overall scorecard by adding unnecessary shots that could have been avoided with a better strategy. To avoid this scenario, take a look at our tips and tricks for avoiding bogeys and improving your golf score.

Understanding Golf Scoring Terms

When it comes to understanding golf scoring terms, it can be a bit overwhelming. With so many numbers and phrases thrown around on the course, it can be difficult to keep track of what everything means. But don’t worry, we’re here to break it down for you. 

First things first: let’s talk about parPar is the number of strokes an average golfer should need to complete a hole or an entire round, depending on the course. For example, if a hole is designated as a par-4, that means an average golfer should be able to complete the hole in 4 strokes.

Now let’s talk about how golf scoring works. Golfers aim to complete each hole in as few strokes as possibleAt the end of an 18-hole round, their total score is tallied up based on how many strokes they took to complete each hole. The goal is to have the lowest score possible.

So where does bogey come into play? A bogey is a golf term used when a player completes a hole in one stroke over par. For example, if a player completes a par-4 hole in 5 strokes, they would have scored a bogey. 

But what about something worse than bogeyThat’s where things start to get interesting (or frustrating). If a player takes two strokes over par on a single hole, that’s called a double bogey.

"Golfers aim to complete each hole in as few strokes as possible. At the end of an 18-hole round, their total score is tallied up based on how many strokes they took to complete each hole. The goal is to have the lowest score possible."

Three strokes over par would be a triple bogey, and four strokes over would be a quadruple bogey – you get the idea. It’s important to note that while some golfers may see scoring bogeys or worse as having had a bad day on the course, there are also plenty of instances where scoring these types of shots still puts them ahead of their competitors.

Professional golfers like Rory McIlroy have even won tournaments with scores that included several bogeys throughout the round. So don’t get too down on yourself if you’re making a few bogeys; it happens to even the best golfers out there. If you want to understand more common terms in Golf, check out this post here.

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Golfer on tee box

How to Score a Bogey in Golf

Bogey is a common term in golf, and it refers to a score of one stroke over par on an individual hole. It may not be the ideal outcome for anyone who takes the game seriously, but it’s still an acceptable score for most amateur players.

In this section, we’ll delve into how to score a bogey

Scoring a bogey is relatively simple. To do so, you need to complete an individual hole in one stroke over the par assigned to that hole. For instance, if you’re playing on a par-4 hole and your ball lands on the green in three strokes before you putt twice to finish that hole, then you get a bogey.

One of the key things new golfers should remember about bogeys is that they’re not necessarily bad scores. In fact, most average golfers play bogey golf or worse regularly.

On some courses with high slope ratings and where par-5 holes are rare, even scoring one double or quadruple bogey can be enough to ruin an entire round. As you probably know by now if you’re familiar with golf terms like birdie and albatross, players aim at playing each “hole” in as few strokes as possible relative to its assigned par value. Par being the number of strokes which it should take expert players slightly above-average recreational players are usually content with coming within two strokes of par or better on every individual hole.


It’s essential for any golfer looking to improve their overall game not to get hung up on any single shot or round because every day brings different results based on numerous factors like weather conditions and mood.

That said, try aiming at minimizing shots where stroke over par exceeds two while shooting under 90 per round; alleviate pressure by focusing on hitting consistent irons (which bring short putts for bogey) rather than always going for hero shots. Now that we’ve gone over the basics of scoring a bogey, let’s take a look at other scores players can achieve and how they compare to bogies.

Is Scoring a Bogey in Golf Bad?

When it comes to golf scoring, many players aim for par or better on each hole. But what happens when you fall short and score a bogey? Is it really that bad? Well, it depends on who you ask.

Some golfers believe that a bogey is nothing to be ashamed of and can even be considered a solid score, depending on the situation. For example, let’s say you’re playing an 18-hole round on a difficult course with a high slope rating.

The average golfer would have trouble breaking 100 on this course, so if you manage to score a few bogeys along the way, you’re actually doing pretty well! On the other hand, if you’re playing an easier course and consistently scoring bogeys on individual holes that should be much easier than others, then it may be time to re-evaluate your game.

It’s also important to keep in mind that not all holes are created equally. A bogey on a par-3 hole may not be as great as a bogey on a more challenging par-4 or par-5 hole.

Additionally, depending on your handicap level or skill level as a player (whether you’re considered a scratch golfer or an average golfer), scoring at or slightly above bogey may still mean improving your golf score. That being said, while scoring one or two bogeys during an 18-hole round is not necessarily bad, consistently scoring double and triple bogeys can quickly lead to high scores and frustration.

Experienced players know that avoiding these high-scoring holes is vital to achieving success in the game of golf. So ultimately, whether scoring a bogey is bad depends largely on the context of the game.

While some players may judge themselves harshly for falling short of par, others recognize that even pros sometimes fail to make birdies and eagles, with all levels of golfers making bogeys along the way. So why not embrace the bogey and use it as motivation to improve your game?

Beyond a Bogey: Double Bogey, Triple Bogey, and Quadruple Bogey

When it comes to golf scoring terms, bogey is just the beginning. Beyond bogey, there’s a double bogey, a triple bogey, and even a quadruple bogey. Each of these terms refers to a different level of mistakes made on an individual hole.

A double bogey is when a golfer takes two more shots than par on an individual hole. For example, if a par-4 hole requires four shots to get the ball in the cup but a golfer takes six shots to do so, they have scored a double bogey. Double bogeys are not ideal but can happen occasionally during a round of golf, especially if it’s a particularly challenging hole. 

If two extra shots above par aren’t enough to describe your bad day on the golf course, then you might encounter the dreaded triple bogeyThis is when you take three more shots than par on an individual hole. Triple bogeys are definitely something you want to avoid as much as possible since they can significantly impact your overall score for an 18-hole round.

"Beyond bogey, there's a double bogey, a triple bogey, and even a quadruple bogey. Each of these terms refers to a different level of mistakes made on an individual hole."

And then we have quadruple bogeys! This is when you take four more shots than par on an individual hole. If you ever find yourself in this situation, don’t panic! Even professional golfers can make mistakes like this every once in a while during their careers.

Of course, these scoring terms may seem intimidating at first glance but are actually quite simple once you understand their definition and how they apply to your round of golf. As long as you play within your ability level and stay focused throughout each shot, it’s unlikely that you’ll experience too many triple or quadruple bogies on any given day on the course!

Golfer swinging a bogey in golf

Bogeys and Professional Golfers

Professional golfers are a different breed of player altogether. They are not only talented, but they also have years of experience on the course and have played in countless tournaments. For them, bogeys are usually seen as mistakes that can be corrected in the next hole or the next round.

In professional golf, bogeys are often made up for with birdies or even eagles. For these players, playing bogey golf is not an option since they need to score par or better to be competitive.

In fact, some professional golfers do not even consider bogeys a part of their vocabulary since they aim to play a perfect game. However, even professional golfers who play at the highest level can have a bad day on the course and end up scoring bogeys. At times, they may fall victim to difficult holes or unpredictable weather conditions that affect their game. The handicap system is another factor that comes into play for professional golfers.

A handicap is calculated based on a golfer’s past performance and allows for fair competition among players of different skill levels. However, it is common for professional golfers to have low handicaps since they consistently score par or better in their rounds.

"In professional golf, bogeys are often made up for with birdies or even eagles. For these players, playing bogey golf is not an option since they need to score par or better to be competitive."

The Tour Championship is one tournament where the best of the best gather to compete against each other. During this tournament and others like it, making a bogey can be costly since every stroke counts towards winning or losing the tournament.

While bogeys may not be seen as desirable by professional golfers, they are still part of the game and can happen to anyone on any given day. For these skilled players, though, scoring par or better remains their ultimate goal in every 18-hole round they play.

Bogeys for Average Players

For the average golfer, bogeys are a common occurrence. It’s not unusual for them to score a bogey on almost every hole of their round. So, it isn’t something to get too worked up about. In fact, if you’re an average player and you manage to score par or better on a hole, you should be proud of yourself.

One thing that separates the average player from scratch golfers is their ability to avoid making big mistakes. A scratch golfer has a lot of control over their game and can usually avoid scoring bogeys on any given hole. However, the average golfer may make one or two big errors each round that result in bogeys or worse. It’s important for the average golfer to remember that they’re playing against themselves and not anyone else.

They shouldn’t worry too much about how many strokes over par they’re scoring as long as they’re improving their scores over time. That being said, it’s also important to keep track of your scores and monitor your progress.

"One thing that separates the average player from scratch golfers is their ability to avoid making big mistakes. A scratch golfer has a lot of control over their game and can usually avoid scoring bogeys on any given hole."

The handicap system is designed to help golfers compare their scores with those of other players of different skill levels. This can be especially useful for the average player, who might not have many opportunities to play with other golfers at their skill level.

The handicap system uses your past scores to calculate how many strokes you should receive during a round of golf. Bogeys are just a part of the game for most average players.

It’s important not to get discouraged when you score one because it happens all the time, even among professional golfers! Keep practicing and trying your best on each individual hole – eventually, lowering those stroke counts will become second nature!

Golfer swinging scoring a bogey

Improving Your Golf Score: Tips to Avoid Bogeys

Golf can be challenging, and even the best players in the world experience bogeys from time to time. However, if you want to improve your golf score and avoid bogeys as much as possible, there are several tips you can try.

Play within your abilities: One of the biggest mistakes beginner golfers make is trying to hit shots they’re not yet capable of making. If you’re not confident in your ability to make a shot, don’t force it. Instead, play it safe and take a more conservative approach. You may not make par or better on every hole, but you’ll also avoid the big numbers that come with double or triple bogeys.

Make Good Course Management Decisions: Another way to avoid bogeys is by making good course management decisions. This means taking into account factors such as slope, wind direction, and speed when deciding what club to use and where to aim your shots.

Practice Your Short Game: Many golfers lose strokes around the green due to poor chipping or putting skills. To avoid this, spend time practicing your short game until you feel confident in your ability to get up and down in any situation.

Stay Mentally Focused: Finally, one of the most important things a golfer can do to avoid bogeys is to stay mentally focused throughout their round. This means staying positive even after hitting a bad shot or experiencing a bad hole.

"One of the biggest mistakes beginner golfers make is trying to hit shots they're not yet capable of making."

Golf is a game of ups and downs, so it’s important not to get too down on yourself when things don’t go as planned. By following these four tipsplaying within your abilities, making good course management decisions, practicing your short game, and staying mentally focused – you’ll be well on your way toward avoiding those dreaded bogeys on the course!


Understanding the term “bogey” and other golf scoring terms is crucial to enjoying the game of golf. Whether you’re a scratch golfer or an average golfer, knowing your score and how it compares to par is important for setting realistic goals and tracking your progress.

While bogeys may seem like a bad thing, they are actually quite common in the game of golf. Even professional golfers make bogeys from time to time. Many golfers consider a bogey to be a good score on difficult holes or courses. If you find yourself consistently making triple bogeys or worse, don’t get discouraged!

Golf is a challenging game that requires practice and patience. By focusing on improving your technique and course management skills, you can avoid making costly mistakes and start seeing improvement in your score. Furthermore, learning about the handicap system can help level the playing field when playing with friends of different skill levels. By adjusting your scores based on the slope rating of the course, you can accurately compare scores with players of varying abilities.

While terms like “bogey”, “par”, and “stroke over par” may seem daunting at first glance, they are simply part of the language of golf. By taking the time to understand these scoring terms and applying them on the course, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a successful 18-hole round filled with birdies, pars – maybe even an eagle or albatross -and perhaps some bogeys too!

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