Bogey in Golf: What Does It Mean for Your Score?

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Are you new to golf and struggling with so many foreign terms? Don’t worry because we’ve got your back! Scoring terms like bogey, eagles, and pars can sound very confusing if you’re starting with golf lessons.

So, if you’re struggling with questions like “What is a bogey in golf?” or “Is a bogey good or bad?” we’re here to help you out! 

We’ve covered some of the essential points regarding bogeys so that you can have a clear idea about them. 

What Is a Bogey in Golf? 

“Bogey” is one of the most significant golf terms practiced among golfers. To understand what a bogey is, a golfer needs to have an idea about a par. So, what exactly is a par? 

Par is a golf term used to denote the total of strokes expected to be scored by a skilled golf player for a definite hole. 

Golfers usually make par-3s, 4s, and 5s, implying that a skilled player is expected to score three, four, and five for the definite hole. An outstanding player can even score a double eagle or eagle if conditions are in their favor.

Now that you’re acquainted with the idea of a par, let’s find out what this term is. 

In simpler terms, when a golfer finishes the particular hole in one stroke more than the par categorized for the hole, it is called a bogey. So, you’d say that this golf score refers to one stroke over a definite hole’s par. 

For example, a good golfer will make a bogey on a par four if they finish the hole in five strokes. Subsequently, on a par five, completing the hole in six strokes would count as a bogey. 

It is considered a great “first shot” for a standard player. There are also double bogeys, triple bogeys, and even a quintuple bogey which are worse than a bogey in a rating team. With an increase in the number of two strokes over par, the average number of bogeys for a given hole also increases. 

To make a good impression in golf, a player needs to enter the golf ball within the hole using minimal strokes. This is why bogey is an excellent record for most golfers playing in links golf courses or even in a regular course. 

Why Is It Called a Bogey?  

If you’re a newbie to golf, you must have wondered at some point why this scoring term is called a bogey. So, how did the term “bogey” originate from? 

Whenever you hear the word “bogey,” the first thing that comes to mind is the “Bogey man” song. And the fascinating part is, they’re related! Usually, this term denotes a terrifying person or someone you need to keep yourself safe from. 

In the mid-1890s, ‘bogey’ originated at Coventry Golf Club when two players were in the middle of a match play, and one of the players failed to defeat the other one with a ground score. 

This player later called the other a “bogey golfer,” from which the word got popular among different golf individuals. In the early days, this term was more commonly known as the “Colonel Bogey.” 

Bogey golfers were known as players who could not get the ball in the golf holes with fewer strokes. It was later established as a scoring term called “bogey” among golfers. 

Is It Bad to Score a Bogey?  

A common question in golf is if a bogey can be counted as a good score or a bad one. Let’s find out. 

When it comes to scoring in golf, a bogey can be both a good and a bad score for different players. It depends on what kind of a player you are. With the same score, a player can get the title of an “expert” or someone “average.”

If you’re learning golf or have been an average player for quite some time, a bogey can be a better score for you. However, if you’re a professional player or an expert golfer, a bogey can become a bad score for you. Expert golfers have their eyes on an even “par” for every round of golf. 

For example, if you score a bogey in every round, you would end up with a total of 90 on the par-72 golf course. That can be a massive achievement for an average player or even someone who’s just taking baby steps in golf. 

But for a skilled player that has been playing for a long time, a total of 90 can turn out to be a pretty bad score. That is because an experienced golfer can only afford to have 2 or fewer bogeys in each round.  

Thus, a bogey can be a great score for someone average and a bad score for someone exceptional. 

Frequently Asked Question’s  

What is worse than a bogey in golf?  

Double bogeys are worse than a bogey in golf. When you score one over a par for a particular hole, it means you’ve scored a bogey. However, if you score 2 over a par for a single hole or golf course, it becomes a double bogey. 
That is why a bogey is a better record when compared to a double bogey. For example, in a par-3 hole, making five strokes counts as a double bogey. Similarly, making six strokes for an individual hole in one par-4 becomes another double bogey. 
Anything scored 2 or above in a par for an individual hole, or golf course counts as a bad score. Triple bogey and a quadruple bogey are worse outcomes compared to a double bogey. Among a quadruple bogey, triple bogey, a double bogey, and a bogey, a bogey is a much better record than the former three. 

How often do pros make bogeys?  

Bogeys can be risky scores for professional golfers or even scratch golfers, but they can be accepted to a certain extent. According to the United States Golf Association, skilled players can be limited to score 2-3 bogey golf scores in each round of golf. 
Anything beyond that can get risky for professionals. An expert player or a scratch golfer needs to get the balls inside the golf hole with the lowest strokes. It means that professionals need to score pars for given holes. 
Any number of strokes over par in the particular holes exceeding one or two shots is considered risky for professionals. Although an average golfer makes more bogey scores in each round, it can get complicated for someone on higher skill levels. 
That is why most professional golfers are expected to play by making 2 or fewer bogeys in each round of golf. 

Final Words 

We have reached the end, and as we’re sure you can tell, a bogey holds a lot of significance in each golf round. They are a common score on many golf scorecards. Without adequate knowledge of common golfing terms, you can’t expect to perfect yourself and play with better scores out on the course. 

We hope our discussion on bogeys was able to answer your essential questions like “What is a bogey?” and “How do bogeys work?”