What is a Bogey in Golf

In the world of golf, the term “bogey” is a common and important concept that every golfer should understand. A bogey is a scoring designation used to indicate the number of strokes it takes a golfer to complete a hole. It plays a fundamental role in assessing a golfer’s performance on the course and is a key element in determining one’s overall score.

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Defining a Bogey

A bogey is a score that represents a single stroke over the designated par for a specific hole. Par is the predetermined number of strokes that an expert golfer is expected to take to complete a hole, factoring in the distance, obstacles, and other course conditions. The concept of par is used to standardize the difficulty level of golf courses.

How Bogeys Are Scored

To better understand what a bogey is, let’s consider an example:

  1. Par 3 Hole: If a golf hole is designated as a par 3, it means that an expert golfer is expected to complete the hole in three strokes. Therefore, if a player takes four strokes to complete this hole, they would have made a bogey (4 – 3 = +1).
  2. Par 4 Hole: Similarly, on a par 4 hole, if a golfer takes five strokes to complete the hole, they would have made a bogey (5 – 4 = +1).
  3. Par 5 Hole: On a par 5 hole, taking six strokes to finish the hole would result in a bogey (6 – 5 = +1).

Scoring Implications of a Bogey

Understanding bogeys is crucial for keeping track of your golf score. Each bogey adds one stroke to your scorecard. Golfers often aim to avoid making bogeys, as they can quickly add up and negatively impact their overall score. Consistency and avoiding bogeys are essential for achieving low scores and improving one’s golf game.

Variations of Bogeys

In addition to the standard bogey (+1), there are variations that golfers use to describe their performance on a hole:

  1. Double Bogey: This occurs when a golfer takes two strokes more than the par on a hole. For example, on a par 4 hole, if a golfer takes six strokes, they’ve made a double bogey.
  2. Triple Bogey: Similar to the double bogey, a triple bogey signifies three strokes over par. So, on a par 5 hole, taking eight strokes results in a triple bogey.
  3. Bogey-Free: Golfers often aim to complete a round without making any bogeys. Achieving a bogey-free round is a testament to a golfer’s skill and consistency.

Strategies to Avoid Bogeys

Avoiding bogeys and striving for consistent play is a goal for golfers of all skill levels. Here are some strategies to help you minimize bogeys during your rounds:

  1. Course Management: Knowing the layout of the golf course, including hazards, bunkers, and slopes, is crucial. Make informed decisions about club selection and shot placement to avoid potential trouble.
  2. Practice Short Game: Improving your putting, chipping, and pitching skills can help you save strokes around the greens. A strong short game can turn potential bogeys into pars or even birdies.
  3. Stay Patient: Sometimes, golfers become frustrated after a bad shot, leading to more mistakes. Staying patient and focused can prevent compounding errors and unnecessary bogeys.
  4. Manage Risk: Assess the risk-reward scenario before attempting a challenging shot. If the risk of a poor outcome is high, consider a safer option that reduces the likelihood of making a bogey.
  5. Consistent Swing: Work on developing a consistent swing that minimizes mis-hits. A reliable swing can help you avoid trouble and keep your shots on target.
  6. Course Strategy: Understand your own strengths and weaknesses and adapt your strategy accordingly. On longer holes, focus on reaching the green in regulation, while on shorter holes, prioritize accuracy over distance.
  7. Mental Toughness: Golf is as much a mental game as a physical one. Stay focused, maintain a positive mindset, and don’t dwell on previous mistakes. Each hole is an opportunity to start fresh.
  8. Practice Putting: Many bogeys occur due to missed putts. Regular practice on the putting green can help you develop the confidence and skill needed to sink those critical putts for par or better.

Types of Scores in Golf

Score TypeDescriptionRelative to ParExample
BirdieScore of one stroke under par for the hole-13
ParScore equal to the standard number of strokes04
BogeyScore of one stroke over par for the hole+15
Double BogeyScore of two strokes over par for the hole+26
Triple BogeyScore of three strokes over par for the hole+37

Common Golf Terms

BogeyA score of one stroke over par for a hole.
ParThe standard number of strokes a skilled golfer should take to complete a hole.
StrokeA single swing of the golf club.
Par-3A golf hole that is expected to be completed in three strokes.
FairwayThe closely mowed, well-maintained part of the golf course between the tee and the green.

 Scoring Examples

HoleGolfer’s StrokesPar for HoleScore Relative to Par

Bogey and Par Explained

DefinitionScore of one stroke over par.Score equal to standard par.
OutcomeGenerally considered acceptable.Desired score for each hole.
Scoring+1 relative to par.0 relative to par.
PerformanceAverage or slightly above.Skilled and on target.
StrategyFocus on avoiding mistakes.Strive to meet or beat par.
GoalConsistency with fewer errors.Excellence and precision.

Bogey Scenarios

ScenarioGolfer’s ScoreRelative to Par
Golfer completes a par-3 hole in 4 strokes.4+1
Golfer completes a par-4 hole in 6 strokes.6+2
Golfer completes a par-5 hole in 7 strokes.7+2
Golfer completes a par-3 hole in 2 strokes.2-1
Golfer completes a par-4 hole in 5 strokes.5+1
Golfer completes a par-5 hole in 4 strokes.4-1
Golfer completes a par-3 hole in 3 strokes.30
Golfer completes a par-4 hole in 4 strokes.40
Golfer completes a par-5 hole in 6 strokes.6+1
Golfer completes a par-3 hole in 5 strokes.5+2


In golf, bogeys represent a common scoring designation, indicating a golfer has taken one stroke more than the designated par for a specific hole. While bogeys are a part of the game, golfers aim to minimize them through skill, strategy, and mental fortitude. Understanding how to avoid bogeys and recover from mistakes is essential for achieving lower scores and enjoying the sport to its fullest. With practice and the right mindset, golfers can strive for consistent play and the satisfaction of a well-played round.


What is a Bogey in Golf


  • Anglo Carson

    Anglo Carson, a Certified Golf Instructor, embarked on a remarkable journey, driven by his unwavering love for golf. He founded The Golf Mine with a singular mission - to create a golfing haven where passion knows no boundaries. His lifelong love affair with golf, combined with his expertise as a Certified Golf Instructor, turned into a vision to share his extensive knowledge, inspire, and promote the game he holds dear.

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