Bogey is not a word new to golf enthusiasts and aficionados, but for first-timers or casual players, it may be an unfamiliar term. For the uninitiated, bogeys are points that act as buffers between par; which can range from 1 – 5 depending on your course’s difficulty level.

If you’re fairly new to golfing there will likely come a time where you’ll hear the dreaded “bogey” called out over speakers at your local club after hitting just one errant ball off into some sand traps near the green of hole number three! However, this should not invoke feelings of frustration: rather look back with pride knowing that in addition to getting your groove back around holes four through seven tomorrow morning during warm-ups.

So, what is a bogey in golf?

A bogey refers to a score that is one stroke higher than par on a hole. A par 5 hole would give an example of a score of 6. A bogey can be considered a good score for a golfer. According to the National Golf Foundation, the average score for an 18-hole round of golf is around 100. This is almost 10 strokes higher than around that has 18 bogeys.

Golf is about getting the ball in the hole with the least amount of strokes possible. A bogey, which is one stroke more than par, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is bad. An average golfer aims to make one bogey on every hole.

What is a Bogey in Golf?

Will playing BOGEY golf actually help you make more PARS

A Bogey is a golf scoring term where the player scored one stroke over par on that particular hole. They’re the result of poor shot-making and can really hurt your score on any given hole, especially if they keep happening over and over again!

Some examples of bogeys are 4 strokes on a 3-par hole, 5 strokes on a 4-par hole, and 6 strokes on an 18-hole course.

A bogey golfer refers to a player who averages a score of around bogey for every hole. If par for an 18-hole golf course is 72 then a bogey golfer’s score will average around 90. Bogey golfers are able to adapt their strategy to any course.

A bogey golfer might try to score 5.

Similar to a par 3 hole, the goal is two shots on the putting green with two more putts in the hole.

Is Scoring a Bogey Bad?

Is a Bogey Bad?

It depends on how skilled a golfer is.

Professional, scratch and low handicap golfers will not be pleased if they make a bogey. They are always trying to score par or better every hole.

However, considering you’re reading an article titled “What is Bogey in Golf?”, you’re likely at a skill level where you should take pride when you can manage only to score one stroke over par.

On a par 72 course, if you made a bogey every hole, your score would be 90. A score of 90 or higher is an impressive achievement for a beginner golfer.

Is a Bogey Good or Bad in Golf?

BOGEY golf

A bogey could be a good or bad score, depending on how the score was obtained. Let’s take an example to show how two golfers can get the same score but in totally different ways.

Lucian and Mackie are golfing together. Lucian scores a 5 on their first hole par 4. Mackie His first shot is 250 yards down the fairway. His second shot is 10 feet away from the green. Lucian In the meantime, he makes his first shot from 150 yards away and hits it into the trees.

Then he hits the bunker sideways across a fairway. He hits his third shot 75 yards short of the green but in heavy rough. Lucian The fourth shot is made from thick grass and comes down on the green, which is 60 feet away from the hole.

Since Lucian He is the one who putts closest to the hole. Lucian The putt glides gracefully over the green, hugging every corner, and gently falls into the hole for a Bogey 5.

Lucian’s pranks make me irritated Mackie was able to make the putt. gets distracted and hits his birdie putt six feet past the hole. Mackie was frustrated that he had hit the ball too hard. His second putt was 1″ too short. He only needed a tap to score bogey 5.

Both players scored the same amount, but they did it in totally different ways. Lucian won the match after four poor shots. He was able to make one great shot, which secured his score.

Mackie is still available. He made two excellent shots to reach the green, but his only really bad putt was what caused his bogey.

“Double Bogey,” “Triple Bogey,” “Quadruple Bogey”

Names for scores that are worse than a Bogey are not very original.

  • A “Double Bogey”, is a score of two strokes more than par on any hole.
  • A “Triple Bogey”, is a score of three strokes more than par on any hole.
  • A “Quadruple Bogey” is a score of four strokes more than par on any hole.

Five strokes on par-3 would result in a double bogey and nine strokes on par-5 in a quadruple.

What Is a Bogey Golfer’s Handicap?

How To Go From Bogey Golfer To Scratch Golfer

For course rating purposes, a handicap for a bogey golfer lies somewhere between 17.5 – 22.4 for men and 21.5 to 26.4 for women.

The handicap system for golf creates equity between players with different skill levels. It assigns a number to each player based on the most recent scores.

The handicap of a golfer is an indicator of how many strokes they will average over par per round. However, not every golfer will shoot their handicap.

Also, handicaps can be adjusted based on the rating of the course or its difficulty.

A golf course rating team determines the difficulty of a course by measuring the holes.

Every measurement is adjusted for wind, roll, elevation changes, and altitude.

The golf rating team uses formulas, adjustments, and table values to calculate a golf course’s course rating (evaluation of the overall difficulty of the course in normal conditions for a scratch player) and slope rating (an indication of how difficult a course is for non-scratch golfers).

A rating team for golf courses considers the following factors and measures:

  • The length of the hole and the elevation change.
  • The putting green is measured in terms of size, speed, and undulation.
  • Width at certain landing areas.
  • Dimension, depth, and number of bunkers on a hole.
  • Carry distance from the fairway to the tee box.
  • Water hazards or out of bounds.
  • Psychology of the golfer, or visual or psychological intimidation.

Bogeys for Average Players

MyGolfSpy and TheGrint The average number of birdies, better, pars, and worse scores per round for golfers with different skill levels was analyzed by (a golf GPS app and a handicapping app).

Bogeys for Average Players

The study found that those with a 16-20 handicap were more likely to win (which is often the case). Average handicap Average bogeys for all golfers were 7.3, 4.7 double, and 2.1 triple bogeys per 18-hole round. This skill level golfers only managed 3.6 pars, 0.3 birdies on average, it is better

One group further down, the 21-25 handicap golfers, had an average of 8.9 double-bogeys per 18 holes. They scored less than a bogey in almost half of their holes.

Every Golfer Makes Bogeys and Worse, Even the Pros

Even the most skilled golfers can score bogeys. The average bogey for PGA golfers in 2019 was 2.62 TOUR Championship.

Rory McIlroy was the player with the lowest number of bogeys around that year. Even with this, players of his caliber still struggle tremendously on bad days.

In the opening round of the Open Championship, Rory McIlroy began the first hole with an uncharacteristic quadruple birdie, then 4-putted the par-3 16th for a double bogey and ended his round with a three-bogey on hole 18.

What Is a Scratch Golfer?

A scratch golfer is one who averages close to par on every hole. It is difficult to become a scratch golfer. This requires patience, skill, and dedication to continuously improving one’s game and strategy.

While most professional golfers are scratch players, not all scratch golfers can be called professionals.

The Colors of Golf Scores

Scoreboards at golf tournaments are displayed in different colors in order to make it easier for fans to recognize the scores relative to par.

Similar to the business world, a company with negative earnings is a company that’s ‘in red’. A company that’s ‘in black’ has positive earnings.

Referring to golf, a green number indicates that the score is below par or negative. A black number signifies that the score is higher or lower than par. A green number indicates a score of even par.

What is a Score Higher than a Bogey Called?

What is a Score Higher than a Bogey Called

A bogey, as it is commonly known, is a score that is one stroke above par for a hole of golf. A score of two strokes or more is a double bogey, while a score of three strokes or more is a triple-bogey.

The quadruple and quintuple double bogeys are additional over par scores. Below is a chart showing the correlation of scores and their names for each hole par.

Different Ways to Score Golf

While most golfers only record the score, there are other symbols that can be used to indicate whether someone has a birdie or double bogey.

  • Eagle – A double circle or a single circle with a shaded area around the number.
  • Birdie – One circle around the score.
  • Par – The number is not recorded, no symbols are used
  • Bogey – One square around the score.
  • Double Bogey – Double the score by placing a square around it.
  • Triple Bogey, or Worse – Double or triple squares around the score.


What Is Par in Golf for 18 Holes?

The average par for an 18-hole course is 72. This means that you will have a birdie on roughly 20% of the holes, and your full round should take about 5 hours to complete. The typical golf course has four Par 3s, ten Par 4s, and four Par 5s which equals out to be 36 total strokes per hole when accounting for pars (two) in addition to bogeys or worse.

What Is the Lowest Golf Score Ever?

Alexander Hughes and Rhein Gibson have recorded the lowest ever round of golf scores at 55 (-16). Gibson scored 55 at River Oaks Golf Club, Edmond, Oklahoma in 2012, while Hughes recorded 55 at South Lakes Golf Course, Jenks, Oklahoma in 2023.

What Is an Ostrich in Golf?

An ostrich in golf is a term for shooting 5 under par, which requires either a hole-in-one on the sixth or seventh green or two strokes to complete.! A golfer can achieve this feat by making the hole on one of those pesky pars sixes or getting two strokes for their single stroke on a 7s course. And while ostriches are incredibly rare, most golfers will never see a par 6 or 7 holes so there might be hope for you out there!


If this article is the first time you learned what a bogey is, you’re probably new to golf. While your more experienced golfing buddies or the pros you watch on TV may be disappointed when they score bogeys, “bogey golf” is a level to aspire to for new golfers. Feel free to get excited the next time you score a bogey on a hole. The first round that you average scoring just one over par is also a huge milestone.