Why Is It Called A Bogey In Golf?

The term “bogey” was initially used in golf to describe a specific score that golfers would use as their benchmark for success. For example, if the player’s goal is to shoot an even 100, shooting a bogey would mean they achieved their goal.

Why is it called a bogey in golf?

This term has stayed with the game and now a bogey refers to any time a player scores one over par. Bogey golfers are the most common in the sport, with an average of 70 bogeys per 100 holes.

Bogey’s are common at all levels of golf.  From the professional golfer playing country clubs to the weekend warrior at his local golf club.  These golf scores are normal for good golfers and bad golfers.  Most of the time they are caused by an errant shot during the hole.

History of Bogey

The phrase “bogey” was used in British folklore in the early 1890s to describe a hideous or terrible figure that moved about at night. In Britain, during this era, a song called “The Bogey Man” (later known as “The Colonel Bogey March”) became popular. I’m the Bogey Man; if you can, try and capture me.

what does bogey mean in golf

The idea that there was a bogey man who lurked behind every bush in search of a perfect score terrified Scottish and English golfers in the late 1800s. By the mid-1890s, “bogey score” had come to mean the best possible score that an excellent player could obtain on a hole under ideal conditions. It also became popular to refer to stroke play competitions.

Par is a well-known word in sports handicapping, simply ‘level’ or ‘even.’ The term “par” was first used in the late 1800s/early 1910s when it became apparent that a scratch player should be able to take no more than the stated number of strokes on a hole under ideal conditions. In this respect, par was differentiated from a bogey.

What Is A Bogey?

A bogey, or bogie, is a score of one stroke over par, but what is the difference between bogeys and birdies?

Bogeys are “one-shot above par,” whereas birdies are “one under par.” It’s pretty straightforward if you think about it like this; a person who shoots +1/par (or -0/birdie) would score a bogey. However, a person who shoots -1/par (or +1/birdie) would score a birdie.

How Is Par Determined?

Golf holes are assigned numerical values that reflect the maximum number of strokes a skilled golfer should require to complete that hole. So par is the numerical value of the “average” hole and represents how many strokes an expert golfer should need to play it without accounting for any factors that might influence their performance on the course.

what's a bogey in golf

The lowest possible par score for a given golf hole is determined by its overall length (in yards) and the total number of shots required to reach it. These elements determine whether you’ll face a clear approach shot or will be forced to navigate some sort of hazard like water or other rough areas during your round. Once you know what par is for a specific golf hole, you can break down how well you do on each shot and how you contribute to your overall score.

Is Bogey Golf Good?

Bogey golfers (those who score one stroke over par on a hole) make up the majority of players. A bogey represents an excellent round of golf, and if you shoot a bogey on every hole or even on most holes, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Par is the average number of strokes per hole based on the length and difficulty of the course, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t play at a more advanced level than par.

So if you are a bogey golfer, you will likely be shooting around 90 for 18 holes, which is a good place to be.  Room for improvement, but you are still beating a lot of other golfers on a daily basis!

What Counts As A Bogey?

There are many scoring combinations possible in golf that produce the same result of one over par, including double-bogey (score of two strokes above par on a hole), triple-bogey (three strokes above par on a hole), etc. In this sense, it is better to think of ‘bogey’ as shorthand for “one above par” rather than strictly meaning one stroke over.

Why Are Bogey Golfers The Majority Of Players?

There are many possible reasons for this including more holes on average in an 18-hole course means that there is a greater chance to have bad luck. There are also physical and experience limitations that may prevent you from scoring better than par.

bogey golf definition

How Can I Shoot My First Bogey?

Many new players don’t gauge how many shots they should take on each hole (the number of shots it takes to reach your desired destination). If you don’t understand the length and difficulty of various holes, try breaking them down into smaller components like approach shot distance and green structure (distance off the tee and the tricky parts of the green).

Then you will have a better idea as to how many shots it will take to reach your destination on each hole.

What Happens If You Score A Double Bogey?

Score of two over par on one hole are double bogeys.   In this case, a player has missed the fairway or hit it into tough rough or other trouble.  Or as the average golfer sometimes does, they just missed too many putts on that hole.

How Do You Score A Triple Bogey?

Scores of three over par on one hole are triple bogeys.  In this case, a player has hit the ball into extremely tough rough or other trouble with one of their golf shot on that hole.

These scores, as well as the quintuple bogey, are quite rare amoung professional golfers.  Not impossible, but certainly rare.

Improve Your Score Through Careful Practice

Golf is a game of strategy. However, if you don’t have the skillset to compete at the expert level, it can be difficult for even an average player to score well in golf. That’s because many factors contribute to your final score on any given hole, including how far away from the green you hit your ball and which side of the green you end up on after hitting it.

Stay dedicated to improving and remain consistent in your craft, and the results will show with time. You will be sticking your approach shots and lowering your scores. And remember, as always, that practice makes perfect!

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