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What is a Bogey in Golf?

A bogey in golf is 1 stroke over the par assigned for the hole. It’s a common score for the average golfer.

A bogey occurs when a golfer takes one more stroke than par for a given hole. A par is the number of strokes the golf course expects you to take to complete the hole. So if the par on a hole is a 4, a bogey would be the score of 5.

Examples of the Scores That Result in a Bogey

Here are some examples of bogeys:

  • Use 4 strokes on a Par 3 hole
  • Use 5 strokes on a Par 4 hole
  • Use 6 strokes on a Par 5 hole

A bogey is always worse than a par, but better than a double bogey. The scoring goal in golf is to use as few swings as possible.

Is a Bogey Good or Bad?

Whether or not a bogey is good or bad depends on the expectations of the golfer. A scratch golfer (someone who expects to hit a par on every hole) would not be pleased with a bogey while a beginner golfer with a high handicap may be thrilled with a bogey. 

What is a Bogey Golfer?

A bogey golfer is a player who expects to hit a bogey on every hole. Thus, their handicap will be around 18 or 20. This is akin to a scratch golfer who expects to hit a par on every hole. Most regular golfers are bogey golfers so a bogey isn’t out of the norm. 

What is a Net Bogey?

A net bogey is a +1 on your scorecard after your strokes over par are adjusted for any handicap stroke applied on that hole.

So if you’re playing in a tournament with a Net score award, then the handicap system may assign you a stroke for a particular hole. So if a hole has a Par of 4 and the handicap system provides a golfer with a stroke on that particular hole, then the strokes taken for a net bogey for the hole is a 6 (Par 4 + 1 extra stroke + 1 stroke given). 

How Do I Avoid a Bogey?

As I mentioned above, a bogey isn’t necessarily bad depending on your skill level and golf handicap. But to avoid a bogey, there isn’t any room for error so all of your shots must be a good shot, or 1 bad shot with 1 great shot to recover from the bad shot. 

To give yourself the best chance at avoiding a bogey, here are some common tips:

  • If playing in a tournament, play a round at the golf course before the tournament begins. Knowing the nooks and crannies of holes on a course can be extremely valuable. It also helps to know the speed of the greens.
  • Hire a professional golf teacher to smooth out your swing and remove any bad habits you’ve built up over the years. A good instructor will explains the whys and why-nots so you have a better understanding of your own swing.
  • Practice, practice, practice! The more you practice the more you’ll feel comfortable with your swing and improve your short game.

FAQ

Do Pros Shoot Bogeys?

Yes, even the best golfers in the world hit bogeys. It’s all part of the game, for every level of golfer. According to PGA golf statistics, a PGA Tour Pro will hit anywhere from 2 – 3 bogeys per round. 

How Do You Mark a Double Bogey on a Scorecard?

On your golf scorecard, a bogey is indicated by adding 1 square around the score. For a double bogey, you simply add a second square around the score.

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V Tongwarin

V Tongwarin

Visanu Tongwarin or “Coach V” is a Class A PGA Teaching Professional at Legacy Ridge Golf Course and Walnut Creek Golf Preserve in Westminster, Colorado. V's brings his passion for teaching the game of golf to all levels of golfers from running children clinics to training state champions and seasoned professionals.