Feb 25, 2024
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

What Is a Bogey in Golf?

When embarking on the lush greens of the golf course, every stroke counts, and one term that echoes through fairways is "bogey." Step onto the course equipped with clubs and a deeper understanding of golf's terminology and traditions, embracing the challenge of pursuing the elusive score embodied in the term "bogey."

What Is a Bogey?

In golf, a "bogey" refers to a score on a hole one stroke over par. The term "par" represents the number of strokes we expect an expert golfer to make on a specific hole or for the entire course. If a golfer completes a hole in more strokes than the designated par, they score a bogey on that hole. For example, on a par-4 hole, a golfer who takes five strokes to finish the hole would score a bogey.

Why Is It Called a Bogey?

The term "bogey" in golf terminology has its origins in a popular British song from the early 1890s titled "The Bogey Man" (later known as "The Colonel Bogey March"). The song's lyrics featured the character of the Bogey Man, an elusive figure who declared, "I'm the Bogey Man, catch me if you can." The term "bogey" from the song, which described a mysterious and hard-to-catch figure, was eventually adopted by golfers and became associated with pursuing an ideal score on a golf hole.

In golf, the term "bogey" came to represent the score we expect a proficient or expert player to achieve on a hole under perfect conditions. Golfers in Scotland and England embraced chasing the elusive Bogey Man as a metaphor for the quest to reach or surpass this idealized score. By the mid to late 1890s, "bogey score" was firmly established in golfing vocabulary.

The term "bogey" in golf is a testament to the sport's rich history and traditions, with its roots in a catchy British song that captured the imagination of golfers and found its place in the game's lexicon. Pursuing bogey scores and the subsequent emergence of par as a standard have become fundamental aspects of golf scoring and terminology.

Is a Bogey in Golf Good?

A bogey isn't a good score in golf because it represents a score higher than the designated par for a particular hole. "bogey" describes a score of one stroke over par on a hole. Par is the number of strokes an expert or scratch golfer must take to complete the hole.

Golfers aim to score at or below par on each hole to achieve the lowest possible total score for the round. While a bogey is not ideal, it is common for golfers of various skill levels. Golfers strive to minimize the number of bogeys and, ideally, aim for birdies (scores one stroke under par) or even eagles (two strokes under par).

Is a Bogey Better Than a Birdie?

No, in golf, a bogey is not better than a birdie. "Bogey" and "birdie" describe scores relative to par on a golf hole. In golf, the objective is to complete each hole in as few strokes as possible. Therefore, a birdie, representing a score better than par, is considered a more favorable outcome than a bogey. Golfers aim to accumulate as many birdies and eagles (two strokes under par) as possible to achieve a low total score for the round.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Bogey Golfer?

A bogey golfer has a golf handicap of approximately 18, indicating an average score of one stroke over par per hole. This skill level suggests moderate proficiency, as the golfer consistently scores close to bogey on each hole. The term helps classify players based on their relative performance in the game.

What Is Your Handicap if You Bogey Every Hole?

If you bogey every hole, your handicap would typically be around 18. A bogey golfer averages one stroke over par per hole. Since there are 18 holes in a standard round, each bogey contributes to an overall score that aligns with the bogey golfer's handicap.

Final Thoughts

Beginner and advanced golfers aim to minimize bogeys and strive for birdies or eagles to achieve lower overall scores. The game's rich history and traditions are reflected in the terminology, emphasizing the pursuit of excellence on the course. Additionally, a bogey golfer, with an approximate handicap of 18, consistently scores close to bogey on each hole, showcasing moderate proficiency.

As for minimizing bogeys, ensure you are equipped with the top golfing gear, like bags and apparel, from Stitch Golf. Then head on out to your local course—after all, practice makes perfect!