What is a Bogie in Golf? Friendly Guide to Golf Scoring




what is a bogie in golf

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Golf is a sport that requires both skill and knowledge of its unique scoring system. If you’re new to the game, it’s essential to understand the terminology to keep track of your scores accurately. One of the most common terms you’ll encounter in golf scoring is a bogie.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bogies are a common term in golf scoring and understanding them is necessary for accurate scorekeeping.

Understanding Golf Scoring Terms

Golf is a unique and fascinating sport rooted in tradition. It has its own set of lingo, which can be confusing for novices. Before diving into the concept of bogies, it’s crucial to understand some common golf scoring terms. This section will cover key terms and their meanings, setting the stage for a better understanding of bogies.

ParThe predetermined number of strokes it should take a skilled golfer to complete a hole, including putts.
BirdieA score of one stroke under par on a hole. For example, scoring 3 on a par 4 hole.
EagleA score of two strokes under par on a hole. For example, scoring 2 on a par 4 hole.
BogeyA score of one stroke over par on a hole. For example, scoring 5 on a par 4 hole.
Double BogeyA score of two strokes over par on a hole. For example, scoring 6 on a par 4 hole.
Triple BogeyA score of three strokes over par on a hole. For example, scoring 7 on a par 4 hole.

Besides these common scoring terms, other words that golfers may encounter include “par-3” (a hole that should take three strokes to complete), “match play” (a game format in which players compete hole by hole), and “stroke play” (a game format in which the total number of strokes is tallied for each player over the course of the entire game).

Why Understanding Golf Scoring Terms is Important

Knowing the lingo associated with golf scoring is crucial for players to understand their performance in the game. A solid grasp of these terms will enable players to describe their rounds accurately and reliably. Additionally, by monitoring their progress using these terms, golfers can track their games’ progress and identify areas that need improvement.

What is a Bogie in Golf?

A bogie is a golf term that refers to a score of one stroke over par for a particular hole. In other words, if the par for a hole is four and a golfer takes five shots, they have scored a bogie. Bogies are one of the most common scores in golf and can occur on any hole on the course.

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While bogies are not desirable, they are not necessarily detrimental to a golfer’s overall score. It’s important to remember that bogies are a natural part of the game and can happen to even the best golfers. However, minimizing the number of bogies scored can improve a player’s performance and increase their chances of achieving a lower overall score.

Golf Bogie Rules

In golf, a bogie is scored when a player completes a hole in one stroke over par. For example, if a player completes a par-4 hole in 5 strokes, they have scored a bogie.

The number of shots over par it takes to score a bogie depends on the difficulty of the hole and the player’s skill level. On most courses, par values range from 3 to 5 strokes per hole, so a bogie can be scored on any hole with a par value of 4 or higher.

It’s important to note that scoring a bogie won’t necessarily ruin a player’s scorecard or round. Bogies are common, and even professional golfers score bogies on occasion. However, minimizing the number of bogies scored is crucial for achieving lower scores and improving overall performance.

Scoring a Bogie

Scoring a bogie in golf is fairly straightforward, but it is important to do it accurately to ensure a correct scorecard. A bogie is scored when a golfer completes the hole in one shot over par. For example, if a par 4 hole is completed in 5 shots, a bogie is scored.

To score a bogie, write down the number of shots taken on the hole on the scorecard. Then, look at the par for the hole and add one to determine the bogie score. For example, if the hole is a par 3 and it took you 4 shots to complete, your score for that hole would be 4 and your bogie score would be 4 + 1, or 5.

It is important to note that a bogie does not have the same impact on a player’s score as a double bogey or worse. However, consistently scoring bogies can add up and significantly affect a player’s overall score.

Example of Scoring a Bogie

Hole #ParNumber of Shots TakenScoreBogie Score

In this example, the player scored a bogie on hole #4 because it was a par 4 and they completed it in 1 shot over par, taking them 3 shots instead of 4.

Impact of Bogies on Golfers’ Performance

Bogies are an inevitable part of golf, but they can have a significant impact on a player’s performance. The effect of bogies can vary depending on the player’s experience level and skillset, but there are several ways in which they can affect a golfer’s game.

Bogies can affect a golfer’s mindset

Scoring a bogie can be disheartening for many golfers. It can cause frustration and self-doubt, leading to a negative attitude that can affect the rest of their game. Golf is a mental game, and a negative mindset can lead to further mistakes and even more bogies.

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Bogies can change a golfer’s strategy

When a golfer scores a bogie, they may feel the need to make up for it by taking more risks. This can lead to even more mistakes and increase their chances of scoring additional bogies. Alternatively, a golfer may become more conservative in their approach, playing it safe and sacrificing opportunities for a low score.

Bogies can impact a golfer’s scorecard

Although a single bogie may not significantly impact a golfer’s overall score, multiple bogies throughout a round can make a significant difference. For example, one bogie on a par 3 hole may not be a big deal, but five bogies throughout a round can add up to five extra strokes and significantly increase the golfer’s score.

Therefore, it’s important for golfers to understand the impact of bogies on their game and take proactive measures to minimize their occurrence. By doing so, they can improve their overall performance and strive for lower scores.

Strategies to Minimize Bogies

Scoring bogies can be frustrating for many golfers, but there are several strategies that can help minimize their frequency. Here are some practical tips to help you reduce the number of bogies you score:

  1. Play defensively: One of the best ways to minimize bogies is to approach each shot with a defensive mindset. Focus on getting the ball onto the green, rather than trying to make a difficult shot.
  2. Manage your expectations: Recognize that bogies are a normal part of the game and try not to get too discouraged when you score one. Stay positive and keep moving forward.
  3. Practice smart: Include drills and exercises in your practice routine that target areas of your game where you tend to score bogies.
  4. Stay focused: Concentrate on each shot and don’t let distractions get in the way. Keep your mind on the game at all times.
  5. Take calculated risks: While playing defensively is important, there are times when taking a calculated risk can help you avoid bogies. Judge the situation carefully and choose your shots wisely.
  6. Simplify your game: Don’t try to make every shot too complicated. Keep it simple and focus on getting the ball in the hole with as few strokes as possible.

By incorporating these strategies into your game, you can minimize the number of bogies you score and improve your overall performance.

Improving Golf Skills to Avoid Bogies

Scoring bogies is a common issue for many amateur golfers. However, by improving their golf skills, players can reduce their bogie count and improve their overall game. Here are some skills to focus on:

  • Driving accuracy: Hitting more fairways means less time spent in the rough and fewer shots needed to reach the green. This can reduce the chances of scoring a bogie.
  • Approach shots: Consistently hitting greens in regulation reduces the need for difficult chip shots and can lead to more birdie opportunities.
  • Putting: Improving putting skills can help players save par and avoid bogies.
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Practice Makes Perfect

Improving golf skills requires practice, and incorporating specific drills into training routines can help players focus on key areas of their game. For example, practicing with alignment sticks can help improve driving accuracy, while lag putting drills can enhance putting skills and speed control.

Practice DrillDescription
Alignment Stick DrillPlace two alignment sticks on the ground, parallel to each other, and practice hitting drives between them. This helps improve accuracy and encourages a straighter ball flight.
Lag Putting DrillPlace several balls around the perimeter of the green and practice lag putting them to the hole. This helps improve distance control and reduces the likelihood of three-putting.

Remember, practicing with purpose is more effective than simply hitting balls on the driving range. Focus on specific skills that need improvement and work on them consistently.

Mental Game

In addition to physical skills, the mental game also plays a significant role in avoiding bogies. Golfers should develop a pre-shot routine to help stay focused and calm during play. Avoiding risky shots and playing within one’s abilities can also reduce the risk of scoring bogies.

Improving golf skills takes time, effort, and persistence. However, by practicing with purpose and focusing on specific areas of their game, golfers can reduce their bogie count and improve their overall scores.

Practice Drills for Bogie Prevention

Preventing bogies requires practice and patience. Here are some drills to help you improve your game:

1. Tee Shot Accuracy Drill

Place tees in the ground at equal distances from the center of the fairway. Practice hitting shots that land between the tees, focusing on shot accuracy and consistency.

2. Approach Shot Distance Drill

Place flags at various distances from the green, and practice hitting approach shots that land on or around the flags. This drill will help you improve your approach shot accuracy and distance control.

3. Chipping and Putting Drill

Set up a short game area with targets at different distances. Practice chipping and putting to these targets, focusing on accuracy and distance control.

4. Sand Bunker Drill

Practice hitting shots out of a sand bunker to improve your bunker play. Focus on hitting down on the ball and following through to create spin and control.

These drills will help you improve your golf skills and minimize your bogie count. Incorporate them into your practice routine and see the results on your scorecard.

Common Mistakes Leading to Bogies

Scoring bogies can be frustrating, especially when it happens due to avoidable mistakes. Here are some common mistakes that golfers make, which often result in bogies:

Missing short puttsGolfers often miss easy putts, leading to unnecessary strokes and bogies. Practice short putts to improve accuracy.
Hitting into hazardsWater, sand traps, and other hazards can quickly add up strokes. Avoid hitting towards hazards and choose safer shots.
Not accounting for windWind can greatly affect the trajectory of a golf ball. Failing to account for wind can lead to missed shots and bogies.
Poor course managementGolfers may not take into consideration their strengths and weaknesses or read the course effectively. This can lead to ill-advised shots and more bogies.

To avoid these common mistakes, golfers can work on their putting, select safer shots, account for weather conditions, and plan their shots strategically.

Mastering Golf Scoring: Beyond Bogies

Bogies are just one of several golf scoring terms that players must understand to fully master the game. Here are a few other important terms to know:

BirdieA score of one stroke under par on a hole.
EagleA score of two strokes under par on a hole.
Double BogeyA score of two strokes over par on a hole.
Triple BogeyA score of three strokes over par on a hole.

Understanding these terms will help golfers navigate the various challenges and opportunities presented on the course and give them a better understanding of their overall performance.


Understanding bogies in golf scoring is important for any golfer looking to improve their game. By recognizing what a bogie is and its impact on overall performance, players can take proactive measures to reduce their bogie count and achieve better scores.

In addition to minimizing bogies, there are other golf scoring terms that players should familiarize themselves with to gain a comprehensive understanding of the game’s scoring system. This knowledge can help golfers strategize and plan their shots more effectively, leading to better outcomes.

Remember, reducing the number of bogies scored is just one aspect of improving your golf game. Consistent practice and development of your golf skills will ultimately lead to better scores and greater enjoyment of the game.

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