Bogey in Golf: What is it?

Whilst we strive for birdies and eagles, there’s another term in golf that players hope to avoid – the bogey. A bogey refers to scoring one stroke over par on a particular hole. The par represents the expected number of strokes to complete a hole- this i based on distance and difficultly level.

Impact of a Bogey in Golf

Getting a bogey will increase the golfers overall score and can hinder progress during the round. This is because you are falling short of the par average for the hole. Multiple bogeys within a round can make it hard to recover in a game or competition if players are matching the par on holes.

Bogeys on Par 3 Holes

  • Par 3 holes are generally shorter, however this means they require precision and accuracy and perfect club selection.
  • On a Par 3 a bogey is when you complete the hole in 4 shots, 1 over par.
  • The key on a Par 3 is to maintain focus and select an appropriate club for the distance to ensure that you hit close to on onto the green. If you aren’t sure rangefinders can be a great help in assisting you with club selection.
  • Avoid harsh shots off the tee and try to stick to fairways to ensure the ball approach shots are easy to pull off.

Bogeys on Par 4 Holes

  • Par 4 holes demand accurate tee shots and well-executed approach shots.
  • A bogey on a par 4 hole means completing the hole in two strokes over par- hence 5 golf swings.
  • Emphasize accuracy over distance on the tee shot, ensuring you find the fairway or position yourself favorably.
  • Strategize your approach shots to leave yourself a manageable putt for par.
  • Improve putting skills to limit the chance of missing par-saving putts.

Bogeys on Par 5 Holes

  • A bogey on a par 5 hole means completing the hole in three strokes over par, therefore 6 golf swings.
  • Assess the risk and reward of aggressive shots to decide whether to go for the green in two or to play safe and save par.
  • Develop accurate fairway wood shots to position yourself for a manageable approach.
  • Enhance your short game skills around the green to increase your chances of getting up and down for par.

Tips to Avoid Bogeys

Course Management

  • Understanding the course layouts, trouble spots and hazards is key. This means the more you play a hole the better you should become as your knowledge develops.
  • Plan shots to avoid any danger situations which may make it hard to find the green.
  • Play safe and aim for wider portions of fairways (which may take an extra shot) but will enable you to save par on the green.

Focus on Accuracy

  • To avoid bogeys accuracy is key- concentrate on hitting accurate tee shots which set you up nicely for the second shot.
  • Practice your swing so that you develop a consistent and reliable ball strike.
  • Aim for centre of the green as opposed to for the pin if it means that it gives you a better chance to hit it.

Short Game is Key

  • Practice chipping and pitching, this is especially key on longer par 5’s.
  • Work on distance control with wedges to enable shots to leave you with manageable pay saving putts.
  • Dedicate time to practicing chipping and putting as this will improve confidence and strengthen your ability.


While the bogey can be an unwelcome score in golf, understanding its nature and employing effective strategies can help you avoid it more consistently. By focusing on accuracy, honing your short game and managing the course wisely you can minimize the occurrence of bogeys and enhance your overall performance on the golf course.


Is bogey worse than par?

The term “par” represents the expected number of strokes to complete a hole based on its distance and difficulty level. A bogey, on the other hand, refers to scoring one stroke over par on a hole. Therefore, from a scoring perspective, a bogey is considered worse than par.

What does bogey score mean?

n golf, a bogey score refers to scoring one stroke over par on a hole. Par represents the expected number of strokes to complete a hole based on its distance and difficulty level. When a player scores a bogey, it means they took one more stroke than the designated par for that particular hole.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top