What is a Bogey in Golf and What is a Bogey Golfer?

Learn what a bogey is in golf What is a Bogey in Golf and What is a Bogey Golfer? www.hombregolfclub.com

Bogey and bogey golfer are terms used in golf on a regular basis. Whether you’re new to the sport of golf or have been a seasoned player for ages, the definition of these terms and what it means to be a bogey golfer can sometimes be confusing, as can any term in golf. It’s important to note that there are actually two definitions of a bogey golfer out there. We will go into both of them. One is formal and the other is just a casual thing for recreational golfers.

If you’re among those of us who aren’t quite sure what these terms mean, join us as we delve into our blog on bogeys, bogey golfers and what it means to be one. First off, it’s important to note that while used in professional golf, the pros don’t like bogeys. However, if you’re a recreational player, then it’s a good score to have. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and learn about bogey’s together, shall we?


What is a Bogey in Golf?

In the sport of golf, a bogey is defined as having a score of one over par. Believe it or not, the score has been used for over a century now. The history of the bogey is something we will go into in our next section. Bogey is used in both professional and recreational golf. While it’s not uncommon in professional golf, the pros aren’t pleased when they receive this score. In recreational golf, however, it’s a pleasing score to get. In other words, if a golfer completes a 4-par hole in golf in five swings, then they have scored a bogie.

What is the History of the Bogey in Golf?

As with anything else in the world, the bogey has a history. We’ll go a little bit into that history below.

The first thing to note is that the word bogey was once spelled bogie, though today that is considered a misspelling of the term and not used. The term bogey was said to be coined in the late 1800s in British golf and transcended to American golf as well.

According to the USGA museum bogey is indeed related to the Boogey Man that gets little children if they don’t behave, and some adults as well. The “Bogey Man” was actually featured in a song performed in 19th-century dance halls. The song was called “Here Comes the Bogey Man,” and one of the phrases in the song said, “I’m the Bogey Man catch me if you can.” The Bogey Man lived in the shadows, of course, which was why he was the Bogey Man.

By the 1880s, British golfers were forming terms and ways to score their popular game of golf. Things such as how many strokes it should take to play the hole were being decided. Par was at that time called a ground score and not something a great golfer would want their score to be. Instead, “ground score,” was for amateurs.

Of course, this made the golfers want to work hard and beat the ground score of the amateurs and be considered a great golf player. If was around 1890, that a golfer declared that a ground score was a “Regular Bogey Man,” which referred to the song and bogey was born. It wasn’t long before golfers everywhere started referring to every hole ground score as “chasing the bogey man.”

It wasn’t long before the word “bogey” replaced the word “ground score,” for golfers everywhere, except in America. As a matter of fact, the word “Par,” was just making an appearance as a golfing term in the United States in the early 1900s. Soon, the words “par and bogey,” began to mean different things and that gets us to where we are today, where par is a score that an expert in golf is supposed to make on a hole, and a bogey is one being one over par instead.


What Are the Types of Bogeys?

While getting a bogey might strike fear in the hearts of golfers everywhere, it’s bound to happen and is nothing to be afraid of. What you do need to note, however, is that there are different types of bogeys to consider. We will list the terms and their definitions for you below.

  • A double bogey means you are two over par
  • A triple bogey means you are three over par
  • Birdy means you’re actually one under par
  • An eagle means you’re two under par
  • An albatross means you’re three under par

These are the terms you need to know when it comes to bogeys and what they mean. Study them and soon you’ll be an expert golfer yourself. There are a few more terms that can be associated with a bogie in golf, but those are rarely used. If you get into anything over a triple bogey, it’s probably best not to name it or talk about it with your buddies.

Now that we know what a bogey is, let’s move into the section of our blog that is being devoted to what a bogey golfer is. Ready? Then let’s get started!

What is a Bogey Golfer?

A Bogey Golfer is a term used by golfers to describe a golfer whose average is usually around one bogey per hole. However, the term also has a place in the golf lexicon as a formal definition approved by the USGA handicap system. We will look at both of the meanings of a bogey golfer below.

What is a Bogey Golfer in Common Language?

In common usages, such as a recreational golfer, being a bogey golfer means that you are averaging around one bogey per hole. If you’re doing that on a par-72 golf course, then your average will be around 90 as an average score.

If you’re not happy with that average, then, of course, you can work to improve your game. However, you should keep in mind that as a bogey golfer, you’re still doing better than the majority of recreational golfers out there are doing, and that’s something to be proud of. Think about it. Various studies have shown that most people who try golf never even break 100 and only a very, very small percentage ever manage to break 90, so you are doing something to be proud of!


What is a Bogey Golfer in the USGA Handicap System?

The above is a definition in common language, that’s not what being a bogey golfer means in the USGA Handicap system, however. Not only does the term have a specialized meaning in professional golf, but it is also considered to be an important term and is used for the rating systems for handicaps.

A male golfer is a bogey golfer if he has a handicap of 17.5 to 22.4 strokes. A female golfer will have a handicap of 21.5 to 26.4 strokes. There is a rating team that takes into account everything from the gender of the golfer to the difficulty of the course and then hands out the bogey golfer ratings based on these factors. There are also many comparisons that are made between bogey golfers and scratch golfers as well, but we will go into that in another blog on down the line.

Needless to say, being a bogey golfer is considered to be a bit of a problem, but there are ways you can remedy a bogey and turn it into a par. When you’re close to the green there are quite a few clean shots that can help you convert what looks like it’s going to be a bogey into the much more desired par you’re after. If you work on perfecting chipping, lobbing, and pitching your ball out of the sand bunker then you have a better chance. As with anything else in the sports world, practice makes perfect and practice is what you should be doing, every chance you get.


This concludes our blog on what a bogey is in golf and what a bogey golfer is as well. We have established that having a bogey in golf can be a problem, with a double bogey being even more of one. However, practice can help you swing your way out of that trap, you just have to be willing to put the hours in. How do you do out on the green? Or you trying to improve and get out from under the title of bogey golfer? Let us know what you’re doing and what you think in the comments. We will love to hear your thoughts. Until next time, happy golfing everyone!



ThoughtCO: What is a Bogey Golfer?

Uber Golf: What Does a Bogey in Golf Mean?

ThoughtCO: Tracing the Origins of Bogey as a Golf Term




Pin for later