Mastering the Bogey in Golf: Tips, Strategies, and Scoring Insights

Colin McCarthy

bogey in golf

Every new golfer dreams of mastering the art of bogey golf. Achieving a bogey on average for every hole means finishing a full 18-hole round 18 shots above par.

While it sounds straightforward, breaking 90 is a significant challenge for many. With a well-crafted bogey golf strategy, players can navigate this goal more efficiently.

The key to bogey golf lies in understanding and leveraging one’s strengths. From tee shots to putting, every aspect of the game requires a thoughtful approach.

Knowing where to position the ball on the fairway or the green can make all the difference. Even though the aim is to average a bogey per hole, there will be a mix of pars, bogeys, and the occasional double or triple bogey.

By focusing on strategic play and consistent practice, golfers can steadily improve their game and enjoy the journey to becoming a bogey golfer.

Understanding Bogey in Golf

What Is a Bogey?

A bogey in golf refers to a score that is one stroke over par on any given hole. For instance, if a hole has a par of 4 and the golfer scores 5, that is a bogey.

Bogeys are common, even among professional golfers. PGA golfers averaged 2.62 bogeys per round in the 2019 TOUR Championship.

Understanding bogey is essential for players aiming to improve their scoring and strategize effectively during a round.

The Origin of the Term “Bogey”

The term “bogey” has its roots in late 19th-century Great Britain. Golfers in Scotland and England linked the quest for the elusive “Bogey Man” to the pursuit of a challenging score. Initially, Major Charles Wellman, a British officer, referred to a player’s performance as chasing a “Bogey Man,” a term evolving from the Scottish word for goblin.

By the mid-1890s, “bogey” became established in golfing lexicon, symbolizing a score of one over par and embodying the golfer’s constant pursuit of improvement.

Variants of Bogey Scores

Bogey scores come in multiple forms:

  • Double Bogey: Two strokes over par.
  • Triple Bogey: Three strokes over par.
  • Quadruple Bogey: Four strokes over par.

For example, scoring 6 on a par-4 hole would be a double bogey. These scores indicate the golfer’s performance against the standard expectations of the hole.

Using the bogey concept, golfers can better track their progress and set realistic improvement goals. From newcomers to seasoned players, understanding and navigating bogey terms enhances strategic play and enriches the golfing experience.

Types of Golf Scores

Par and How It Differs from Bogey

Par signifies the number of strokes an expert golfer is expected to need to complete a hole. For example, a hole labeled as par 3 means an expert should finish it in three strokes.

Conversely, a bogey indicates one stroke more than par. Therefore, if a golfer completes a par 4 hole in five strokes, they record a bogey. This comparison highlights the relative ease of identifying areas requiring improvement in a player’s game.

Birdie, Eagle, and Albatross: Other Scoring Terms

Scoring in golf extends beyond par and bogey, incorporating terms like birdie, eagle, and albatross. A birdie represents one stroke under par.

For example, scoring a 2 on a par 3 hole equates to a birdie. An eagle denotes two strokes under par, such as completing a par 5 hole in three strokes.

An albatross, or double eagle, refers to three strokes under par, which is notably rare. These lower scores offer golfers additional milestones to aim for, adding depth to their strategic play and performance tracking.

The Role of Bogey in Golf Strategy

Bogeys play a crucial role in golf strategy, influencing how players approach each hole and manage their game. Here’s a breakdown of their significance:

Making Bogeys: Common Causes and Strategies to Avoid Them

Golfers often make bogeys due to various factors. Poor shot execution, misjudged distances, and unfavorable weather conditions contribute to higher scores. For example, a mishit drive can force a difficult second shot, while misreading greens can lead to three-putting.

To avoid bogeys, golfers implement several strategies:

  • Course Management: They choose safer shots over risky plays. Using a 3-wood instead of a driver enhances accuracy.
  • Practice: Improving short game and putting through consistent practice reduces strokes.
  • Mental Approach: Maintaining focus and managing stress helps in avoiding errant shots.

Effective bogey management relies on balancing risk and reward, thus minimizing unnecessary losses.

Adjusting Your Play for Bogey Management

Adapting play style to manage bogeys involves making calculated decisions. Golfers should assess each hole individually and plan their approach based on its layout. Recognizing potential hazards and considering wind conditions also assists in better shot selection.

In situations where a bogey seems inevitable, aiming for minimal damage ensures staying on track. For instance, opting for a layup instead of challenging a water hazard can prevent worse outcomes like double or triple bogeys.

Continuous evaluation of performance and making adjustments strengthens a golfer’s ability to manage bogeys efficiently. Emphasizing consistent, controlled play over aggressive tactics often leads to better overall scores.

What should a Bogey golf strategy include?

Crafting a strategy to manage bogeys effectively in golf involves a combination of mental preparedness, shot selection, and course management. Here’s what a bogey golf strategy might include:

Tee Shot Strategy

Effective tee shot strategy involves consistent placement of the ball. Aim for the fairway’s safer side, avoiding hazards. Targeting the side that opens up the easiest angle for your second shot minimizes risks. Choose clubs based on comfort and reliability rather than maximum distance to enhance control and accuracy.

Approach Shot Strategy

A good approach shot strategy avoids unnecessary risks. Aim for the center of the green unless in prime scoring distance.

Identify safe landing zones and avoid angling towards the pin if hazards are close by. Consider club selection carefully to manage distances precisely and control where the ball stops.

Scoring Tactics for a Bogey Golf Strategy

Scoring tactics in bogey golf rely on realistic goal setting for each hole. Plan for par on easier holes and accept bogey chances on tougher ones.

Evaluate each hole’s risks and adjust targets as needed. Focus on smart, conservative play rather than aggressive shots.

Recovery Shots Strategy

Effective recovery shots strategy emphasizes minimizing damage. Prioritize getting back into a good position on the fairway or green.

Accept a higher score rather than compounding mistakes. Understand your strengths and use them to get back on track, cutting losses quickly.

Putting Bogey Golf Strategy and Tactics

Putting strategy aims for consistency. Avoid over-aggressive pushes for birdie; focus on two-putting from most ranges.

Read the greens carefully and practice various putt lengths to gain confidence. Prioritizing consistent, steady putting reduces pressure and improves stroke reliability.

A well-rounded bogey golf strategy integrates careful planning and conservative play, focusing on minimizing mistakes and maximizing scoring opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main cause of a bogey in golf?

Common causes of bogeys include poor tee shots, inaccurate approach shots, missed putts, and difficulty in recovery from hazards or rough terrains on the course.

How can I avoid bogeys?

To avoid bogeys, focus on consistent tee shots, strategic approach shots, efficient putting, and effective recovery plans. Play conservatively and prioritize minimizing mistakes over aggressive play.

What is the significance of planning in bogey golf strategy?

Planning in bogey golf strategy involves choosing safe targets, understanding course layouts, and making conservative shot decisions to maximize scoring opportunities while minimizing risks.

How should I approach tee shots for bogey golf?

For bogey golf, opt for accuracy over distance in tee shots. Consistent and controlled drives reduce the risk of landing in hazards or roughs, setting up easier approach shots.

How important is putting in bogey golf?

Putting is crucial in bogey golf as it can significantly affect your score. Focus on distance control and aim to avoid three-putts to keep your scores consistent.

How can I recover effectively from bad shots?

If you find yourself in a tough spot, prioritize getting back onto the fairway or green with your recovery shot rather than taking risky attempts. Conservative play will help avoid higher scores like double or triple bogeys.


Mastering bogey golf requires understanding the nuances of each shot and adopting a strategic approach. By focusing on careful planning and conservative play, golfers can effectively manage their scores.

Each component, from tee shots to putting, plays a crucial role in minimizing mistakes and maximizing scoring opportunities.

With dedication and practice, achieving a consistent bogey golf game becomes an attainable goal for many players.

Additionally, analyzing past performance and identifying areas for improvement can further enhance your strategy. Advice from seasoned golfers and coaches can provide valuable insights, ensuring steady progress.

Photo of author

Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

Leave a Comment