Mastering Double Bogey in Golf: Tips to Improve Your Game and Lower Scores

Colin McCarthy

Double Bogey In Golf

In the world of golf, understanding the significance of a double bogey can greatly impact your game strategy.

A double bogey occurs when a player scores two strokes over the par for a given hole. For instance, on a par 3 hole, a score of 5 is a double bogey; on a par 4 hole, it’s a score of 6, and on a par 5, it’s a score of 7.

While professional golfers dread double bogeys, for beginners and recreational players, they are quite common and often considered a decent score.

In fact, many recreational golfers average around 36-over par for an 18-hole round, which translates to being double bogey golfers. Understanding this can help players set realistic goals and track their progress as they strive to improve their game.

Understanding Golf Scoring

Golf scoring can seem daunting at first, but it’s quite straightforward once you get the hang of it.

Here’s a breakdown:

What Is a Double Bogey?

A double bogey is a score of two strokes over par on a single hole. For example, on a par-3 hole, a double bogey is a score of five.

On a par-4 hole, it’s a six, and on a par-5 hole, it’s a seven. Double bogeys are not desirable outcomes for professional golfers, but they are common among beginners and recreational players.

For many, a double bogey represents a standard score, as most recreational golfers average around 36-over par for an 18-hole round.

Improving your game to avoid double bogeys involves practicing key skills such as driving accuracy, iron play, and putting.

Focusing on course management and mental resilience can also significantly reduce the frequency of double bogeys.

Importance of Scoring Terms in Golf

Understanding golf scoring terminology, such as par, birdie, eagle, bogey, and double bogey, is essential for evaluating performance on the course.

When reviewing scores, these terms help players determine their progress and pinpoint areas of improvement. For example, consistently avoiding double bogeys can significantly enhance a player’s overall score.

Knowing these terms also aids players in setting realistic goals and tracking their improvement over time. Moreover, it provides insight into their strengths and weaknesses, enabling targeted practice and strategic adjustments.

Mastering the concept of a double bogey can ultimately lead to a more enjoyable and competitive golfing experience.

How to Calculate a Double Bogey

Calculating a double bogey in golf is quite simple.

Let’s break it down:

Standard Strokes and Golf Course Par

A double bogey is calculated based on the par for each hole on a golf course. Each hole has a designated par, representing the number of strokes an expert golfer is expected to take to complete it.

For example, a par-3 hole is designed to be completed in three strokes. If a golfer scores five strokes on a par-3 hole, they make a double bogey.

  • Par-3 hole: Completing in five strokes.
  • Par-4 hole: Completing in six strokes.
  • Par-5 hole: Completing in seven strokes.

Comparison with Par, Birdie, and Bogey

Understanding the contrast between a double bogey and other common golf scoring terms helps contextualize performance.

Par: The expected number of strokes for a hole.

Example: Three strokes on a par-3 hole.

Birdie: One stroke under par.

Example: Two strokes on a par-3 hole.

Bogey: One stroke over par.

Example: Four strokes on a par-3 hole.

Double Bogey: Two strokes over par.

Example: Five strokes on a par-3 hole.

Strategies to Avoid Double Bogeys

Avoiding double bogeys in golf requires a combination of skill, strategy, and mental focus.

Here are some strategies to help minimize the chances of scoring a double bogey:

Improving Your Short Game

Improving the short game can significantly lower scores and help avoid double bogeys. Practice chipping, pitching, and putting regularly to build confidence and precision.

Short game drills focused on different types of lies and distances prepare golfers for various on-course situations. For example, set up practice routines that simulate real course scenarios, such as bunker shots and chip shots from the rough.

Pay attention to the putting stroke to develop a smooth and consistent motion. Essential techniques and exercises for short game improvement help reduce the number of strokes taken around the green, thereby minimizing the risk of double bogeys.

Effective Course Management

Effective course management involves making smart decisions to navigate obstacles and hazards. Evaluate each shot carefully and consider the risk-reward ratio.

For instance, rather than aiming directly at a tucked pin position guarded by bunkers, golfers should opt for a safer landing area on the green.

On tricky par-3 holes with water hazards or deep rough, choose a club that will ensure the ball lands safely on or near the green.

Another key aspect is club selection; always choose the club that maximizes accuracy and control for the shot.

When facing an uncertain or challenging lie, it’s often better to play conservatively and aim for a safe area rather than attempting a risky recovery shot. These strategies help avoid unnecessary mistakes and keep double bogeys off the scorecard.

Impact of Double Bogey on Overall Score

A double bogey can have a significant impact on your overall score in a round of golf.

Let’s break it down:

How Double Bogey Affects Handicap

A double bogey, scored as two strokes over par on a hole, impacts a golfer’s handicap significantly. Handicaps measure a golfer’s potential, representing their expected number of strokes over par for a round.

When a golfer records a double bogey, it increases their total strokes, thus raising their handicap. Frequent double bogeys can shift a golfer’s average score higher, making it harder to achieve lower handicaps.

To mitigate the impact of double bogeys, golfers often focus on improving their short game and course management. Reducing the frequency of mistakes can lead to more consistent performance and a lower overall handicap.

Psychological Aspects of Recovering from a Double Bogey

Experiencing a double bogey can be mentally challenging for golfers. It often leads to frustration and second-guessing their decisions on the course.

To recover psychologically, golfers need to focus on the next shot rather than dwelling on the mistake. Implementing pre-shot routines and maintaining a positive mindset helps in regaining composure.

Remembering that a double bogey is only one hole and doesn’t determine the entire round is crucial for mental resilience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a double bogey in golf?

A double bogey happens when a golfer scores two strokes over par on a single hole. For example, on a par 4 hole, a double bogey would be scored with six strokes.

Why is understanding golf scoring terms important?

Understanding golf scoring terms like par, birdie, eagle, bogey, and double bogey is crucial for assessing your performance and progress in the game. It helps in tracking improvement and setting realistic goals.

What is effective course management in golf?

Effective course management involves making smart decisions to navigate obstacles and hazards, choosing safer landing areas on the green, and selecting clubs for accuracy and control.

How important is the psychological aspect of recovering from a double bogey?

The psychological aspect is crucial. Focus on the next shot, implement pre-shot routines, and maintain a positive mindset to regroup and regain composure after a double bogey.

What strategies can build confidence in the short game?

Regular practice of chipping, pitching, and putting helps build confidence and precision in the short game. Consistent practice in these areas can significantly reduce the likelihood of double bogeys.


Understanding and addressing double bogeys can significantly improve a golfer’s game. By focusing on enhancing the short game and practicing effective course management, players can reduce the frequency of double bogeys.

Additionally, maintaining a positive mindset and employing pre-shot routines can help golfers recover quickly from setbacks.

With these strategies, golfers can lower their scores and enjoy the game with greater confidence and control.

Moreover, analyzing post-round statistics can provide valuable insights into recurring issues, allowing players to fine-tune their approach. Consistent practice and dedication to these aspects can make a substantial difference.

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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

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