Golfers know that all the best things in golf are named after some kind of bird.
When you shoot one under par, it’s a birdie, two under an eagle, and there are even birds like albatross, condor, and ostrich to describe rare feats in the game of golf.
Have you ever wondered how the term bogey comes into play?
If you have ever wondered whether or not bogey is a type of bird and how it fits into this golf terminology, we have you covered.
Here is everything you need to know about the term bogey and a few of the others that we hear quite often in the game of golf.
Is a Bogey A Bird?
A bogey is not a bird, but instead, it was used to describe a person who was considered a bad person in the 1800s.
Essentially, someone who was not a good guy would be described as a Bogey Man.
Therefore, the term was already considered to be bad, so it was quickly applied to a score that was over par.
Even from the earliest beginnings of the game, golfers did not want to shoot scores that were over par, and therefore the term bogey quickly took off.
There was also a popular song at the time that the word bogey took off, and this contained the term Bogey Man in the song.
Unlike a birdie and an eagle that have unique names, the bogey continues past the one-over-par mark.
If a golfer shoots two over par, that is considered a double bogey while three over par is a triple bogey.
Even players who shoot four or five over par can call it a quadruple bogey or a quintuple bogey.
The term bogey is considered very popular in the game of golf, but many players also wonder how bad it really is to make a bogey.
Let’s take an in-depth look into making a bogey and when it is considered bad or good.
When Is A Bogey A Good Score?
Even though a bogey has a bad rap for being a poor score, there are times when a bogey can be considered a good score.
This may come as a surprise to some players, but here are a few circumstances when making a bogey is a good score.
When a beginner golfer starts to make bogeys, it is considered a very good score.
Beginners are not necessarily ready to start shooting low scores or even keeping score.
However, when a beginner can make five on a par 4, chances are they played the hole relatively well.
All beginner players should consider a bogey a great score and strive to start making them.
If you can make a bogey on every hole on the course, your score will be right around 90.
This is considered some really good golf and something that players should strive for initially.
Once you break 100, you can then set goals for breaking 90, 80, and even 70.
Beginner players who make a bogey need to think about what they did to make the bogey and try to repeat it on every hole they can.
The key is to make smart decisions when you hit a bad shot and not try to hit anything that is considered to be a hero shot.
Beginners don’t need to hit these amazing shots out of the woods or over a water hazard.
Be smart about golf course management, and you can make your way around the golf course with ease.
Over time, beginners will learn that a bogey can be improved on by making a better putt or a closer chip, but in the beginning, the bogey will probably help a beginner’s score.
2. Out Of Bounds
A golfer who hits the ball out of bounds on their tee shot will then be hitting their third shot from the tee.
This means that they only have two more shots they can take to get the ball in the hole for a par.
For most players, this is really hard to do, but there are times when a bogey is possible.
If you hit a ball out of bounds off the tee and then you birdie the hole, you will have made a bogey.
This is a really great bogey.
The fact that you lost a ball, but it did not cost you more than one stroke over par is pretty strong and will help your score.
In addition, when you make a bogey like this, it is easy to make up for it by making a birdie on another hole.
The birdie will completely cancel out the bogey on the scorecard, but the double bogey is going to be much harder to get rid of.
Whether you are struggling or just hit a random bad shot, going out of bounds is not something that needs to cause a high score.
If you focus and get yourself right back in the game, a bogey won’t completely ruin your score.
On the next shot that you hit out of bounds, think about birdieing the hole after, and you will end up with a bogey, something that you can easily recover from.
3. Water Hazard
Another time that a bogey is considered a good score is if you hit the ball in a water hazard and then happen to make a bogey.
Hitting a shot in the water hazard can come off the tee or even on your approach shot to the green.
When you do this, you will have to play some great golf to make up for it and to try and get your score down.
Let’s say there is a water hazard on the side of a green that you are hitting your approach shot to.
When your approach goes into the hazard, you must take a drop where it last crossed into the hazard (for a lateral water hazard).
As you go up close to the green, you take your drop, hit your shot onto the green, and then make a one-putt.
If you did this on a par 4, you would end up with a 5 as your score.
A hole where your golf ball goes into the water, but you still end up with a 5 is a great hole.
Keep this in mind if you are looking to try and eliminate the big numbers on the golf course and keep your scores down.
A water hazard does not have to mean a big number is coming your way.
The more golfers can learn to control their swing and their tempers after hitting a golf ball into a water hazard, the better the chance they have of recovering and having a great hole.
Over time, it is best if you can avoid any water hazards, but this will likely not be possible during all rounds of golf.
4. Number One Handicap Hole
Some golf holes are just considered bogey holes.
You will stand on the tee box, look out and realize that the hole is really difficult.
Whether you can’t get over the hazard and onto the green in two or the green itself is just really difficult to navigate, there are times when a bogey can be considered a good score.
Many golfers will walk off the green saying something like, “That was a good bogey,” or, “I’ll take that score for that hole.”
Golf courses have their holes rated so that players have a better idea of the difficulty of the hole they are playing.
If you take a look at the scorecard after you make a bogey and realize that you did it on the hardest golf hole on the course, the score should not be considered overly bad.
In fact, some golfers would take this as a positive and move to the next hole with confidence.
When Is A Bogey A Bad Score?
Now that we have covered when a bogey is a good score, it’s time to look at when a bogey is a bad score.
There are times on the golf course when a bogey is very frustrating, and players will be annoyed to be just one stroke over par.
If this describes how you feel at times, here are a few things that could make your bogey considered to be a bad score.
1. Hitting The Fairway
If you hit the fairway from the tee and then go on to make a bogey, it could be considered frustrating.
It is hard to hit the fairway at times, and if you end up getting a great drive that is right in the center and then going on to make a bogey, it can be rather frustrating.
For players who find this is happening quite often, it may make sense to work on your iron shots or approach shots.
Chances are, this is when your scores are adding up, and your shots are not making it to the green.
Hitting the fairway is essential to improve your overall scores, and it must be done if you want to give yourself a shot at par.
2. Green In Regulation
The green in regulation is when you get your golf shot onto the hole in the recommended number of strokes to be able to make an easy par.
For a par five, the green in regulation would be three shots, a par four would be two shots, and a par three is one shot.
If you can get to the green in regulation, the theory is that you can then make an easy par by making two putts.
Greens in regulation make golf easier and more enjoyable.
If you can make in one putt here and there, you will end up with a birdie.
Overall, the green in regulation is something that you can make happen if you focus and pay attention to making a few great swings.
If you bogey the hole after hitting the green in regulation, it is not a great bogey.
The score you will be looking for after hitting the green in regulation is a birdie or a par.
3. Too Many Putts
When you hit the green in regulation and then three putt, it’s not a great bogey.
However, there are other times when putting can easily lead to a bogey or more, and it becomes a major problem.
Golfers sometimes get overly focused on getting the ball to the green and not on getting the ball into the hole.
The more putts you make, the worse it is when you are trying to shoot a great round.
If you look at the scorecard of a professional who has won a tournament or comes close to winning a tournament, they have quite a bit fewer than 36 putts.
The 36 putts are considered regulation; you would have to hit every green in regulation and then make a two-putt on each hole.
However, players that have an incredible round typically have 25 putts or even less.
These putts help make up for shots that they missed along the way or even a bad swing here and there.
In addition, the putting can help to give golfers a few birdies and make their overall score that much better.
Whether you are new to the game or have been playing your entire life, it makes sense to focus on your putting and become a better player.
4. Easy Golf Hole
Similar to how we said a hard golf hole could be a good bogey, an easy hole is considered to be a bad bogey.
Some golf holes are simply not that difficult.
Chances are the fairway will be rather wide open, and even if you do get into a hazard, the shot out may not be all that difficult.
An easy golf hole makes it so that players can have a chance at a simple birdie.
If you ake these opportunities for a simple birdie and your score ends up being a bogey, it is a major loss.
In addition, if you do something great like get the ball up to the hole in two shots on a par 5 and then make a bogey, you will have really butchered an easy golf hole.
The bottom line here is that some bogeys are good, and some are not so good.
5. Under Par Round Going
Last but certainly not least, a bogey is a bad score when you are under par and playing a really great round of golf.
If you have just a few holes left and you are under par for the day, and then you start making bogeys, the score is not going to be all that good.
Golfers should know that an under-par round for an amateur player is quite rare.
If that under-par round ends up becoming an over-par round because of a few sloppy bogeys at the end of the day, it is very frustrating.
The game of golf is frustrating and difficult, and this is to be expected.
However, players who get upset every time they bogey a hole need to consider why they are bogeying it, if it is something they can fix, and whether or not it is worth being upset over.
Even though the bogey was named after the “Bogey Man,” sometimes we need to accept a bogey and move on.