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Definition of Bogey

Learn the meaning of the golf scoring term

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Steve Wheatcroft making a bogey
Michael Cohen/Stringer/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

"Bogey" is one of the scoring terms used by golfers. A bogey is a score of 1-over par on any individual golf hole. Par, remember, is the expected number of strokes it should take an expert golfer to complete a hole. Golf holes are generally rated as par-3s, par-4s and par-5s, which means that an expert should need three strokes, four strokes and five strokes, respectively, to play those holes.

So a bogey is a score that an expert golfer is usually disappointed with, but that won't displease most recreational golfers too much (and depending on your skill level, you might even be happy with a bogey).

To put it in more specific terms, a bogey means that you have:

When "bogey" first entered the golf lexicon, in the late 1890s, it had a different meaning, more akin to today's par. See the FAQ, Origin of the term "bogey" for details.

Common Misspellings: Bogie

Other uses: Higher scores than 1-over par still incorporate the term bogey, but add a modifier. Two-over par on a par-4 hole, for example, is a double bogey. Three over par is a triple bogey, and so on.

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