what is a double bogey

NCG’s Golf Glossary: What Is A Double Bogey?

Explore the ‘double bogey’ with NCG’s glossary—unravel its origins and role in today’s golf. Perfect for golf terminology enthusiasts.


What is a double bogey? Well, here at National Club Golfer we’re the publication for the everyday player and so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to give you a step-by-step introduction to the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

The Basics

Golf, a game of both skill and strategy, has its unique language that sometimes mystifies newcomers. Among the various terms that punctuate a golfer’s lexicon is the term “double bogey”. But what exactly does it mean, and how did the term come into being? Let’s dive into it.

Understanding the Double Bogey

At its core, a double bogey is a score of two strokes over par for a particular hole. For instance, if a golfer takes five strokes to complete a hole that has a par of three, they’ve made a double bogey. In the world of golf, where efficiency and skill are celebrated, a double bogey is often seen as a misstep, indicating that the player faced some challenges on that particular hole.

Where Does the Term Come From?

The word “bogey” in golf has military origins. It’s believed to have been derived from the term “bogeyman,” a phantom or ghost. In early golf, “bogey” was considered the ideal score for an amateur golfer, while “par” was the ideal for a professional. Over time, as golf evolved and scoring systems matured, “par” became the standard we know today, and “bogey” came to signify one over par. Naturally, a “double bogey” then means two over par.

How Common is a Double Bogey?

While every golfer, whether amateur or professional, aims for birdies (one under par) or at the very least pars, double bogeys are a reality of the game. Even the best golfers can sometimes find themselves struggling on a challenging hole or having an off day. Hence, while not celebrated, double bogeys are a common part of the scorecard, especially for those still learning the game’s nuances.

How would you use it in a sentence?

Rory McIlroy was at the top of the leaderboard until a costly double bogey de-railed his Masters challenge.”

Any other business?

In the 1987 Open Championship at Muirfield, Nick Faldo’s final round was not only free of double bogeys, but also bogeys. And birdies for that matter. The Englishman meticulously recorded 18 consecutive pars to win the first of his six major titles.

At Royal Birkdale in July, Branden Grace made major history by recording an all-time low round of 62. Unsurprisingly, his round was free of bogeys (or double bogeys). He posted eight birdies and 10 pars on his way to the record books.

FAQs About Double Bogeys

How does a double bogey rank in terms of golf scores?

A double bogey is two strokes over par. It’s one stroke worse than a bogey and one stroke better than a triple bogey.

Are double bogeys common in professional tournaments?

While professionals aim for lower scores, challenging courses, adverse weather conditions, or simple misjudgments can lead to occasional double bogeys even among the elite.

How can I avoid making a double bogey?

Practice, course familiarity, and strategizing each shot can help reduce the chances. However, golf is unpredictable, and even with the best preparations, double bogeys can happen.

Does the term ‘double bogey’ vary by region or country?

While the concept remains the same, different regions might have colloquial terms or slang for it. However, ‘double bogey’ is widely recognized in golfing circles worldwide.

Final Thoughts

Golf, with its rich history and evolving dynamics, has given us a vocabulary that is both colorful and technical. Understanding terms like “double bogey” not only enriches one’s knowledge of the game but also deepens the appreciation for each player’s journey on the course. Remember, every double bogey is an opportunity to learn, adapt, and come back stronger on the next hole.

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