NCG's Golf Glossary: What is a bogey?

Don’t know your dormies from your doglegs? NCG’s Golf Glossary is here to help

Here at NCG we pride ourselves on being the publication for the everyday player, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to delve into the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.

Sometimes the most obvious terms have the most interesting story, so you might find yourself an interesting conversation starter…

What is a bogey?

Bogey in golf is used when a player gets one over par on a hole e.g. 4 on a par 3 or 5 on a par 4.

How would I use it in a sentence?

“He or she missed their par putt and therefore had to settle for a boegy on the hole.

What are the origins?

In the golfing world the word comes from one of the first scoring systems created in the game. The bogey system.

In 1890 Mr Hugh Rotherham Secretary of the Coventry Golf Club conceived the idea of standardising the number of shots at each hole that a good golfer should take, which he called the ‘ground score’ (later to be known as par). At Yarmouth and elsewhere the ground score became known as the bogey score.

bogey

It is believed to come from the word for a Scottish goblin which was a ‘bogle’. The term ‘bogey-man’ was a widely used term for a goblin in the 16th century.

Golfers considered they were up against ‘Mister Bogey’ when recording their scores against the bogey score. This then allowed the introduction of more competitions such as handicap competitions and stablefords.

Any other business?

It wasn’t until the 20th century that the term bogey was used as we know it today. Meaning one over par on a hole.

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