Golf Scoring Terms


If you are new to the game there are some golf scoring terms you must know before you go out and play.

The most important golf scoring term you need to know is par. Par is the score a pro golfer or low handicap golfer is expected to score on a given hole…and then what?

Well, there’s Birdie (-1), Eagle (-2), Bogey (+1), Double Bogey (+2) and Triple Bogey (+3)… Oh, yeah and the score every golfer hopes for, the ACE (a hole in one on a Par 3 hole).

Golf Scoring Breakdown

Here’s how golf scoring works, say you’re on a hole that’s marked as a par 4, your goal is to be able to get your ball into the hole in 4 strokes. These four shots start from the tee shot and includes your last putt into the cup.

Golf courses are referred to in terms of par. At most regulation courses par ranges from 70 to 72. The difference is dependent on the number of par 3′s or par 5′s the course has.

So, the better the golfer the fewer strokes are needed to get the ball into the hole to score.

How Golf Course Architects Decide Par for a Golf Hole
Shorter holes on a golf course usually 230 yards and less are labeled Par 3. Par 4 holes are usually 270-470 yards in length. Par 5 holes are usually between 480-600 yards long. Lastly some courses have par 6 holes which are usually over 600 yards in length.

For the golf terminology that you should know to be able to mark down your score on a given round of golf, see below.

Golf scoring trick on golf score card
Eagle: Two shots less than par  ( 2 under )
Birdie: One shot less than par   (1 under )
Par: The number of strokes it should take in theory for a professional or “good golfer” to finish a hole.
Bogey: One shot more than par  (1 over )
Double bogey: Two shots more than par   ( 2 over ) on a par 4 hole -you would mark down a 6
Triple bogey: Three shots more than par   ( 3 over )

If you notice on my score card I don’t use the number of strokes I used on the hole. Instead I use zero for par, a plus sign for bogey, and a minus for birdie. I use these symbols because it’s easier and I find it helpful to the mental side of my golf game. To learn more check out simple golf scoring trick.

Golf Penalty Strokes

Golfers finding themselves scoring high numbers on certain holes may be affected by penalty shots. These include a shot hit out of bounds (aka O.B.), a lost ball, or a shot that ends up in a water hazard. That’s where the higher scores Double (+2) and Triple (+3) bogey often come from.

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