What Is A Double Bogey In Golf?

Ever found yourself two strokes over par and wondering what that means for your golf game?

Congrats, you've just scored a “double bogey.” In simpler terms, if a hole is a par 4 and you get the ball in the hole in six shots, that's a double bogey.

But hey, don't sweat it—keep reading and we'll dive into the nitty-gritty of what a double bogey really means and why it's not the end of the world.

The Basic Rules of Golf Scoring

Ah, the elusive language of golf. It's like a secret club where the initiated speak in whispers of “pars,” “birdies,” and yes, even “double bogeys.”

But if you're scratching your head wondering what it all means, you're not alone.

So, let's break down the basic rules of golf scoring, so the next time you hit the greens, you'll know exactly what's up.

What “Par” is and why it’s important

Par” is basically the heartbeat of golf scoring. It's the number of strokes—the hits you make with the club—that experts think it should take to get the ball from the tee into the hole.

Every hole on a golf course has a designated par, which is calculated based on the distance from the tee to the hole and some other challenges like bunkers or water hazards.

Why is par so crucial? Well, it sets the standard for your game.

When you're out on the course, your score for each hole is compared to the par to see how well you're doing.

If you meet the par, you're keeping pace with the expected level of play.

Fall short or exceed it, and that's where terms like “birdie” and “bogey” come into play.

Knowing the par for each hole can also help you strategize.

For example, if a hole is a par-5, you might take your first two shots to cover as much ground as possible and then carefully aim your third to set up a good putting position.

Other common scoring terms: Birdie, Bogey, Eagle, etc.

Okay, so you've got the idea of “par” down, but what about all these birds and such?

No, golf isn't turning into a bird-watching sport; these are just fun names for how many strokes above or below par you've scored on a hole.

  • Birdie: Ah, the coveted birdie! This is what you get when you complete a hole one stroke under par. If the hole is a par 4 and you do it in 3, you've scored a birdie. Feel free to do a little happy dance; you've earned it.
  • Bogey: On the flip side, a bogey is when you finish a hole one stroke over par. It's like the golf gods just nudged you a little to remind you to keep practicing. Not ideal, but hey, it happens to the best of us.
  • Eagle: Now, if birdies are great, eagles are magnificent. You've managed to complete a hole two strokes under par. This is like the hole-in-one of regular play; it doesn't happen often but when it does, it's amazing.
  • Albatross (or Double Eagle): This is the unicorn of golf scores, finishing a hole three strokes under par. If you pull this off, you're basically a golf legend in the making.
  • Triple Bogey: Alright, let's be honest, nobody wants to talk about this one, but it's part of the game. If you find yourself three strokes over par on a hole, you've scored a triple bogey. It's a tough pill to swallow but think of it as a learning experience.

Breaking Down the Double Bogey

Alright, we've chatted about the basics like “par” and all those birdie-bogey terms.

But let's focus on that notorious score you might have heard your golf buddies grumble about—yes, the double bogey.

It's a term that strikes both fear and a weird sense of camaraderie among golfers.

So what is it, really, and why does that extra stroke make such a difference? Grab your golf balls and tees, folks; we're diving deep.

What a double bogey actually is: 2-over par

In the simplest terms, a double bogey is when you complete a hole with two strokes over the designated par.

So if you're playing a hole with a par of 4 and it takes you six shots to get that pesky ball into the hole, that's a double bogey for you.

But let's dissect this a bit more. The first thing to understand is that every stroke counts in golf. Every. Single. One.

So when you score a double bogey, it's a flag that you're straying from the ideal path laid out by the course designer.

It often means you've made not just one, but multiple errors during that hole—maybe your tee shot veered into the woods, or perhaps you got stuck in a sand trap.

In competitive scenarios, a double bogey can be a significant setback.

Golf is a game of precision and strategy, and each extra stroke can drop you further down the leaderboard.

Even in a friendly game among pals, a double bogey is likely to elicit some eye rolls or sympathetic sighs.

How it is different from a bogey and why that extra stroke matters

Now, you might think, “Well, what's the big deal? It's just one more stroke than a bogey.”

Ah, but in the world of golf, each stroke is a universe of its own.

When you score a bogey (one stroke over par), it's usually a sign of a small error—you might have missed a putt by an inch or misjudged the wind on your drive.

These things happen, and they're often easy to shake off mentally. A bogey says, “Hey, you messed up, but it's not a disaster.”

A double bogey, on the other hand, usually means you've made multiple errors, and that can mess with your head.

It's harder to shake off because it might signal deeper issues with your game that day, whether it's your swing mechanics, your course management, or even your mental focus.

Plus, in terms of scoring, the gap between a bogey and a double bogey can be the difference between a win and a loss, whether you're playing competitively or just trying to best your own score.

Understanding Par: The Foundation of a Double Bogey

Alright, folks, we've thrown around the term “par” a bunch of times, haven't we?

But let's give it the attention it truly deserves, because understanding par is like learning the ABCs before you write a novel.

You can't really grasp what a double bogey is unless you get the whole par thing down first.

So, let's dig in and discover how par becomes the yardstick against which a double bogey—and a lot else in golf—is measured.

How par is determined for a hole

You might think that someone just arbitrarily decided, “Hey, this hole is a par 4,” but there's actually a science to it.

Generally, the length of the hole is the biggest factor in setting its par. Here's a rough guideline for you:

  • Par 3: Usually less than 250 yards
  • Par 4: Between 251 and 450 yards
  • Par 5: Over 450 yards
  • Par 6: Rare, but these monsters exist and they're usually over 600 yards

But length isn't the only factor. Course designers also consider obstacles like water hazards, bunkers, and trees.

For example, a short hole might still be a par 4 if there's a lake right in front of the green, making it tough to reach in fewer strokes.

Likewise, a long hole could be a par 5 even if it's relatively straight and free of hazards, allowing for long drives and easier shots.

Why par serves as the baseline for understanding terms like double bogey

So why is par such a big deal, and how does it relate to the dreaded double bogey?

Well, think of par as your guiding star—it tells you what you're aiming for on each hole.

Once you know the par, you can gauge your performance in relation to it, and that's where terms like double bogey come into play.

Let's say you're tackling a par 4 hole. Here's what could happen:

  • Score a 4: You've met the par. High-five yourself!
  • Score a 5: That's a bogey. Not terrible but could be better.
  • Score a 6: Ah, the double bogey. Time to regroup and refocus.

So, your double bogey exists in relation to that hole's par. It's essentially a report card for that specific hole, indicating that you've veered off course—literally.

Understanding the par for each hole not only helps you set expectations but also strategize.

You'll think differently when you approach a par 3 hole compared to a par 5, both in terms of the clubs you choose and the risks you might take.

Situations Leading to a Double Bogey

So you've just scored a double bogey and you're wondering, “How did I get here?”

Trust me, you're not alone. While it's not something to celebrate, understanding the situations that lead to a double bogey can be like finding a treasure map to avoid pitfalls.

Let's dig into the common blunders that might set you back and even walk through a hole where double bogeys tend to lurk.

Common mistakes that lead to a double bogey

Okay, first things first: most double bogeys don't happen because of bad luck; they happen because of mistakes. And those mistakes? They can often be grouped into a few categories:

  • Poor Tee Shot: Whether you slice it into the woods or shank it into a water hazard, a bad tee shot sets a domino effect of bad plays.
  • Bad Course Management: Sometimes, ambition outweighs ability. Attempting a risky shot over a water hazard or trying to clear a bunker when you're not confident can add unnecessary strokes.
  • Inaccurate Approach Shots: So you've navigated past the tee, but now you've overshot the green or landed in a bunker. These mistakes make it tough to make par, let alone avoid a double bogey.
  • Missed Putts: Ah, the green—the place where dreams are made or crushed. Missing a short putt can often be the final nail in the double bogey coffin.
  • Mental Errors: Whether it's failing to read the wind or not considering the slope of the green, mental errors are as potent as physical ones in leading you to a double bogey.

Knowing these common mistakes can help you identify weak spots in your game and, hopefully, help you steer clear of future double bogeys.

Scenario analysis: dissect a hole where a double bogey is likely

Let's get practical and imagine a hole that's ripe for double bogeys.

Picture a par-4 hole that's got it all—a water hazard, bunkers near the green, and a tight fairway lined with trees. It's like a smorgasbord of obstacles.

  1. Tee Shot: You aim for the fairway, but your drive slices and lands in the rough, close to the trees.
  2. Second Shot: You try to play it safe but hit a low branch. The ball drops, still in the rough.
  3. Third Shot: You finally clear the trees but land in a bunker near the green.
  4. Fourth Shot: You overshoot your escape from the bunker, sending the ball over the green.
  5. Fifth Shot: Your chip to get back on the green is too strong, and you're still not on the putting surface.
  6. Sixth Shot: You putt from the fringe, but it stops a good distance from the hole.
  7. Seventh Shot: You sink the putt, finally, but you've scored a 7 on a par-4 hole. That's a double bogey.

See how those strokes add up? Each mistake compounds the last, creating a scenario where a double bogey becomes almost inevitable.

The Psychology of a Double Bogey

Alright, you've tallied the scorecard, and there it is—a double bogey staring back at you.

But it's not just about the strokes; it's about what's going on in that noggin of yours.

Mental game is a HUGE part of golf, maybe even more than the physical stuff.

Let's chat about what scoring a double bogey can do to your headspace and how you can bounce back like a champ.

The emotional impact: frustration, motivation, or acceptance?

Double bogeys come with a whole cocktail of emotions, and it's crucial to understand them if you're going to improve. Here are some common reactions:

  • Frustration: This is the most immediate feeling. A sort of “Why did I even wake up early for this?” sensation. It's okay to be frustrated, but don't let it brew into anger. Anger makes you reckless, and that can lead to more double bogeys.
  • Motivation: This is where frustration can turn positive. Some people take a double bogey as a kick in the butt, a “Watch me ace the next hole” kind of energy. If that's you, harness it but don't let it turn into overconfidence.
  • Acceptance: The enlightened among us might take a double bogey with grace, seeing it as a part of the game and an opportunity to learn. If you can do this, you're already halfway to mental recovery.

Each of these emotional responses can shape how you approach the rest of your game, so pick your path wisely.

Tips for mental recovery after scoring a double bogey

So how do you reset your brain after a double bogey? Here are some pro tips:

  1. Deep Breaths: Sounds simple, but deep, intentional breathing can help reduce stress and improve focus. Try it before you move on to the next hole.
  2. Short-term Memory: Remember Dory from “Finding Nemo”? Be like Dory. Forget the double bogey as quickly as possible. Golf is a game of now; what happened on the last hole doesn't have to impact the next.
  3. Positive Affirmation: Tell yourself something good. It could be as simple as, “I got this,” or as specific as, “I know I can nail this drive.” Positive thinking has actual psychological benefits.
  4. Visualize: Close your eyes and visualize playing the hole perfectly. Your brain sometimes can't distinguish between vivid imagination and reality, so this can trick it into higher performance levels.
  5. Refocus Strategy: Take a moment to consider what went wrong and how to adjust your strategy moving forward. But do this quickly; don't dwell.
  6. Shake It Off: Literally, shake your arms, legs, whatever it takes to physically shake off the mistake. It sounds silly, but physical movement can reset your emotional state.
  7. Consult the Scorecard: Look at the holes you've got left to play. Identify opportunities for birdies or easy pars, reminding yourself that you've got chances to make up lost ground.

Strategies to Avoid a Double Bogey

So, we've unpacked the emotional roller coaster of a double bogey and dissected how they come about.

But let's cut to the chase—how do you sidestep this golfing landmine altogether?

We're diving into strategies and tips that will arm you with the know-how to give double bogeys a wide berth. Let's get to it!

Basic Tips and Tactics

A lot of avoiding a double bogey boils down to fundamentals. Sound boring? Maybe, but these are the building blocks that make or break your game:

  1. Improve Your Short Game: If you want to drop fewer double bogeys, your chipping and putting need to be on point. Practice different types of chips and become friends with your putter.
  2. Smart Tee Shots: Placement over power. Don't let your ego pick up the driver when a 3-wood for accuracy will do. Setting yourself up for an easier second shot can save strokes.
  3. Course Management: Play to your strengths. If you're not good at bunker shots, aim away from them. Avoiding hazards is often better than trying to play through them.
  4. Practice Recovery Shots: Not every shot is going to be perfect. Being able to recover with a solid chip or a long putt can help you avoid turning a bogey into a double bogey.

Importance of Understanding the Golf Course Layout

You wouldn't go into a maze blindfolded, so why tackle a golf course without knowing its twists and turns?

Study the course layout before you play. Know where the water hazards, bunkers, and tricky greens are. Apps and golf GPS devices can be a real lifesaver here.

With this knowledge, you can plan each hole strategically and avoid the common pitfalls that lead to double bogeys.

Equipment Choices that Can Make a Difference

Believe it or not, what's in your bag can affect your score. Here are some equipment tips:

  1. Right Clubs: Use clubs that match your skill level. Beginners often benefit from cavity-back irons or hybrids instead of the blade irons that pros use.
  2. Quality Golf Balls: Investing in better golf balls can actually improve your game. Balls designed for control and spin can help you when you're close to the green.
  3. Golf Glove: It improves grip, especially in wet conditions, offering better control of your club.
  4. Rangefinder: Knowing exact distances can help you select the right club and better plan your approach shots.
  5. Comfortable Footwear: This might seem trivial, but comfortable and stable footwear can affect your swing mechanics.


And there you have it—a deep dive into the world of double bogeys, from what they are to how they mess with your mind, and most importantly, how to dodge 'em.

Remember, golf is as much about strategy and mental stamina as it is about skill.

So the next time you're staring down a tough hole, take a deep breath, think about what you've learned here, and swing away.

Here's to fewer double bogeys and more brag-worthy moments on the course!