A Useful Golf Tutorial: Learning Golf Scoring Terms
Golf is a game with a wide vocabulary – a vocabulary that can be confusing to a new golfer when they are first getting started. While you can always ask your fellow golfers what certain words or expressions mean, it might be more comfortable for you to show up at the course already with a good understanding of the language. It is pretty easy to learn the scoring terms in golf, and you shouldn’t need to read up on them more than once or twice before you are comfortable.
Below is a quick list of some of the most common scoring terms that you will hear used around the course.
- Par. This might be the most basic of all scoring terms, and it means that you have played the course as you are supposed to. Par can apply to a single hole, or an entire course. For example, the par on one hole may be four shots, while the par for the entire course might be 72. Saying you ‘shot par’ for the day would mean that you played the course in exactly the assigned par for all 18 holes – which is quite an accomplishment for most players.
- Birdie. You probably already know that a birdie is a good thing, even if you are yet to play your first round of golf. A birdie occurs when you score one stroke under par for a given hole. So, you would need a two on a par three, a three on a par four, or a four on a par five to achieve a birdie.
- Bogey. Depending on the level of golfer that you are, a bogey can be a good thing or a bad thing. Bogeying a hole means that you took one stroke more than the par to complete the hole. A five on a par four is an example of a bogey.
- Double bogey. Not surprisingly, a double bogey means that you took two more strokes than par to complete the hole – such as a six on a par four.
- Snowman. This isn’t technically a formal golf term, but you are likely to hear it from time to time on the course. Simply, it refers to making an eight on any given hole. No matter what level of golfer you are, you will certainly want to avoid making a snowman whenever you can.