In golf, each hole is given a par score, which represents the number of strokes a golfer should take to complete the hole.
If a golfer takes fewer strokes than the par score, they have scored under par.
If they take more strokes, they have scored over par.
The final score for a round of golf is the total number of strokes taken over all holes played.
Understanding how golf scoring works is essential for anyone who wants to play the game competitively or simply enjoy it with friends.
What Is A Par In Golf
Par is the standard number of strokes that a golfer is expected to take to complete a hole.
The par for each hole is determined by its length and difficulty.
For example, a par-3 hole is typically shorter and easier than a par-5 hole.
If a golfer completes a hole in the same number of strokes as the par, they have achieved par
What Is A Birdie In Golf
A birdie is a score that is one stroke less than par.
For example, if a golfer completes a par-4 hole in three strokes, they have achieved a birdie.
A birdie is a good score and can be a great confidence booster for a golfer of any ability.
What Is An Eagle In Golf
An Eagle is a score that is two strokes less than par.
For example, if a golfer completes a par-5 hole in three strokes, a par-4 in 2 shots, or a hole in one on a par 3, they have achieved an Eagle.
An Eagle is a great score and makes a huge difference to the scorecard.
Eagles are quite rare among Amateurs and not all golfers will be able to get one.
What Is An Albatross In Golf
An Albatross is a score that is three strokes less than par.
For example, if a golfer completes a par-5 hole in 2 shots, or a hole in one on a par 4, they have achieved an Albatross.
An Albatross is an awesome score but is the rarest of all the golf birds.
An Albatross is sometimes called a Double Eagle, more so in the USA than in UK and Europe
I took this picture at The Kendleshire Golf Club in Bristol, one of my favourite tracks.
What Is A Bogey In Golf
A Bogey is a score that is one strokes more than par.
For example, if a golfer completes a par-5 hole in 6 shots, or a par 4 in 5 shots, or a par 3 in 4 shots, they have scored a bogey and are one over par for the hole
A Bogey is not a disaster and it’s a frequent part of the game for Amateurs and Pros
What Is A Double Bogey In Golf
A Double Bogey is a score that is two strokes more than par.
For example, if a golfer completes a par-5 hole in 7 shots, or a par 4 in 6 shots, or a par 3 in 5 shots, they have scored a double bogey and are two over par for the hole
A Double Bogey is not a disaster for a high handicapper as they may well get 2-shots on a hole
But it’s a potential card wrecker for low digit Amateurs and definitely for Pros.
You Definitely don’t want more than one in a round if you can help it.
They usually occur due to poor ball striking, poor course management or a combination of the two.
You can have worse scores than a double bogey, 3-over par is called a Treble Bogey, 4-over par is a Quadruple Bogey.
If you’re not playing in a strokeplay competition and you’re taking more than 3-over par on a hole you might want to pick up the ball and move on to the next hole.
This will help with speed of play on the course and also save you from suffering any further.
I took this picture at The Players Club in Bristol, another of my favourite tracks.
How is Golf Scored?
In high level Golf competitions, the game is scored using a system called stroke play.
This is the truest test of golf because in strokeplay every shot counts and the player with the lowest total number of strokes at the end of the competition is the winner.
Amateur Golfers also use a system called handicapping to help level the playing field.
Handicapping takes into account a player’s skill level, which is based on their previous performances, and it adjusts their score accordingly.
For example, if a player has a handicap of 18, their score will be adjusted by 18 strokes to account for their skill level.
In this instance there are two scores.
A Gross Score – which is what you actually shot and a Net Score which is the score you actually shot less your Handicap
A lot of Amateur Competitions will have prizes for both Gross Scores and Net Scores. And it’s not uncommon to have several divisions to divide the field in to similar abilities.
Stableford scoring is a game most commonly played by Amateurs and is a different scoring system to strokeplay, because the players get points for each hole rather than recording whether they are under or over par.
The players are essentially playing net golf but their handicaps are applied on a per hole basis rather than on the whole round.
The Stableford points system works as follows:
- Net Double Bogey or worse = NIL points (sometimes called a BLOB)
- Net Bogey – 1 point
- Net Par – 2 points
- Net Birdie – 3 points
- Net Eagle – 4 points
- Net Albatross – 5 points
This format suits higher handicappers the most, as they are rewarded highly for their good holes, and unlike their strokeplay rounds where they might have a large score on a hole, they can offset that by having two or more very good holes, which is not the case in strokeplay where every shot counts.
The Player that scores a Net Eagle or Better is probably then called a Bandit or sandbagger by their playing partners.
It shouldn’t really happen but it does, and far more often than it should.
I can say with 25 years of golf under my belt I have never had a 5-pointer
My playing partners seem to have better luck, here’s a short video of three of them having a Birdie, A Par And a Blob