What is a Bogey in Disc Golf?

There are some days on the disc golf course that just never go your way. Whether it’s a lack of focus, poor weather, ridiculous obstacles, or countless tree-jections. Those days are terrible. And not only are you mad, but your score just sucks. The scorecard in front of you doesn’t resemble Paul McBeth’s at the 2018 Great Lakes Open. Instead it’s filled with bogeys! Ugh, I hate those and I’m sure you do, too.

Today we’re going to be talking about the dreaded bogey, focusing on what exactly it is, how to score (or try not to score) a bogey, how they can hurt your score, the history behind them, and 5 ways that you can avoid them while you’re playing.

So what is a Bogey in disc golf?

The bogey is one of the most basic scoring terms in disc golf. The term bogey means that the disc golfer made a score of 1-over par on an individual golf hole. In other words, the disc golfer threw 1 more throw than the par for that hole.

How to score a bogey in disc golf

Now If you can remember what a par is, it is an expected number of strokes on a hole (let’s say a par 4 or four strokes/throws to complete the hole). If you wanted a par, you would have to complete the hole in 4 throws. If you wanted to birdie that hole, you would need to complete the hole in 3 throws. Completing a hole with a birdie is just finishing the hole with 1 less throw than par. Getting a par, a birdie, an eagle, an albatross, or a hole-in-one is a good thing. That’s finishing equal to par or better. And that’s what we want.

But when we talk about bogeys (which can be unfortunate), your score can only get worse with each consecutive throw. Getting a bogey is just 1 more throw past par. So here are the scores that will get you bogeys:

  • Score a 4 on a par-3 hole. (As you can see, just 1 more throw over par)
  • Score a 5 on a par-4 hole.
  • Score a 6 on a par-5 hole.
  • Score a 7 on a par-6 hole (you won’t find many of these).

From here, there will be occasions when you throw even more strokes than the last 3 examples. For instance, if you throw 2 throws over par, that’s called a double bogey. 3 throws over par is a triple bogey and so on and so forth. Most people don’t need 7 or more total throws to complete each hole. Even bad players can manage in 1 to 2 throws over par or less. But with every extra shot, you just add the next word to the bogey like this:

  • Bogey is 1 over par
  • Double bogey is 2 over par
  • Triple bogey is 3 over par
  • Quadruple bogey is 4 over par
  • Quintuple bogey is 5 over par, etc…

As you can see, you don’t want bogeys because they will crush your score.

How bogeys can hurt you on the course

1. You want the lowest score: yeah, bogeys can definitely add a few too many strokes to your scorecard. But in the end, it all evens out.

2. Most disc golfers are par throwers or better: if you’re playing in a tournament, bogeys can royally screw you. But don’t worry about it too much. The majority of holes on a disc golf course can be easily made in par or better. Just practice up and you’ll be bogey free!

3. They’re demotivating: bogeys freaking suck. On top of that, added strokes just feel terrible. Try not to let a few bogeys get to you.

4. They’re hard to come back from: if you find yourself down a few strokes because of couple of bogeys, don’t stress. I know that other players are good. I know that you want the lowest score. And yes, I know that bogeys are demotivating. But don’t let that get you even more down. Bogeys are hard to come back from, but you can do it.

History of the bogey

The history of the bogey, just like the par, the birdie, and the eagle, are rooted in ball golf’s origins. A “Bogey” score was the first stroke system developed in England in the 19th century for ball golf. It was this system that helped to standardize the number of shots at each hole. This was called the “ground score.”

Eventually, after many rounds, the term bogey came into play. This term soon replaced “ground score” and became the trendy phrase on the course. Golfers essentially used bogey as what par is to everyone in this modern day and age. Golfers wanted to beat the bogey score on the course.

As the years continued to pass and golf scores kept improving, the word par came into play. Par started to mean the score that the best golfers would try to beat. And bogey came to mean the score that recreational golfer’s aspired to beat. These two terms continued to diverge until they finally settled into what comprises the modern scorecard. As a result, the bogey now means 1 stroke over par (or +1).

Although it isn’t known when the term bogey was converted over into disc golf play, it’s safe to assume that it started in 1926 when some boys from Canada started playing Tin Lid Golf. To this day, though, the bogey remains a staple part of the game and can crush your score if you get too many.

5 tips to avoid bogeys on the course

1. Learn how to putt: I will keep this first point short and sweet. Because if you can’t putt very well, you will surely miss more and add more strokes to your score. Extra strokes usually equal more bogeys on the scorecard. Take the time and learn how to be a great putter. Check out our awesome post, “The 12 Best Disc Golf Putting Tips for Beginners.”

2. Understand how a disc works and how it flies: understanding how disc work and fly through the air is crucial in determining how you will get the disc to the basket. Because the quicker you can get to the basket, the less likely you will be in finishing that hole with a bogey. We’ve got two posts that can help you out with this. The first is called, “How Does a Disc Golf Disc Fly Through the Air?” The second post is called, “What’s the Difference Between a Hyzer and an Anhyzer?”

3. Understand the different types of discs and when you need them: When you’re out on the course, you’re going to be involved in a ton of different situations including your drives, approaches, and putts. There will be a lot of different ways to play the game, so it’s Important that you know a little bit about every kind of disc you will be throwing in disc golf. It’s also crucial that you know what each disc does and when discs should and should not be used. For more, check out our post, “What Are the Different Types of Disc Golf Discs?” Understanding when and where to use each type of disc can help save you precious strokes on the course.

4. Just go out and have fun: sometimes you need to just go have some fun out on the course. I know a lot of us, like myself, are too hard on ourselves most of the time. Whenever I play, and don’t play very well, I get really frustrated and start playing worse. If this is you, try to take a breath before you keep going. Then just take a few moments and think about why you play this game. Remember that you’re here to play this game for fun.

If for some reason you just can’t play better or get your score up, try just going out and throwing and forget the score. If you’re in a tournament you cant do this, but if it’s casual play, you can easily just play. No counting, no score, and no drama. Just you and the game of disc golf. A little bit of fun on the course can help you throw better scores and avoid those nasty bogeys.

5. Read our post, “101 Disc Golf Tips to Take Your Game to the Next Level”: this blog post is absolutely epic and is essentially the basis for our book, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual.” In this post, we highlight 101 tips that can take you from beginner to intermediate to advanced player in a very short time frame. As a result, this post is fine tuned for you, so be sure to head over to it and take it all in. And if you do that, you will surely be able to improve your ability to possible get way more pars during your round.

Great job!

If you’ve gotten this far, you must really want to learn more about disc golf and everything about it. If you’re interested in more frequently asked questions, you can check out the resources below or hit up our FAQ page here.

What is a Par in Disc Golf?

What is a Birdie in Disc Golf?

How Much Does it (Actually) Cost to Play Disc Golf?

How Many Discs Do You Need to Play Disc Golf?

What if My Disc Golf Disc Goes Out of Bounds?

What if My Disc Golf Disc Lands on Top of the Basket?

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And you can also check out our awesome related content.

9 Weird Tricks to Improve Your Disc Golf Game (Forever)

Mastering Disc Golf in the Wind: A Beginner’s Guide

The 12 Best Disc Golf Exercises to Keep You Fit

Don’t forget

You can also grab a copy of our book, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual,” here on the site. It’s packed full of extremely practical tips and tricks to help you immediately start improving on the course. In other words, it’s a book that will help you win!


I am an avid disc golfer and lover of the sport. My mission with DiscgolfNOW.com is to reach as many people as possible to help them love disc golf, too!

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