Net Double Bogey in Golf: Definition and Examples

This scorekeeper might be writing down a net double bogey

What is a "net double bogey" in golf? It's a score that in 2020 became important for golfers — or at least those golfers who play using their handicap indexes — to know with the introduction of the World Handicap System.

A "net double bogey" is a score on a golf hole whose exact number of strokes depends on the specific hole and specific golfer playing that hole. We'll go over examples below to show you the actual number of strokes involved.

But know that all net double bogeys follow the same formula: take the hole's par rating, add two strokes, and add the number of handicap strokes you get on that hole. That's your net double bogey.

To put it in equation form:

Hole's par + two strokes + any handicap strokes = net double bogey
Now let's differentiate between a "gross score" and a "net score": gross means your actual number of strokes played; net means your actual strokes minus your handicap strokes. If you carry a handicap index, then before playing a golf course you convert that into a "playing handicap." And if you wind up with, for example, a playing handicap of 18, then you get to reduce your score by one stroke on each hole. Those reductions are called "handicap strokes."

In 2020, the World Handicap System rolled out across the golf world. And now, when golfers turn in a scorecard, they must do so using net double bogey as the maximum score on each hole.

So you better know what net double bogey is! A gross double bogey is always two strokes more than the hole's par rating. So a gross double bogey on a par-3 is a score of 5; on a par-4 is a score of 6; on a par-5 is a score of 7. A net double bogey are those scores plus any handicap strokes your playing handicap gets you on a hole.

Let's break it down even more, with the specific stroke totals that result in a net double bogey, depending on par rating and handicap strokes:

Net Double Bogey On a Par-3 Hole

You make a net double bogey on a par-3 hole when:
  • You get zero handicap strokes on that hole and score 5 strokes (meaning that you actually played five shots to get into the hole);
  • You get one handicap stroke and score 6;
  • You get two handicap strokes and score 7;
  • You get three handicap strokes and score 8.

Net Double Bogey On a Par-4 Hole

You make a net double bogey on a par-4 hole when:
  • You get zero handicap strokes on that hole and score 6;
  • You get one handicap stroke and score 7;
  • You get two handicap strokes and score 8;
  • You get three handicap strokes and score 9.

Net Double Bogey On a Par-5 Hole

You make a net double bogey on a par-5 hole when:
  • You get zero handicap strokes on that hole and score 7;
  • You get one handicap stroke and score 8;
  • You get two handicap strokes and score 9;
  • You get three handicap strokes and score 10.

Net Double Bogey On a Par-6 Hole

Par-6 holes are rare, but they do exist. Therefore, you make a net double bogey on a par-6 hole when:
  • You get zero handicap strokes on that hole and score 8;
  • You get one handicap stroke and score 9;
  • You get two handicap strokes and score 10;
  • You get three handicap strokes and score 11.

Photo credit: "Sailors volunteer at NKF Golf Classic" by Presidio of Monterey: DLIFLC & USAG is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

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