The Golf Score Called a 'Buzzard' (With Examples)

Buzzard is a slang term in golf that means a score of 2-over par on a hole. Buzzard, in other words, is a synonym for a double bogey.

Some golfers have the impression that buzzard is a modern term, a more recent invention of golfers joking around on the bird theme of golf scoring terms (similar to "ostrich"). That's not so, however.

"Buzzard," as a synonym for 2-over par, a double bogey, on a hole dates back quite a ways. Betty Hicks defined the term in a 1949 manual for golf professionals. In a 1927 book, Bobby Jones and O.B. Keeler wrote that "... Old Man Par is a patient soul, who never shoots a birdie and never incurs a buzzard."

So buzzard has been around in golf for quite a while, and is in keeping with the other bird-inspired names for golf scores: albatrosses, birdies and eagles.

What score does it take to make a buzzard? That depends on the par of the hole you are playing. A buzzard means 2-over par, so you've score a buzzard when you've:

  • Scored 5 on a par-3 hole;
  • Scored 6 on a par-4 hole;
  • Scored 7 on a par-5 hole;
  • Scored 8 on a par-6 hole.
A "double buzzard" is a quadruple bogey (4-over par).

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