What Is a Score of 4 on a Golf Hole Called?

You just completed the third hole of the golf course and it took you four strokes to do so. You write down a "4" on the scorecard. But what is the golf scoring term that applies to that score of 4? Well, it could be a birdie, a par, a bogey — maybe even an eagle.

What a score of 4 on any given golf hole is called depends on the par rating of that hole. Each hole on a golf course has a par, which is a number that represents the strokes an expert golfer should need to play that hole. If a hole is rated a par-4, then four strokes is what that golf expert is expected to use to complete the hole.

So the scoring term that applies to playing a hole in four strokes is dependent on the hole's par. And this is how it breaks down:

  • On a par-3 hole, a score of 4 is called a bogey (1-over par).
  • On a par-4 hole, a score of 4 is called a par (even par).
  • On a par-5 hole, a score of 4 is called a birdie (1-under par).
Par-6 holes also exist, although they are uncommon. But if you play a par-6 hole in four strokes, that is called an eagle (2-under par).

For recreational golfers, for the vast majority of amateur golfers, playing a hole in just four strokes is an excellent score — regardless of the hole's par rating.

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