What Is a Score of 5 on a Golf Hole Called?

Let's say a golfer is playing the first hole on her local golf course. And when the ball rolls into the cup on the green, she tallies up her strokes and has a score of 5. Among the scoring terms used in the game — for example, birdies and bogeys — what is a score of 5 called?

The proper term for a score of 5 (using five strokes to complete a hole) is entirely dependent on a hole's par. Each hole on a golf course has a par rating, with par being the number of strokes an expert golfer is expected to need to play that hole.

Holes are most commonly rated as par-3s, par-4s or par-5s. These are the proper terms for a score of 5 on those holes:

  • On a par-3 hole, a score of five is called a double bogey.
  • On a par-4 hole, a score of five is called a bogey.
  • On a par-5 hole, a score of five is called a par.
And on a par-6 hole (which you might never encounter because they are not common), a score of 5 is called a birdie.

Calling a score a par means that the golfer played the hole in the same number of strokes as the hole's par rating: 3 strokes on a par-3, 4 on a par-4, 5 on a par-5. "Bogey" means one stroke more than the hole's par rating, so scoring a 5 on a par-4 hole is a bogey. And a "doubley bogey" means two strokes more than par, which is why a score of 5 on a par-3 hole is called a double bogey.

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