What Is a Score of 6 on a Golf Hole Called?

If it takes a golfer six strokes to go from the teeing area on a hole into the cup on the putting green of that hole, the golfer writes "6" down on the scorecard. But in the lexicon of golf scoring terms — birdies, bogeys, etc. — what is a score of 6 called?

Those scoring terms are a means for golfers to describe their scores in relation to a hole's par. Every hole on a golf course has a par rating, which represents the number of strokes an "expert golfer" is expected to need to play that hole. If a hole is called a par-4, then four strokes is what that scratch handicapper is expected to require to finish that hole.

When a golfer uses fewer strokes than a hole's par rating, terms such as eagle and birdie will apply. When a golfer uses more strokes than the par rating, terms such as bogey, double bogey, triple bogey and so on will apply.

So with that introduction, these are the terms that apply to a score of 6 on a hole:

  • On a par-3 hole, a score of 6 is 3-over par, which is a triple bogey. The slang term "grouse" is also sometimes used for triple bogey.
  • On a par-4 hole, a score of 6 is 2-over par, which is a double bogey. The slang term "buzzard" is also sometimes used for a double bogey.
  • On a par-5 hole, a score of 6 is 1-over par, which is a bogey.
If you play enough golf, you might run across a par-6 hole. A score of 6 on a par-6 is called ... par. (Also note that the slang terms mentioned above, buzzard and particularly grouse, are not commonly used.)

Is a score of 6 on a golf hole a bad score? That depends on the skill level of the golfer and the par of the hole. If a beginner makes a 6 on a par-4, that's well-done! If a high-handicapper makes 6 on a par-5, well, a bogey is a fine score for a high-handicapper. But if a tour pro makes 6 on a par-3 (a triple bogey), that is a terrible score. It's all relative.

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