Triple Bogey: What the Golf Scoring Term Means

And the scores on each hole that produce a triple bogey

Lexi Thompson reacts after making a triple bogey during the ShopRite LPGA Classic tournament.
Oh, that triple bogey feel ... it happens even to the best golfers, such as Lexi Thompson above. Michael Cohen/Getty Images

A "triple bogey" is a score of 3-over par on an individual hole of the golf course.

Every hole on a golf course has a par rating, a single-digit number, that represents the number of strokes an expert golfer is expected to need to play that hole. Golf holes are almost all designated as either par 3, par 4 or par 5. So a par-4 hole, for example, is expected to take an expert golfer, on average, four strokes to play.

A golfer makes a "triple bogey," then, when he or she needs three strokes more than par to play a hole. So, for very good golfers, a triple bogey is a poor score. But it's a common score among recreational golfers.

The Scores That Result in a Triple Bogey

What are the specific scores that mean a golfer has made a triple bogey? These:

Par-6 holes are rare in golf, but they do exist, and a golfer scores a triple bogey on a par-6 when he or she finishes such a hole in nine strokes.

As a Golf Term, 'Triple Bogey' is Consistent with Other Forms of Bogey

Not all golf terms follow common-sense naming conventions. But bogeys do: They are ordinal.

A score of 1-over par on a hole is called a bogey. So if a score of 3-over is a triple bogey, what do you think a score of 2-over is called?

  • 1-over par is a bogey.
  • 2-over par is a double bogey.
  • 3-over par is a triple bogey.
  • 4-over par is a quadruple bogey.

And so on.

(What does the term "bogey" have to do with golf, and why is it used for all these over-par scores? It's related to the Bogey Man.)

Scoring a triple bogey on a hole is a familiar experience to beginning golfers and high-handicappers, and mid- and even low-handicappers know it, as well. But even the professionals on the world's top tours occasionally make triple bogeys.

So if you're making a lot of triple bogeys, don't feel bad about it. Keep the focus on having fun when you play golf. If you want to improve your scores, though - if you want to make fewer triple bogeys - you might want to invest in some golf lessons.