Hey there, fellow golf enthusiasts! Today, I want to dive into the world of golf scoring. When it comes to golf, understanding the scorekeeping terminology is as important as mastering your swing. So, let’s get started on demystifying these scoring terms, shall we?

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, knowing the ins and outs of golf scoring terms is essential. These terms not only help you keep track of your progress on the course but also add a layer of excitement and competition to the game.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding golf scoring and on TV is important for your understanding of the game.
  • Golf scorekeeping terms help you track your progress and evaluate your skills.
  • The 7 scoring terms include Par, Under Par, Over Par, Birdie, Eagle, Albatross, and Ace.
  • Par represents the expected number of strokes an expert golfer needs to complete a hole or course.
  • Under par scores, such as Birdie and Eagle, indicate scoring below par and are considered exceptional in golf.

What is Par in Golf Scoring?

Par is an essential concept in golf scoring that determines the expected number of strokes an expert golfer needs to complete a hole or an entire course. It serves as a standard for evaluating player performance and setting goals on the course. The par rating is calculated based on the distance and difficulty of each hole, typically including two putts.

Individual holes are categorized into par-3, par-4, and par-5 holes. A par-3 hole requires three strokes, while a par-4 hole requires four strokes, and a par-5 hole requires five strokes to complete. Par ratings can range from 3 to 5 for these individual holes.

When playing a standard 18-hole course, the total par for the course usually falls between 69 and 73. The most common par rating for an 18-hole course is par-72. This means that an expert golfer is expected to complete the course in 72 strokes, with an average of par-4 for each hole.

Par extends beyond individual holes and courses. It can also refer to the score of a group of holes, such as the front nine or the back nine, or the overall score of a tournament. Understanding and keeping track of par is crucial in golf, as it helps golfers assess their performance, strategize their shots, and calculate their tournament score.

Golf Scoring Terminology and Par Ratings

TermDefinitionPar Rating
ParThe expected number of strokes to complete a hole or a course.Varies (par-3, par-4, or par-5)
Par-3A hole that typically requires three strokes to complete.3
Par-4A hole that typically requires four strokes to complete.4
Par-5A hole that typically requires five strokes to complete.5
Par-72The most common par rating for an 18-hole course.72

What Are Under Par Scores?

In golf, when a player scores lower than par on a hole or a course, they achieve what is known as an “under par” score. Scoring below par is a sign of exceptional skill and precision on the golf course. Let’s take a closer look at the different under par scores and what they represent:


A birdie occurs when a golfer completes a hole in one stroke less than the designated par. For example, if a hole is a par-4, scoring a 3 on that hole is considered a birdie. It signifies a well-executed shot that puts the player in a favorable position to complete the hole.


An eagle is achieved when a golfer completes a hole in two strokes less than par. On a par-4 hole, scoring a 2 would be an eagle. This type of score is rare and indicates exceptional skill and accuracy in navigating the course.


Scoring three strokes under par on a hole is referred to as an albatross or double eagle. This achievement is incredibly rare and often occurs on long par-5 holes. An albatross is a testament to the golfer’s extraordinary abilities and can significantly impact their overall score.


A hole-in-one or ace is the pinnacle of golfing success. It is achieved when a player successfully puts the ball in the hole with their first stroke. This remarkable feat usually occurs on par-3 holes, resulting in a score of three strokes below par. Hole-in-ones are highly coveted and definitively rare in the world of golf.

ScoreStrokes Under Par
Hole-in-One3 (par-4) or 4 (par-3)

Scoring under par, whether it’s a birdie, eagle, albatross, or hole-in-one, is a testament to a golfer’s exceptional skills. These rare scores not only add excitement and enjoyment to the game but also serve as a benchmark for success and improvement. So next time you hit the course, keep aiming for those under par scores!

What Are Over Par Scores?

When a golfer scores higher than par on a hole or a course, they are said to be over par. Scoring above par indicates that a golfer had difficulty completing the hole within the expected number of strokes. Let’s take a look at the different over par scores:

ScoreStrokes Over Par
Double Bogey2
Triple Bogey3
Quadruple Bogey4

For scores that are more than four strokes over par on individual holes, there are no specific names. These over par scores signify that a golfer struggled to meet the expected score for the hole or course.

Understanding over par scores is crucial for evaluating performance on the golf course. By tracking these scores, golfers can identify areas for improvement and set goals to lower their scores over time.


Understanding the 7 golf scoring terms is crucial for every golfer looking to master their game. These terms – par, under par scores (birdie, eagle, albatross, hole-in-one), and over par scores (bogey, double bogey, triple bogey, quadruple bogey) – provide a framework for tracking performance on the course.

By familiarizing yourself with these scoring terms, you can evaluate your skills, set goals, and improve your game over time. Knowing your par helps you gauge how well you are performing relative to the expectations for each hole or course. Achieving under par scores like birdies, eagles, or hole-in-ones is considered exceptional and a testament to skill. On the other hand, scoring over par like bogeys, double bogeys, or triple bogeys indicates areas for improvement.

By mastering these scoring terms, you can enhance your golfing experience and elevate your understanding of the sport. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, these terms will help you navigate the course with confidence and track your progress. So, go ahead and delve into the world of golf scoring terms, master your game, and enjoy the thrill of improving your skills on the greens.