List of Golf Scoring Terms — (Golf Coach)

Golf Scoring Terms List Form Tell Me More Golf Instructors and Golf Coaches

As the head golf instructor at Tell Me More Golf, and in this article, I will share our ultimate guide to golf scoring terms.

After reading this article, you’ll know about all the important golf scoring lingo, which will save you any potential embarrassment out on the golf course.

List of Golf Scoring Terms 

Here is a complete list of all the important golf scoring terms

Golf Scoring TermExplanation 
StrokeA golf stroke is a single swing or hit of the golf ball with a club, where the intention was to move it in any direction. 
ScoreYour golf score is the total number of strokes you take to complete each hole during a round of golf. The lower the amount of strokes, the lower the score. 
ParThe par of a given hole represents the target number of strokes a scratch golfer should take to finish it. Higher handicaps use the par as something to benchmark their performance against. 
BirdieA birdie refers to completing a hole in one stroke less than its designated par. This is an above-average performance that virtually all golfers are happy with. 
EagleAn eagle occurs when you complete a hole in two strokes less than its designated par, such as completing a par 5 in 3 strokes. While a birdie is good, an eagle is excellent. 
Albatross / Double EagleAn albatross, also known as a double eagle, is achieved by completing a hole in three strokes less than its designated par. Most golfers will never get an albatross, as it’s incredibly challenging
CondorA condor occurs if you finish a hole four under its designated par. For example, this happens if you hole-in-one a par 5. As you can probably imagine, this is extraordinarily rare
OstrichAn ostrich isn’t really an official golf scoring term, as it refers to making an ace on a par 6, which aren’t “real” golf holes. In other words, an ostrich is achieved by completing a hole 5 under its par. 
Hole-in-one / AceA hole-in-one, also known as an ace, means hitting the ball directly into the cup from the tee box in a single stroke. This is true for par 3s, par 4s, and par 5s. 
BogeyA bogey is scoring one stroke over the designated par for a hole, which isn’t a bad score for many mid-to-high handicaps, but it’s not great for skilled golfers.
Double BogeyA double bogey refers to scoring two strokes over the designated par for a hole. Most golfers aren’t happy with a double, but it’s the normal score for many high handicaps. 
Triple BogeyA triple bogey signifies scoring three strokes over the designated par for a hole. A triple often occurs after hitting a ball OB or similar. The vast majority of golfers are not pleased by a triple. 
Quadruple BogeyA quadruple bogey represents scoring four strokes over the designated par for a hole. Quad bogeys are rare for low-to-mid handicaps, but they can happen to everyone
Quintuple BogeyA quintuple bogey means scoring five strokes over the designated par for a hole. Most golfers don’t make this very often, but it can happen on a significant blow-up hole. 
SnowmanYou probably won’t hear the term snowman very often, but it means taking 8 strokes on a single hole. For example, a snowman is making a triple on a par 5 hole. 
TurkeyTurkey also isn’t the most prevalent golf term, but it means making three consecutive birdies in three consecutive holes. A turkey is extremely challenging to pull off. – Frequently Asked Questions

Why are golf scores named after birds?

Golf scores are named after birds as a tradition. The names like “birdie,” “eagle,” and “albatross” denote progressively better performance, making scoring more interesting. 

The name birdie has a more specific history, as it comes from the early 20th century American slang term “bird,” which referred to anything great. 

What are golf scores called?

Golf scores have many different names depending on what score they’re referring to. 

A par is finishing a hole in the target amount of strokes for a scratch golfer. A birdie is when you finish a hole one under par, and an eagle is two under par. 

A bogey means finishing the hole in one stroke over the designated par, and a double bogey means finishing the hole in two strokes over par, and so on.

What is 2 strokes in golf called?

What 2 strokes is called in golf depends on what par you’re playing. If it’s a par 3 hole, it’s a birdie. If it’s a par 4, it’s an eagle. If you manage to take only two strokes on a par 5, you’ve got yourself an albatross. 

Is a birdie 2 under par?

A birdie refers to finishing the hole in one stroke under the hole’s par. 2 strokes under is an eagle. 

What is 5 over par called?

If you finish a hole 5 over its par, you made a quintuple bogey

What is the best shot in golf called?

The best score in golf, on a single hole, is undoubtedly the ace, also known as a hole-in-one. An ace on a par 4 hole is obviously more impressive than one on a par 3, but they’re both something all golfers dream of one day achieving. 

What is 4 strokes under par called?

If you finish a hole 4 strokes under par, you’ve made a condor. This is an unbelievably impressive feat that pretty much no golfers ever accomplish. 


There are many golf scoring terms to keep track of, but all of the most important ones have been covered in this article.

If you finish a hole on the target amount of strokes for a scratch player, you’ve made par. If you hit one under, you’ve made a birdie
If you finished the hole one over par, you’ve made a bogey, and two over par means a double bogey, and so on.

Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
Our golf instructor team brings it all to you, so enjoy!

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