What Is a Snowman in Golf? — (Golf Instructor’s Advice)

What Is a Snowman in Golf According to Tell Me More Golf Instructors Giving the Definition of Snowman

As the head golf instructor at Tell Me More Golf, and in this article, I will answer a very common golf-lingo question: What is a “snowman?” 

This is a slang term you can often hear on TV and from random golfers, but not that many actually know what it means.

Snowman Explained

A snowman in golf refers to scoring an 8 on a single hole. In other words, if you write up an 8 on your scorecard for a given hole, you’ve scored a snowman. Scoring a snowman is something negative, as it’s not a great score by virtually any standards. 

Examples of Scoring a Snowman

This is the part where many get confused. A snowman refers to scoring an 8, no matter what par the hole is. That’s why you can score a snowman on a par 3, par 4, and par 5.

Snowman on a Par 3

On a par 3, a score of 8 means scoring a snowman, making it a quintuple bogey. This is a very high score for the vast majority of golfers, so if your friend says that you’ve made a snowman, they’re likely trying to be funny

Snowman on a Par 4

Since it means a score of 8, a snowman on a par 4 is equivalent to making a quadruple bogey.

Like earlier, this isn’t great, but many high handicap golfers will make it on occasion

Snowman on a Par 5

On a par 5, a snowman’s score of 8 means making a triple bogey. This is quite common for most golfers, and especially mid-to-high handicaps. So next time you make a triple bogey on a par 5, you can say “Put me down for a snowman.” 


Origin – Where Does It Come From? 

The term snowman has a very simple, albeit slightly boring, origin. An 8 sort of looks like a snowman, which is why a score of 8 is called a snowman.

The shape of a snowman resembles an eight because its body is made of two large circles.

This origin story is quite logical, but we understand if you found it a bit underwhelming. 

Dealing with the Frustration of a Snowman

Scoring a snowman, or an 8, on any golf hole can be very mentally challenging. It’s easy to feel frustration and disappointment when you’re faced with such a high score, regardless of the hole’s par. The mental aspect of the game becomes crucial during these moments.

To handle this frustration, you can rely on mental strategies like staying focused on the next shot, rather than dwelling on past mistakes.

Breathing exercises and visualization techniques can also help in regaining composure. 

Understanding that even professionals have occasionally scored snowmen, throughout the entire par spectrum, can put things in perspective. Ultimately, embracing your mistakes and learning from them is an essential part of improving your golf game.


A Snowman’s Silver-Lining 

While scoring a snowman, also known as an 8, on a golf hole may not be the goal, it presents valuable learning opportunities.

High scores can teach you important lessons about what you need to work on.

They highlight weaknesses that need improvement, whether it’s distance off the tee, approach shots, making more putts, or not hitting it out of bounds.

For most amateurs, the blow-up holes are a large reason why your handicap isn’t dropping. So if you learn from your snowmen and work on those things, you can likely shave 5, or even 10 strokes per round, and play your best golf

TellMeMoreGolf.com – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a snowman in golf scoring?

In golf, there’s a term called “snowman.” This refers to scoring an 8 on a single hole. It doesn’t matter if it’s a par 3, par 4, or par 5; either way a score of 8 means making a snowman

Why is an 8 called a snowman?

The reason why an 8 is called a snowman is very simple, boring, and logical: a snowman looks like an 8. A snowman consists of two large circles, just like an 8, which is why a score of 8 is called a snowman. 

Where does the golf term snowman come from? 

Where and who first started using the term snowman in golf is not clear. Instead, the origin story is simply that a snowman looks like an 8, so some golfers started calling a score of 8 a snowman, and the trend caught on



In this article, we’ve explained what the term snowman means in golf. Scoring a snowman refers to making an 8 on a single hole. It doesn’t matter if it’s a par 3, par 4, or par 5; in all of those cases a score of 8 means making a snowman. 

Knowing what a snowman means in golf can be quite valuable, as you might come across it on TV during professional tournaments and around the golf course. Also, saying that you made a snowman on a hole can feel better than saying you made a quadruple bogey. 


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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