What Do the Golf Terms “Par” and “Bogey” Mean and Where Did the Words Come From?

Until the introduction of the modern golf ball in 1898, an average score for any given hole was called a bogey.

Bogey is the Scottish word for ghost, meaning that the challenge was within the individual player against an unseen opponent.

The modern ball took one less stroke to reach the hole, so the new standard was called par, a short form of parity, meaning equal.

Bogey was kept as meaning the original average with the old cloth-covered ball, or one shot over the new ball average of par.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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