Bogey competitions incorporate the central feature of matchplay - the winning or losing of individual holes - into a strokeplay competition.

Originally all golf competitions were played as matchplay competitions. In other words, competitions were played as a series of knockouts.

Bogey competitions incorporated the central feature of matchplay – the winning or losing of individual holes – into a strokeplay competition.

According to the R&A, the first bogey competitions were played at Coventry GC in 1891.

The concept is similar to that of the competition later devised by Dr Frank Stableford and which now bears his name, in that on each hole you are rewarded on how you do against the course.

But the matchplay component means that you are playing a matchplay competition against the course. At the end of the round you total up your nett matchplay score, so bogey competitions require that all 18 holes are played out, unlike matchplay ones which can finish before the 18 holes are played if the result is already determined.

The ‘course’s score’ on each hole is either par or, at courses which also has this on the scorecard, bogey. Bogey in this instance is the original meaning of the word, as the score a good player would expect to make on a hole. Normally this is then same as the par score, occasionally it is a shot higher.

A few of the more traditional golf clubs to this day still have a bogey score and a par score on their scorecard, and the total bogey score will normally be around 5-6 shots a round higher than the par one.

Bogey competitions can be played against par or bogey. Sometimes in the former case they are known as par competitions.

Just like in Stableford, the par is adjusted for each hole according to each player’s individual handicap and the stroke index.

Bogey and par competitions are played as strokeplay competitions not matchplay ones, so all the rule and penalites are the strokeplay ones.

The winner of the competition is the player who wins the most nett holes.

  • Emmet M Holland

    Is this the same as v-par competitions?

    Ie..if you beat par for your handicap you are 1 up, if you are net par for your handicap it’s a half, if you are net bogey or worse you are 1 down

  • Yeti owner

    Clear as mud to me I’m afraid