Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Bogey score

Ever since we restored the original teeing grounds on holes 6 and 18, we've used some simple signs to help players know which set of tees are being used for that days play.  This spring I put out some new signs (the old signs were awkward to move around) and enough of you have commented on them that I figure it's time for an explanation as to what's written on them.  For example the sign on 6 says that it is a bogey 3, but people keep asking me why it isn't a bogey 4 since the hole is a par 3.  To answer this question we have to review the definition of the terms par and bogey.
First of all "par" is the score that a scratch golfer should make, and for the most part the par of a hole is based on it's effective length.  Today, bogey is considered one over par, but back in the day when Tacoma C&GC was founded, and golf in America was in its infancy, the bogey score was what a good player should make based on the collective agreement of the committee.  The length of a hole certainly had an influence on this decision but mostly it was based on the overall difficulty of the hole.  In other words, hazards like bunkers, water, wind, elevation and the like were considered when the bogey score was calculated.  Check out our scorecard from 1925, you can see that each hole had a par and a bogey score.  The par for the course was 72 and the bogey score for the course was 81.    
To make things more interesting, the bogey score was considered that which was played by a fictitious person named colonel bogey or the bogey man.  It was commonly said that you beat the colonel, or the bogey man if you bested the bogey score.  Since the "good old days" golf course rating with the addition of slope-rating has become a very standardized measure of a golf course's difficulty, and the bogey score as originally intended has mostly become nonexistent. Ironically, the bogey score as originally intended is a much better target score for most of us.  I mean seriously, most of us will never beat par.  If we go out there with the goal to beat par, we will spend much of our golfing days feeling very defeated.  That's why I'm putting the bogey score on the course signage.  We all have different abilities but we all want to have fun. Getting beat up by chasing par is not near as fun as beating up on the Colonel.  If you want to read some more about the history of par and bogey click HERE, or click HERE

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Joel. Great historical info and new perspective about my score on the course. I already feel better playing against the Bogey Man instead of par!