what is par in golf

What is a Par in Golf?

What is a Par in Golf?

Par is a score given to a hole on the golf course based on how many strokes it should take the golfer to put the golf ball into the hole.

Par is also a score given to the entire golf course as a whole when you combine all of the par’s of the individual holes together.

Golfer’s can judge their skills and abilities on a golf course by comparing their scores to the par rating for the golf course and the par rating of each hole.

Most golf courses have a Par of 72, which means the golfer should take 72 total strokes to complete all 18 holes on the golf course.

Individual holes will be rated either a Par 3, Par 4, or Par 5.

Most golf courses have the following breakdown:

  • 4 holes are Par 3
  • 4 holes are Par 5
  • 10 holes are Par 4

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When you multiple the 4 holes x 3 strokes each, and add it to the 4 holes x 5 strokes each, plus the 10 holes x 4 strokes each, you get a total of 72 strokes, which is standard par for most golf courses.

In the case where a golf course has a par rating of 71, they likely got rid of one par 5, making it an extra Par 4 instead.

For Par 70 golf courses, we usually notice only (2) Par 5 holes on the scorecard, one on the front 9 and one on the back 9. This creates 12 holes to be Par 4’s.

It’s also possible some golf courses will add an extra Par 3, making a total of 5 holes that are Par 3, but this is quite rare.

Is Par a Good Score in Golf?

Yes, par is a great score to achieve on the golf course. If you can make all pars for the entire 18 hole golf round, you are an excellent golfer. The best golfers in the world make a high number of pars on the scorecard during their rounds.

If you want to score below 80 in golf, you should try to make at least 11 or more pars out of the 18 holes. Let’s take a look at how to score a par in golf…

How to Score Par on a Golf Hole

Let’s take a Par 4 hole for example. If you wanted to score Par on the Par 4, you would need to use only 4 strokes to get the ball into the hole.

A typical breakdown of those 4 strokes would include:

  • Hitting a tee shot onto the fairway with driver for your first stroke
  • Hitting an iron shot from the fairway onto the green with your 2nd stroke
  • Hitting a putt on the green for your 3rd stroke
  • Finishing the hole by making the putt into the hole on your 4th stroke

On a Par 3, you are hitting a tee shot onto the green for your first shot and then have two putts left to try and get the ball into the hole in just 3 strokes total.

On a Par 5 you can hit a tee shot and then two additional strokes after to hopefully get the ball onto the green in just 3 strokes. This leaves you stroke 4, and stroke 5 to putt the ball on the green with your putter golf club.

The goal is to get the ball onto the green in two strokes less than par, to leave yourself the last two strokes of the hole for putting.

For example:

Par 3 – hit the ball onto the green in 1 stroke (the tee shot)

Par 4 – hit the ball onto the green in 2 strokes (tee shot and approach shot)

Par 5 – hit the ball onto the green in 3 strokes (tee shot, plus two more strokes with irons/woods)

Once on the green, you try to two-putt to finish the hole in par. If you make the first putt, you end up with a better than par score, which we will talk about next.

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Do Golfer’s Ever Score Under Par?

One of the hardest things to do in golf is score better than par. For example, if you score a 2 on a par 3 or if you score a 3 on a Par 4. This is called a birdie, and it designates that you scored 1 stroke less than par, which is good. The lower the score the better in golf.

Professional golfers often score under par, shooting scores below the par for the golf course and Amateur golfers tend to score many strokes above par.

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