What is Par?
A common question from beginner golfers in our Fun Golf Community, is about what par in golf is and how it impacts a player’s score. To help answer this question, “What is Par and How Does It Affect My Score?”, I’ve put together a comprehensive guide that explains par and its effect on your golf score. So, let’s dive in and help you understand more about this golf term!
What is Par in Golf?
In the world of golf, par is the standard number of strokes a skilled golfer is expected to take to complete a hole or an entire course. Each hole on a course has its own par score, and the course’s total par score is the sum of these individual par scores. Typically, an 18-hole golf course will have a par score ranging from 70 to 72, consisting of a mix of par-3, par-4, and par-5 holes.
How Par Affects Your Score
Your golf score is determined by comparing the number of strokes you take to complete a hole or a course to its par score. If you complete a hole in fewer strokes than its par, you’re considered to be “under par” for that hole. Conversely, if you take more strokes than the par score, you’re “over par.”
For example, let’s say you’re playing a par-4 hole. If you manage to complete the hole in just three strokes, you’ve scored a birdie, which means you’re one stroke under par. However, if it takes you five strokes to complete the hole, you’ve scored a bogey, putting you one stroke over par.
The goal in golf is to have the lowest score possible, so the fewer strokes you take relative to par, the better your overall score will be.
How Par Affects Your Strategy and Club Selection
Understanding the concept of par can help you make better decisions on the course, including club selection and shot strategy. For example, knowing the par score for a hole can help you choose the right club, such as whether to go for a used golf club or invest in a new one. It also helps you decide on your driver choice and whether to use a 7 wood or another club for specific shots.
Let’s consider a real-life example to see how par can influence your strategy. Imagine you’re playing a par-5 hole that requires a long drive followed by a challenging approach shot over water. You know that reaching the green in two strokes is unlikely, so instead of taking unnecessary risks, you decide to lay up with a conservative shot, aiming to reach the green in three strokes and secure a par.
In this scenario, understanding the hole’s par score helped you make a smarter decision, increasing your chances of scoring well.
Par, Handicap, and Measuring Your Improvement
One of the benefits of understanding par and how it affects your score is that it allows you to measure your improvement over time. By tracking your performance relative to par, you can set personal goals and work towards becoming a better golfer.
A great way to track your progress is by using the handicap system, which reflects a golfer’s ability based on their past performance. A scratch golfer, for example, has a 0 handicap and can play to a course handicap of zero on any rated golf course. The lower your handicap, the better your skill level.
By comparing your scores to the par of the courses you play, you can work on lowering your handicap and improving your overall golf game.
How Course Difficulty Affects Par
It’s important to note that par is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Different golf courses have varying levels of difficulty, which can impact the par scores assigned to individual holes and the overall course. Factors such as course length, hazards, and green complexity can all influence a hole’s par score.
To better understand how course difficulty affects par, consider the following example. You’re playing on two different golf courses, both with a par-72 rating. However, one course has numerous water hazards, tight fairways, and challenging greens, while the other is more open and forgiving. Even though both courses have the same par score, the more difficult course will likely require more skill and precision to achieve a similar score to the easier course.
By factoring in course difficulty when evaluating your performance relative to par, you can gain a more accurate understanding of your golf abilities and areas for improvement.
Understanding the concept of par and how it affects your golf score is essential for any golfer, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro. By using par as a benchmark for your performance, you can make better decisions on the course, measure your improvement over time, and work towards becoming a more skilled golfer. If you’re looking for more help on some of the most common words used in golf why not have a look at my Golf Glossary.
Fun Golf Equipment Advice
At Fun Golf, we believe that there’s more to golf than just the equipment you use. That’s why we’ve created content that covers a range of topics related to the sport such as What is Par in golf. Here are some of our other articles that we think you might find helpful:
- Golf Insurance: Golf can be an expensive sport, and accidents can happen. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to golf insurance, which can help protect you from unexpected costs. Check out our article on golf insurance to learn more.
- Cheap Golf Rangefinders: Rangefinders can be a valuable tool on the golf course, but they can also be expensive. We’ve researched and tested some of the best affordable rangefinders on the market, and put together a guide to help you find the right one for your needs. Check out our article on cheap golf rangefinders to learn more.
- Beginner Golf Balls: If you’re just starting out in golf, choosing the right balls can be confusing. We’ve reviewed some of the best golf balls for beginners, taking into account factors such as distance, spin, and feel. Check out our article on beginner golf balls to learn more.
- Best Golf Trolleys: Carrying your golf bag can be tiring, which is why many golfers opt for a trolley. But with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. We’ve researched and tested some of the best golf trolleys, and put together a guide to help you make an informed decision. Check out our article on best golf trolleys to learn more.
By exploring these topics, you can improve your overall golfing experience and make the most out of your time on the course. And as always, we at Fun Golf are committed to providing you with accurate and helpful information to help you enjoy the sport to its fullest. Be sure to join our Fun Golf Community for tips, advice and exclusive discounts off popular golf brands.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you explain par in golf?
Par in golf is the standard number of strokes that an expert golfer is expected to take to complete a hole or a round. It serves as a benchmark to measure a golfer’s performance, with the goal being to finish each hole in as few strokes as possible.
What does “to par” mean on golf scoring?
When referring to “to par” in golf scoring, it means the number of strokes a golfer is above or below the par score. For example, if a golfer is 2 under par, it means they have taken 2 fewer strokes than the par score for the round. Conversely, if a golfer is 3 over par, they have taken 3 more strokes than the par score.
What does par 72 mean in golf?
Par 72 in golf refers to the total number of strokes an expert golfer is expected to take to complete an 18-hole course. It’s a common par score for many golf courses, with a mix of par-3, par-4, and par-5 holes throughout the round.
What is par for 18 holes?
The par for 18 holes typically ranges from 70 to 72. It’s the sum of the par scores for each individual hole on the course. Most courses feature a majority of par-4 holes, along with a combination of par-3 and par-5 holes.
What is a par 72?
A par 72 is a golf course where the total par score for an 18-hole round is 72. It’s one of the most common par scores for a full round of golf, and it’s calculated by adding up the par scores for each hole on the course.
What does par 71 mean?
Par 71 means that the total par score for an 18-hole golf course is 71 strokes. It’s less common than a par-72 course, but you may encounter par-71 courses that feature a different mix of par-3, par-4, and par-5 holes.
What does par 5 mean in golf?
A par 5 in golf refers to a hole where an expert golfer is expected to take 5 strokes to complete it. Par-5 holes are typically longer than par-3 and par-4 holes, often requiring multiple shots to reach the green before attempting to putt the ball into the hole.
What does par 3 mean in golf?
A par 3 in golf is a hole where an expert golfer is expected to take 3 strokes to complete it. Par-3 holes are usually shorter than par-4 and par-5 holes, often allowing golfers to hit the ball onto the green with their tee shot and then attempt to complete the hole with one or two putts.