what is par in golf

What Is Par in Golf? A Beginner’s Guide to Ace the Course!

Last Updated on October 24, 2023

Par in golf is a term that can be confusing for those who are just starting to learn the game. It’s often used interchangeably with “average,” but there’s more to it than meets the eye. So, if you’re looking to become an ace on par in golf, then read on. In this blog post, we’ll explore what exactly par means, how it came about and why understanding its concept will help improve your scorecard when playing a round of golf. We’ll also discuss how par is calculated so you can use this knowledge as part of your overall strategy when planning out each hole before teeing off. Get ready – let’s dive into everything you need to know about par in golf.

Table of Contents:

What Is Par?

It is usually marked on scorecards and course maps with the symbol “par” followed by a number. The par for each hole on a golf course will vary depending on its length and difficulty level. A typical 18-hole golf course has four par 3s, 10 par 4s, and four par 5s.

A golfer’s score for any given hole is determined by subtracting their total strokes from the established par for that particular hole. For example, if you hit your ball into the cup in five shots while playing a Par 4 hole, then your score would be one over Par (5-4=1). This means that you took one more stroke than what was expected of an expert golfer at that specific hole.

The goal of every golfer is to play as close to Par as possible; this indicates they are playing well and have mastered their technique enough to make up for any unexpected obstacles or hazards they may encounter during their round of golf. Achieving scores below Par can also result in rewards such as lower handicaps or even bragging rights among friends.

Scoring With Par

a man holding golf club on shoulder

When playing golf, each player attempts to get their ball into the cup in as few strokes as possible. If they make it in fewer than what is considered “par” for that particular hole, they have achieved a “birdie”—a single-stroke improvement over par. Conversely, if they make it in two shots less than par, an “eagle” has been accomplished – representing a two-stroke betterment of par. On the other hand, if more strokes are taken than what is deemed “par” for that specific hole, then this would be classified as a “bogey” – one shot worse off from par and a double bogey – two shots worse off from par – should two extra strokes be needed to reach the cup.

Achieving birdies or eagles can be very rewarding because these are great scores relative to your peers who are also trying to play at their best level with respect to each individual course layout and conditions present during any given round of golf. Bogeys or double bogeys can be demoralising but still represent respectable scores when compared against your peers, who may not be able to achieve better results due to various factors such as skill level or unfavourable weather conditions during their round of golfing experience.

Calculating Par

The most common way to calculate par for a single hole is by using its yardage. A standard par-3 will typically be between 100 and 250 yards long, while a par-4 will usually range from 250 to 450 yards in length. A par-5 can vary from 450 to 700 yards in length, depending on the difficulty of the course.

person aiming golf flag

In addition to calculating based on yardage alone, there are also certain factors that can affect what score counts as “par” for any given hole. For example, if there are sand traps or water hazards along the fairway, then this could increase or decrease what would otherwise be considered “par”. Similarly, if there are trees blocking your approach shot, then you may need more than one stroke just to get onto the green, which could also affect your overall score at that particular hole.

Finally, when calculating par for an entire course rather than just one individual hole, you must take into account all 18 holes plus any additional practice holes that may be included with some courses. This means adding together all 18 pars (or whatever total amount) and dividing them by 18 (or however many holes). The result will give you an average score per round which can help golfers determine their handicap rating over time, so they know where they stand compared to other players at their club or elsewhere around the world.

Key Takeaway: Par is an important part of golf, and it’s essential to understand how to calculate par for a given hole or course. Factors such as yardage, sand traps, water hazards and trees can affect the score that counts as “par” for any given hole. When calculating par for an entire course, you must take into account all 18 holes plus any additional practice holes included with some courses.

FAQs in Relation to What is Par in Golf

What does par mean in golf?

Par in golf is the predetermined number of strokes that a golfer should take to complete a hole or round. It is usually determined by taking into account the length and difficulty of the course, as well as other factors such as weather conditions. A score of par for any given hole means that the golfer has taken exactly the same number of strokes as were expected from them when they started playing it. If a player takes fewer than par, then they have achieved what is known as a birdie; if more than par, then it’s called a bogey.

Is golf par always 72?

No, golf par is not always 72. The number of strokes that a golfer should take to complete a hole or course can vary depending on the difficulty of the course and other factors. Generally speaking, par for an individual hole will range from 3 to 5 strokes, while an entire 18-hole course may have a total par ranging from 70 to 74. However, some courses may have higher or lower pars than this, depending on their design and difficulty level.

What is par in 18 holes of golf?

Par in golf is the number of strokes a golfer should take to complete a hole or 18 holes. Generally, par for an individual hole ranges from 3 to 5 strokes depending on its length and difficulty. For 18 holes, the total par is usually between 70 and 72 strokes. Par is used as a measure of performance; if you score below par, you have done well while scoring above it means that your game needs improvement. Knowing your par can help you track progress and set goals for yourself when playing golf.

How many strokes is a par?

It is typically set at 3 for shorter holes and 4 for longer ones. The term “par” comes from the French word meaning “equal”, as it represents an equal amount of effort required to complete each hole. Par can also be adjusted depending on difficulties or other factors, such as weather conditions or length of the course. Generally speaking; however, par remains constant throughout most courses and rounds of golf – 3 strokes for short holes and 4 strokes for long ones.


In conclusion, par in golf is an important concept to understand if you want to improve your game. Par is a term that has been around for centuries, and it’s used as the standard score when playing a round of golf. Knowing how to calculate par can help you keep track of your progress and know where you need improvement. With practice and dedication, you’ll be able to lower your scores below par in no time.

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