golf par

What Is Par In Golf, And Why Does It Matter So Much?

Author: Larissa Allard

Updated: Dec 24, 2023

Comments: 0

Par in golf is an unavoidable term. If you are a beginner, you must be hearing it quite often. Despite your rough understanding, you need to have a wholesome idea about par.

Having a clear understanding will let you improve your game even better. If you are here in search of what does Par mean in golf, you are on the right platform!

This editorial will present you with complete knowledge about Par along with its significance in golf.

So, let’s begin. In its technical definition, par in golf is usually the total count of strokes predicted for you to get the golf ball into the hole. Every Par is unique for a single hole.

It is also completely based on its length from the Tee box. Now, the real question is, how is it predicted? Everyone cannot have a different par.

So, a standardized number of strokes is decided to complete the hole. This is how a par gets decided in the game of golf.

Sometimes, the calculation of Par golf signifies the total count of strokes to reach the greens along with 2 putts.

However, it is not necessary that the golfer must have to achieve 2 putts to complete the Par.

Par For Different Holes

You know what is par in golf now. Now you should understand how you decide Par for any particular hole. Every golf course has different holes with different distances from the tee box. 

For example, you are playing on a golf course, having a hole from a tee box exactly at a distance of 420 yards. It is calculated as a par 4 hole.

You have to reach this hole in a total of 4 strokes. You can reach the greens in 2 shots and then achieve the hole in two more putts. This will give you a par in a 4-par hole.

Similarly, in the case of a par 3 hole, you must reach the hole in three strokes. You can strike one shot to reach the greens and then get to the hole in two more putts.

Different Types Of Par In Golf

In your Journey of mastering golf, you will start discovering different types of Pars. It is obvious that in the game of golf, you will not always reach your hole in a perfect par.

In the game of golf, you will not achieve a hole in the decided Par. Sometimes, you can also achieve within the strokes decided.

In such scenarios, these pars have diverse names. Let’s understand different pars with their names.

Level Par

A Level par is when you achieve your hole with decided strokes for the Par. Suppose, for instance, you are golfing in a 4-par hole.

You have reached your hole in exactly 4 strokes or Par. In such cases, you have achieved a level of Par.

One Over Par Or Bogey

When you are playing in a 5-par hole, and you achieve your hole with 6 strokes, that’s when you say a one-over par or bogey.

You call it over Par as you take one more extra stroke to reach your hole.

Two Over Par Or A Double Bogey

This is a term to hear when you reach your hole with extra strokes.

For example, you are playing a 4-par hole, and you achieve your hole in 6 strokes. That’s when you have scored a double bogey.

3 Over Par Or Triple Bogey

Similarly, when you achieve your hole in three extra strokes, you have scored 3 over Par, or triple bogey.

For instance, you are in a 6-par hole. You have made a total of 9 strokes with three extra strokes, then that is a triple bogey.

Birdie Or One Under Par

Sometimes, you may achieve your hole with one lesser stroke. That is when you say one under Par.

Consider the scenario when you are playing a 5-par hole in golf. Now you have achieved your hole in 4 strokes. In these circumstances, it is 1 under Par.

Birdie Dance

Have you heard of birdie dance? If no! Soon, score a one under Par, and you will know about it.

A birdie dance is a moment of celebration in golf when you reach your hole with one stroke left. 

Two under-par Or Eagle

An Eagle or a two under Par is when you manage to achieve the hole with two strokes lesser than a par.

Suppose you are playing a 5 par, and you achieve a hole in three strokes. That’s an Eagle!

Three under par Or Albatross

You score an albatross or a three under Par when you achieve a goal with three strokes less.

Suppose you are playing in a 7-par hole and achieve a hole in 4 strokes; you say it is an Albatross.

Similarly, if you will ask, what is par for 18 holes? The answer is with you to calculate.

Hole in one

It is not something that you would always score. There are odd chances to get a hole-in-one!

However, a hole-in-one is when you achieve your hole in one stroke. Suppose you are playing a 4-par hole and get to the hole in one stroke.

Par Distance Or Measurement From The Hole

The golf course always gets measured in yards. In rare cases, you will find it measured in any other unit. The United States Golf Association has also set a maximum and minimum hole length for all pars.

That implies the distance from the tee box cannot exceed the maximum length set by the USGA. Let’s look at the yardages for men and women.

Yardages For men

The USGA has set ranges or the average yard distance to decide par for every hole. Below are the average yard distance and Pars respective to them.

Par 3 hole: 250 yards

Par 4 hole: 251- 470 yards

Par 5 hole: 471- 690 yards

Par 6 hole: 691 yards +

Yardages For Women As Per USGA

USGA has also set an average yard range for deciding par in golf for women. Here are the yard ranges and their respective Pars for women.

Par 3 hole: 250 yards

Par 4 hole: 251-470 yards

Par 5 hole: 471- 690 yards

Par 6 hole: 691 yards +

What Is A Handicap System In Golf? What Should You Know?

As per the USGA, the handicap system is the numeric score that evaluates any golfer’s playing skills.

The USGA sees the evaluation and estimation of the golf handicaps. It helps in achieving the level of playing field.

The Handicap system also offers a chance for players to compete fairly.

The Handicap system, in simple language, is the count of strokes that any golfer attempts below or above the par score.

How Does Par Decide The Winner In Stroke Play And Match Play?

In a stroke play, the winner is usually the one with the lower par score. Players A and B, for instance, are engaging in stroke play.

Player A has 10 handicaps, and player B has 15 handicaps. Thus, 5 shots would be taken away from player B from the total. Whosoever the score is lower will win.

If the same two players play a match, play. The same player, B, will just get an extra stroke compared to player A’s score.

It is in the most difficult 5 holes on the course. This is because the handicaps of the two players are different.

Course Par

In golf par, the golf course gets segmented into two sides, mainly front or back. The combined calculated score for all those holes makes the par score for any side.

If you look at a regular breakdown, then it looks something like this: 36-35-71. This means 36 would be the par score for the front side, and 35 would be the par score back. Thus, the entire par score would be 71.

What Are Par-70, 71, And 72?

Many of you may think par 70, 71, and 72 means you need 72 strokes to reach the hole.

No, it is not like that. Instead, the golf course has up to 18 holes. This means you can get up to par 69 and 74.

Par And Your Score: What’s The Relation?

Par in golf can greatly affect any golfer’s career. You will always have a great score when you reach your hole under par or level par.

On the other side, getting the holes in the bogey can degrade your performance.


As a beginner, a Par in golf is an important term to learn. Knowing the details about Par will help you achieve your target better.

There are different types of Par in golf. The Par is decided per the average distance from the golf ball to the hole.

While playing the game, you must achieve your hole in the decided Par. You must achieve the target under Par to win with a better score.

<a href="" target="_self">Larissa Allard</a>

Larissa Allard

Larissa has been a flamboyant golfer since the raw age of 8. With her savvy mind and keen observation skills, she mastered the sport faster than anyone else could. Larissa has always been eloquent with writing and is a graduate of Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego. Being a golf player for 16 years and a professional golfer for 8 years, she's adapt and has coached many amateur golfers as well.


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