What is Par in Golf?

Are you a golf newbie who’s just starting out on the driving range? If so, then there’s a huge chance you’ve heard the word “par” when someone is describing a hole on the golf course.

So, what does it mean exactly? What is a par in golf?

Apparently, it’s the number of strokes a player is expected to use in order to complete a hole on the golf course. In other words, if you make par on a hole, it means that you used the exact number of strokes that were expected to complete that particular hole.

However, how are pars determined? And is making par a good thing? Read on to become a more informed golfer!

How Is the Par of a Golf Course Determined?

Golf Iron Nice Background

You see, the yardage between your teeing area and the holes on the golf course aren’t all the same. Some holes are 250 yards, while others reach almost 700 yards!

Because of that, the average par is determined based on how many strokes would take an expert golfer to putt the ball, depending on the size of the hole.

Is Scoring a Par on a Golf Course Considered Good?

The answer to this is a little bit complicated. Basically, making par on every hole is a very good thing. This means that you’re hitting your shots at the right distance and using the right club.

However, you’ll need to keep in mind that par also means “average” in golf, so there aren’t exactly any prizes for that!

Sunshine on the Golf Course

In fact, hitting par isn’t even considered a great score by many pros. It’s surely a sign that you’re a good golfer, but if you want to be a better player, you’ll need to aim higher than average.

Average Pars Explained

While you’re out on the driving range, you’ll hear things like par 3, par 4, and par 5.  So, what do they actually mean? Here’s what you need to know:

Par 3

Generally, a par 3 hole is the shortest hole on the golf course. It’s just around 250 yards in men’s tournaments and 210 in women’s. So, it only requires one good stroke from you to get the ball on the green. And after that, you’ll have two remaining shots to putt the ball.

However, while a par 3 is short, it can be challenging—especially if you’re a beginner. This is because you have to make sure that your ball lands in the perfect spot straight from your tee-off.

Par 4

Golf Courses II

This par is set up so that players can reach the green near the hole in just two strokes

After that, you’re supposed to putt twice to hit par 4. It’s a medium-length hole that starts at around 251–470 yards for men and 211–400 for women.

Par 4 is usually considered a good practice hole for beginners as it’s not too long that you have to make a lot of effort and not too short that you’ll miss it completely. You can easily make par on this hole with just a little bit of practice!

Par 5

Finally, we have par 5. This is by far the largest hole we have, as it stands at around 401–690 yards for male tournaments and 401–575 yards for female tournaments.

To make this par, you need to take three shots exactly to get your ball onto the green. Then, you’ll have two strokes left to putt the ball. If you play it cleverly, though, you can hit the ball far enough that you only need to putt it in after one stroke on the green instead of two!


Of course, there are some exceptions to every rule. For instance, there’s a par 7 at the Gunsan Country Club in South Korea, which is around 1,110 yards!

What Are Pars 72,71,70?

Golf Glove, Scorecard

Now that you know what a par is, you might be wondering what par 70, par 71, and par 72 mean.

So, let’s just start by saying that, no, these numbers don’t mean that the average score for a hole is 70 or over!

This is the grand total of the par scores on the entire course. In other words, because a golf course consists of 18 holes in total, if you add up all 18 pars, you’ll get around 69–74. This is about four par 3, ten par 4, and four par 5.

What Does Par for the Course Mean?

Par for the course is another term that you might hear on the driving range. It basically means the average score on the course. For example, if the par for the course is 70 and you shoot 69, then you’re below par—which is a good thing!

Final Words

So, are you still wondering what is a par in golf? We sure hope not!

To give you a quick recap, a par in golf is the number of strokes you need to hit the ball from the starting point to reach the hole. It’s also a measurement of how skilled you are as a golf player!

Just remember: even if you’re not making par with your golf game, keep practicing. You never know—you may hit a hole-in-one!

The Golf Bandit
The Golf Bandit

Hi, I'm Jan. I love golf and I have been playing for a while now. I really enjoy trying out new golf clubs and equipment, and like to review them on my blog. I consider myself lucky as I have access to the latest clubs and gadgets, so I can get a feel for how they perform on the golf course. I also like to share my tips and tricks on how to improve your game, so if you're looking for help with that then look no further! Thanks for visiting, and I hope you find something useful here.

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