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I want to hear others' thoughts on this subject to help prove to someone esle what par should be on a given hole.

This such person claims that a Par 3 doesn't have to be reachable for a putt at birdie (assume an "average" amateur playing from the am pads or the "average" pro from the pro pads). Well....I asked how then, are you supposed to birdie that Par 3??? (my opinion is that if a hole isn't able to be birdied, then the Par is wrong and should be adjusted) Their response is "a Par 3 doesn't have to be birdie-able to be a Par 3". Does that even make sense???

PDGA's definition of Par is: "As determined by the director, the score an expert disc golfer would be expected to make on a given hole. Par means errorless play under ordinary weather conditions, allowing two close range throws to hole-out."

As on the PGA Tour, 

Most Par 3s are reachable by the "average" pro in 1 shot, giving a chance for a birdie with a successful putt ("a close range shot").

Most Par 4s are reachable by the "average" pro in 2 shots, giving a chance for a birdie with a successful putt ("a close range shot").

Most Par 5s are reachable by the "average" pro in 3 shots, giving a chance for a birdie with a successful putt ("a close range shot").

I would assume that a "close range throw" is a PUTT. So according to their definition, a Par 3 for example would mean that that given hole should take 1 shot to get into putting distance and two "close range throws" to hole-out (get a PAR). If you make the first putt, you are awarded with a BIRDIE. Am I right in my thinking? Or am I wrong in assuming a "close range throw" is a PUTT?

Another reason for this discussion is that our course here in Tally, FL has some questionable Pars for some people (mainly alot of Par 3.5s). If alot of our holes aren't even close to being reachable for the "average" amateur from the short pads (am pads), why should it be a Par 3 for them if a birdie (2) is a rare occurrence? (I also have to say the course design wasn't the greatest but that was a while back) It should be a Par 4 then or lengthened some to make it more of a true Par 4.

Please give me your thoughts on this subject

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^^This is how I always think of par. I also use par 3 for all holes because it's easy math.

We always do the par 3's for the easier math too. But like Mark said par is irrelevant, if you have fewer strokes at the end you win.

It's easier to say "I got 6 birdies in a row", rather than explaining "I got 3 birdies than a three on a hole that basically plays as a par four, then 2 more birdies"

I basically agree with everything par 3, but I think this is a valid point

If a tourney round of -4 equates to a 950 rated round at one course and a +4 at another course equates to a 975 rated round, which one are you more proud of? (Take the +4)


The only time I am even remotely interested in what par might be on any hole, is when I have never played there and I am trying to gauge the distance and or difficulty of a hole. This is usually well in adavance of a tourney and I'm reading about the course and its layout on some website. Once I get there and walk a course or hopefully play it in adavance, I no longer am in need of this information.


The best I ever shot at La Mirada (My Local) is -8. I hit 10 birdies that day. I interanlize the -8, the 10 birdies is what I tell my friends I hit. :)



At the end of the day par is irrelevant but it does give a person a way to gauge how things are going during the round. If you take a bogey on a hole that you think most people will par you can be assured that you are going in the wrong direction. A birdie or eagle will tell you that you are going in the right direction. Also during league it is good to know where you stand versus par because depending on the setup you can shoot for a certain number (say 10 under). So it isn't completely irrelevant and it should reflect the difficulty of a hole.

I'm also among those who thinks par doesn't matter.  Almost.

It has to be assigned, fairly assigned, for the scoring of players who arrive late for a tournament round.

If you value "par", you have to deal with the fact that there is no agreement on how to determine it, and no consistency on how to apply it.  So if you say you shot "under par", it's pretty meaningless.

But I wouldn't assume the PDGA guideline's "close range throws" mean putts, or within the 10-meter circle.  If they meant that, they could have said that.

And I don't agree that a hole has to be birdieable.  If you have a hole with a scoring spread of 65% 3s, 35% 4s, excluding outliers, by most measures it's a tough par-3, not a par-4 that's birdied most of the time.

I am pretty sure that you are all high.

Duuude!  That's Bogus!!


There are some instances where par is relevant.  First if someone arrives late and misses a hole and has to take a par +4 ( this is really the only instance I can think of where par on an individual hole has any meaning and it's rare where taking a 7 on a hole isn't sufficient punishment, #11 at burchfield from long to long might be one example.).  Second is where having an accurate course par would be helpful.  You may not have a field of opponents to compare yourself to or you may be planning a trip and want to know how difficult a course is expected to be before going.  This is why I wish SSA ratings were still available on the PDGA site.  Although it is funny to hear people ask if you play the course as all par threes.  I usually suggest playing the course to get the lowest score.

Then why do we have one for Pro's and one Am's. My locate course has two holes that, I count as 4's. But some of the other players counts it as a 3, because they reach it, in two or three. I have play some courses where the Par was an overkill. Like it was a 6 and I was there in 3. It seem like a lot of players use Par 3 rule. I use what the course is set up for. Then, I try to better the course. I know this does not really help the issues here. Maybe PDGA need to clear this up, for Pro's and AM's together. Put the disc in their bag.



The "all par 3" formula is more a scorekeeping shorthand than any true use of "par".  I'm one who keeps score this way, regardless of course, because it's almost always the easiest way to keep it in my head, or tally a card.

The PDGA can't clear it up because they don't have control of course design or signage.  They can set standards, have set standards of a sort, but don't have enforcement powers.

This discussion is better than most, in that a lot of the points are about what par is good for, not just how it should be defined:  We have:


- a scorekeeping shorthand


- for the scoring of players who arrive late for a tournament round


 - give a person a way to gauge how things are going during the round. If my score loses a stroke to the field, that's a bogey.  A birdie or eagle will tell you that you are going in the right direction.  handing out Eagles to the truly exceptional shots.


 - reflect the difficulty of a hole, to gauge the distance and or difficulty of a hole,


 - to know how difficult a course is expected to be before going


So, balance the importance of these goals and set par accordingly to do the best job it can.


No single definition will be best for all of the things par can do for us.  For example, "All par 3" will do the best job as a scorekeeping shorthand, but the worst at comparing the difficulty of different courses.


As a course designer I would optimize the ability to 1. compare difficulty of courses and 2.  let players know how they are doing during a round.  There is no conflict between these two goals, so they both can be optimized.  One is a matter of standardization (a formula based on scoring distributions of players with known abilities), the other is a matter of lowering par to where a birdie means you're gaining on the field, and the winning score will be just a few under par. 


I think the other goals of reflecting the difficulty of each hole and fairly assigning late scores would also be well met.


And, players can still ignore par for adding up their scores.  Call "everything's a 3" the arithmetic shortcut that it is, not par.

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