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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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Amen brother, I'm in with your train of thought. I too believe that a hole should be birdie-able, and if it's not, the par should be raised. A really good drive should be rewarded with a chance at a birdie, not with another 200ft to the basket, or some other insanely skilled shot through the trees! Raise the par and start handing out Eagles to the truly exceptional shots.

Par is a concept that applies better to a course than an individual hole.  The USGA has defined par as the score shot by the average golfer in the top half of the field at the premiere amateur invitational.  Applying that definition to disc golf, par is what the 960 to 970 rated players are shooting on an average day. 

If a hole requires a really excellent drive to set up a chip shot for a drop in 3, I think that can be a par three even though there is not a route for a birdie.  If that hole punishes a bad drive with a 4 almost every time, you cannot call it a par 4 because par is not what you get when you get punished.  Circle R Meadows, number 8 I think, is like this if the creek bed is played as o.b.  A good drive gets you out of the trees with a pitch across the creek and a drop in 3.  The low ceiling makes it nearly impossible to drive the basket for a two.  But an advanced amateur only gets a four or worse if he gets a bad shot.

Hole par only matters if you're late to tee on a shotgun start.  Lowest score wins, regardless of what you decide to call par on any hole (unless you're playing some weird game designed by Chuck Kennedy). 

I do not agree.. if this were true..then all 200 ft holes would be par 2..

Most of them should be.  When good ams go play ball golf they aren't playing for birdie they are happy to get par and they have to work to get it.  Par in golf is not average it is what good players score with mistake free play.  The ball golf concept of par is very close to the calculation of SSA in disc golf.  If you have an 18 hole course with an SSA les than 54 some of the holes on that course are in effect par 2 whether you call them that on an individual basis or not. 

How is a birdie a reward or a bogey a punishment anyways? Your score is still the same vs. my score at the end of the round, the fact that hole #12 is a par 4 not a par 3 wouldn't change that.

Can't believe I am going to say this, but I agree with Ben. I tend to keep it simple for scores, everything is a par 3. I do this just to make it easier on myself in the end. I know certain holes are not birdieable. Heck I know some holes that I am estatec to get a par on. I work towards it. I force myself to strive for par on these holes. I don't want to bring par to my level. If I do that I don't think i will push myself like I do now.

Some holes are obviously more birdie-able than other holes.


The main course that I play has only par 3s on it. So in competition (doubles or singles) the goal is obviously to get as many birdies as possible and avoid getting a bogey. Having a par for a hole makes it easier to keep score especially when it is always par 3.


If you watch professional ball golf you will see that the par assigned to any hole doesn't always reflect what the score will be consistently on that hole. Certain holes have design features that make the risk vs. reward curve either easier or harder. This results in some holes averaging an under par score while the more difficult holes average over par.


In my opinion, if the course is challenging it will bring out the best players in a competition. It shouldn't be so easy that someone shoots 18 under par every time they play but a good player should be able to get to maybe 5 or 6 under on a round. And then you change the setup and see what happens. We do that all of the time with our course, changing pin positions fairly regularly so that each time you play there will be something new to challenge you.


And of course in competition the par really doesn't matter that much since it is the score at the end of the day that matters. You do want a good score to be an under par score though. It wouldn't make a whole lot of sense if a player won a tournament and the score was 25 over par (unless conditions were insane). 

Par is irrelevant.  If you call a hole a par 2 or a par 5 does not change what your score is on the hole.

If you shot 20 over par for the round but had the lowest score then you won.  If you shot 20 under but had the highest score then you lost.  Congratulations or condolences have nothing to do with the purely theoretical concept of par.

If you want an indication of how well you played then look at your handicap rating for the round.  Or just look at the players you beat or lost to.  If you are not beating good players then you did not play well (based on the standards of good players).

There is one hole (number 8 at Cottonwood) where the shortest pin position is just a chip shot. If you don't birdie the hole it feels like a bogey. And in fact if you don't birdie it in competition you will surely be losing a stroke to the field. It is definitely a par 2 by all accounts. I really don't like playing that position for more than a week because it is just too easy.


A 200 ft. hole should be a par 2. 

here's a link off the pdga site   http://www.pdga.com/files/documents/PDGASkillGuides2009.pdf  it kind of lays it out

When I get a 3 on a simple 200 foot hole I think of it as a bogey.  If my score loses a stroke to the field, that's a bogey for all practical purposes.  Disc golf has plenty of par 2 holes.

My brother Jon likes to assign every hole par 3 on a scorecard so that the players do not get confused when adding up their scores.  I like to assign score related par values to the holes so that the smart players can gain a competitive advantage when adding up the scorecard! 

Seriously, this scenario once arose at a tournament:  the junior girls' foursome was assigned to start on the longest, hardest hole.  Several of them thought 7 was a good score on the hole.  The TD was saying every hole is par 3 so several of them decided to show up late for the tee off.  They just waited on the next tee and took their 7s. 

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