What Does Par Mean in Golf?

For a beginner golfer, the concept of “par” can be confusing. What does it mean and how is it used? Par is a term commonly used in golf to indicate the number of strokes a skilled golfer should take to complete a hole, and it is an important tool for understanding your performance on the course. Let’s take a look at what par means and how it is used in golf. Learn What Does Par Mean in Golf?


What Does Par Mean in Golf?

Defining Par

Par is typically associated with the number of strokes that an average golfer (with a handicap between 0-18) should require to complete one hole on a golf course. It is calculated based on factors like hole length, terrain, and environmental conditions. The overall goal for any golfer playing a par 4 or 5 hole should be to finish in four or five strokes respectively. Anything lower than par would be considered “under par”, while anything higher than par would be considered “over par”.

Keeping Score with Par

Par isn’t just important as an indicator of skill level but also when it comes to keeping score in golf. On every individual hole played, each golfer will record the number of strokes they took on that particular hole (known as “strokes taken”). In addition to this, they will also record their score relative to par (+1, +2 etc.). This way, you can determine your total score across all 18 holes by adding the total number of strokes taken plus any additional strokes gained or lost relative to par (e.g. if you scored -4 under par across 18 holes your total score would be 14.) Knowing your score relative to par helps make sure that everyone playing has an equal chance since no two courses are exactly alike in terms of difficulty and terrain.

Using Par as a Goal

For beginners just starting out in golf, using par as a goal can help improve consistency on the course over time. Knowing that you have achieved or surpassed your goal for each hole gives you something tangible to aim for and measure yourself against each time you play. As you become more experienced with different courses and different types of terrain, you may find that you are consistently outperforming your goals set by pars – which means its time to set new ones! That way, you can continue pushing yourself towards better performance every time you play while still maintaining realistic expectations about your game.


Par is an essential part of golf scoring and understanding how it works can help beginners develop their own goals for improvement over time. By setting realistic expectations about their skill level through comparison with pars for each individual hole as well as overall scores across all 18 holes, aspiring golfers are better able to measure their progress and enjoy more success out on the course! With practice and dedication anyone can become an expert golfer – so get out there today!  Start measuring yourself against pars so that you too can become an expert golfer! Good luck!

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