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PAR is a mental health issue for golfers.... one man's opinion


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Ok: 

  I'd love to hear anyones take on this.  Polite debunks would be the preference 🏌️‍♂️

So - it is and has been my premise for quite some years that PAR as established is a psychological impediment to many, both good and bad players.

Although PAR has it use, for a variety of factors within the game of golf, the concept of par on any given hole and how it impacts many golfers is the aspect I am pointing focused on here.  

 

Ex:  Par 3 with real trouble around the green but tons of open area both short and long.  For argument, let's use a 235y par 3 playing maybe 195y for another tee. (but I think this holds up across any distance, and have watched it play out in high level amateur tournament over and over.

We are lying to ourselves if we don't stipulate that the overwhelming majority of golfer WILL pull enough club to get there, or so they think,  they will not bend a knee to the prudent play.    Thus, bringing in 5, 6, 7, & even 8s.   Where as the prudent and most statistically smart play would be to hit to the safe area that runs up to let's say 25y short.  And safely proceed from there.

The oddball safer plan they consistently play to have a putt at par, almost guaranteeing they walk away with 2, 3, or 4. (maybe they hole out the pitch).

The most common plan? ...... go for the guarded green MAYBE make a 2 or 3..... likely do well to make 4, and almost certainly make many 5s, 6s, and even higher.

WHY? simply because it is called a par 3.  (this would hold up if we were discussing an similar approach on a par 4, and further if we juxtaposed with decisions made if this were a 2nd shot of similar length, but called a par 5).

Don't believe me?   Just look at last weekend.   Holes that were longer than a par 4 everyone hit it at the green.  And the one called a par 4, they most often laid up.  Not the best example, as there were nuances between the holes mentioned, but it highlights what we all know to be a pattern.

 

This runs through par 4s and par 5s all the same.  People will go for a par 4 because "they are supposed to" when they shouldn't (in two), and lay up on par 5s many times when they would be better served going for it as well.    We've all been there, done that.

You guys know these circumstances, even as you read this to find fault, you can't deny having experienced this for yourself and watched it time and again.

 

My argument is simple.  If we didn't let some arbitrary number tell us how a hole "should" be played we would all be better off, often FAR better off avoiding heaps of penalty strokes for some golfers.   

Alternative approach:

At all times, we should stand on any hole and execute the plan for that hole that we feel gives each of us, based on how we like to play (attack a hole), the best chance for the most likely lowest score time and again. Not "IF" things go just right. **With adjustments for varying situations (1 down on 18, not playing best, crazy weather, etc).  

HOWEVER - my ultimate contention is, the power that PAR has over so many decisions made on the course should never be.  For any golfer of any level.

  • We treat the par for the hole sometimes as if it is some all knowing/all powerful guiding light and the rule of what is right, as we blindly follow too often to our slaughter.   
  • We treat the overall course par as if it is some sort of retirement account that we are trying desperately not to burn through before death, when in reality for so many par for the course and our score have never met each other and wouldn't recognize each other.  Although they are ships passing in the night somewhere along the back nine.⛴️ 

We all know this doesn't stop here, the psychological toll we embrace as we relate a bad hole to par, is tormenting and often damn near debilitating.  We don't say 7, we process it based on how poor it is relative to ..... big bad wolf ...... PAR.   And the further it gets above it the reaction is often in direct proportion, but that is not conducive to good golf.  We all know it weighs heavily on the next hole, and any future negative event becomes a multiplier to this feeling.    If we just said the number, it might have less of an impact.  Triple is only two strokes off bogey ..... but it sounds and feels inordinately greater.

 

Know your game, play to do well, which unfortunately in golf more often should be interpreted as AVOID THE BIG NUMBERS rather than CHASE THE SMALL NUMBERS.

Case in point is the US OPEN so many time across the years, it isn't the golfer who had the most spectacular week, it is often the one who avoided the most pitfalls.

ONE OF THOSE PITFALLS for most all of us is the ever haunting concept of "IS THIS A PAR FOUR OR FIVE?" ............ and how that affects our plan of attack.

🤓

WITB

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30 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

Ok: 

  I'd love to hear anyones take on this.  Polite debunks would be the preference 🏌️‍♂️

So - it is and has been my premise for quite some years that PAR as established is a psychological impediment to many, both good and bad players.

Although PAR has it use, for a variety of factors within the game of golf, the concept of par on any given hole and how it impacts many golfers is the aspect I am pointing focused on here.  

 

Ex:  Par 3 with real trouble around the green but tons of open area both short and long.  For argument, let's use a 235y par 3 playing maybe 195y for another tee. (but I think this holds up across any distance, and have watched it play out in high level amateur tournament over and over.

We are lying to ourselves if we don't stipulate that the overwhelming majority of golfer WILL pull enough club to get there, or so they think,  they will not bend a knee to the prudent play.    Thus, bringing in 5, 6, 7, & even 8s.   Where as the prudent and most statistically smart play would be to hit to the safe area that runs up to let's say 25y short.  And safely proceed from there.

The oddball safer plan they consistently play to have a putt at par, almost guaranteeing they walk away with 2, 3, or 4. (maybe they hole out the pitch).

The most common plan? ...... go for the guarded green MAYBE make a 2 or 3..... likely do well to make 4, and almost certainly make many 5s, 6s, and even higher.

WHY? simply because it is called a par 3.  (this would hold up if we were discussing an similar approach on a par 4, and further if we juxtaposed with decisions made if this were a 2nd shot of similar length, but called a par 5).

Don't believe me?   Just look at last weekend.   Holes that were longer than a par 4 everyone hit it at the green.  And the one called a par 4, they most often laid up.  Not the best example, as there were nuances between the holes mentioned, but it highlights what we all know to be a pattern.

 

This runs through par 4s and par 5s all the same.  People will go for a par 4 because "they are supposed to" when they shouldn't (in two), and lay up on par 5s many times when they would be better served going for it as well.    We've all been there, done that.

You guys know these circumstances, even as you read this to find fault, you can't deny having experienced this for yourself and watched it time and again.

 

My argument is simple.  If we didn't let some arbitrary number tell us how a hole "should" be played we would all be better off, often FAR better off avoiding heaps of penalty strokes for some golfers.   

Alternative approach:

At all times, we should stand on any hole and execute the plan for that hole that we feel gives each of us, based on how we like to play (attack a hole), the best chance for the most likely lowest score time and again. Not "IF" things go just right. **With adjustments for varying situations (1 down on 18, not playing best, crazy weather, etc).  

HOWEVER - my ultimate contention is, the power that PAR has over so many decisions made on the course should never be.  For any golfer of any level.

  • We treat the par for the hole sometimes as if it is some all knowing/all powerful guiding light and the rule of what is right, as we blindly follow too often to our slaughter.   
  • We treat the overall course par as if it is some sort of retirement account that we are trying desperately not to burn through before death, when in reality for so many par for the course and our score have never met each other and wouldn't recognize each other.  Although they are ships passing in the night somewhere along the back nine.⛴️ 

We all know this doesn't stop here, the psychological toll we embrace as we relate a bad hole to par, is tormenting and often damn near debilitating.  We don't say 7, we process it based on how poor it is relative to ..... big bad wolf ...... PAR.   And the further it gets above it the reaction is often in direct proportion, but that is not conducive to good golf.  We all know it weighs heavily on the next hole, and any future negative event becomes a multiplier to this feeling.    If we just said the number, it might have less of an impact.  Triple is only two strokes off bogey ..... but it sounds and feels inordinately greater.

 

Know your game, play to do well, which unfortunately in golf more often should be interpreted as AVOID THE BIG NUMBERS rather than CHASE THE SMALL NUMBERS.

Case in point is the US OPEN so many time across the years, it isn't the golfer who had the most spectacular week, it is often the one who avoided the most pitfalls.

ONE OF THOSE PITFALLS for most all of us is the ever haunting concept of "IS THIS A PAR FOUR OR FIVE?" ............ and how that affects our plan of attack.

🤓

We've had a couple of threads along this same thought.  No arguing that poor course management combined with over-inflated ego and bravado probably ruin more rounds than any other factor.  Not so sure about the psycological toll of a holes "par".  These are established in a pretty consistent and uniform manner - but does not account for playing from the wrong (too long tees), trying to carry hazards that one might successfully do twice in 10 attempts as opposed to laying up and then easily carry them to the flag, etc.  Many have argued players should move to the tees from where they can shoot par or as close to par they can. 

I've never shot par for a round in my life. I've shot -1 for a side and have twice shot 74 from white tees.  I might be able to shoot par from the most forward tees but, if I did, it wouldn't feel as significant an accomplishment at this point in my life/game and hitting distance.  Having shot a few dozen 70's rounds at various courses, I know it's doable... but it requires really consistent ball striking and better than average chipping and putting.  I often try not to think "par is good" but concentrate on breaking par for any given hole - particularly shorter par 4's and 5's.

Interesting discussion.

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1 hour ago, Badams69 said:

At all times, we should stand on any hole and execute the plan for that hole that we feel gives each of us, based on how we like to play (attack a hole), the best chance for the most likely lowest score time and again. Not "IF" things go just right. **With adjustments for varying situations (1 down on 18, not playing best, crazy weather, etc).  

HOWEVER - my ultimate contention is, the power that PAR has over so many decisions made on the course should never be.  For any golfer of any level.

  • We treat the par for the hole sometimes as if it is some all knowing/all powerful guiding light and the rule of what is right, as we blindly follow too often to our slaughter.   
  • We treat the overall course par as if it is some sort of retirement account that we are trying desperately not to burn through before death, when in reality for so many par for the course and our score have never met each other and wouldn't recognize each other.  Although they are ships passing in the night somewhere along the back nine.⛴️ 

To me all you are discussing is course management and mental game strategies.  I think Mark Brodie's Every Shot Counts is the basis for what you are talking about and a system like Scott Fawcett's DECADE is how to apply the strategy.    There have been past discussions on the forum about how higher handicap players should adjust par for holes and using strategies like you discuss can improve their overall scoring and break barriers like 100 and 90.   

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33 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

We've had a couple of threads along this same thought.  No arguing that poor course management combined with over-inflated ego and bravado probably ruin more rounds than any other factor.  Not so sure about the psycological toll of a holes "par".  These are established in a pretty consistent and uniform manner - but does not account for playing from the wrong (too long tees), trying to carry hazards that one might successfully do twice in 10 attempts as opposed to laying up and then easily carry them to the flag, etc.  Many have argued players should move to the tees from where they can shoot par or as close to par they can. 

I've never shot par for a round in my life. I've shot -1 for a side and have twice shot 74 from white tees.  I might be able to shoot par from the most forward tees but, if I did, it wouldn't feel as significant an accomplishment at this point in my life/game and hitting distance.  Having shot a few dozen 70's rounds at various courses, I know it's doable... but it requires really consistent ball striking and better than average chipping and putting.  I often try not to think "par is good" but concentrate on breaking par for any given hole - particularly shorter par 4's and 5's.

Interesting discussion.

Thanks.  I guess that kind illustrates my point.  Maybe I'm not making it well enough.  

To me, in an ideal world of playing your best golf, there is no such thing as a "short part 5" or a "long par 4" and on and on along that vein of thought.

But rather a hole to be played.  Played as you see it played best absent of any outside influence on your approach to said hole.    That is all I'm pointing out.

It's a real thing, which I don't sense you are disagreeing with, I just highlighted an aspect of your point that crosses over with mine that many of us don't even realize is within our accepted subconscious or even our conscious approach to any hole.

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams Pro 20*/23*  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Bridgestone Tour Stage TS-202 (5-PW)  /  Yamaha Inpres XV Forged (5-PW)   /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)

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18 minutes ago, cnosil said:

To me all you are discussing is course management and mental game strategies.  I think Mark Brodie's Every Shot Counts is the basis for what you are talking about and a system like Scott Fawcett's DECADE is how to apply the strategy.    There have been past discussions on the forum about how higher handicap players should adjust par for holes and using strategies like you discuss can improve their overall scoring and break barriers like 100 and 90.   

In all fairness, that is not the full extent point I'm making, or at least trying to make. To me, it is something outside the control of most golfers not because we don't have the ability, but rather because it is ingrained as such a premise of how the game is played, score, judged. 

I've read and consumed loads of Fawcett, Broadie along with numerous other aspects of course management.  And yes, there is surely some overlap in facets of the point I am struggling to make.  But, this is NOT something I see touched on in the way I am attempting to approach it and the impact it can have.  Very little of which I have ever seen as score enhancing.

I am saying it is so ingrained that we don't even realize how powerful it is.  This is not relegated to poor players.  I heard it all weekend from the mouths of former tour winners commentating on the THE US OPEN.  Hear it in most every broadcast and interview.  We literally see identical holes completely different if they possess a different labeling in terms of PAR.  

It is deep within the mentality of all golfers and often to our own detriment in how we perceive our approach or results on any given course or hole.

Is the gist of my point.  

Thanks

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams Pro 20*/23*  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Bridgestone Tour Stage TS-202 (5-PW)  /  Yamaha Inpres XV Forged (5-PW)   /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)

WEDGES: Callaway MackDaddy2 52*/56*

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2 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

In all fairness, that is not the full extent point I'm making, or at least trying to make. To me, it is something outside the control of most golfers not because we don't have the ability, but rather because it is ingrained as such a premise of how the game is played, score, judged. 

I guess I don't understand your point.  Par is a number associated with a hole to enable comparison and as I am my playing partners have said numerous times,  there are no pictures associated with your score.  

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1 minute ago, cnosil said:

I guess I don't understand your point.  Par is a number associated with a hole to enable comparison and as I am my playing partners have said numerous times,  there are no pictures associated with your score.  

I'm saying it subconsciously changes the way we all approach holes.  It is not relevant for anything concerning our plan of play, yet it exists, for several other valid reasons within the scoring systems/handicap etc today.  But, I'm saying if it DID NOT exist, or probably more accurately, NEVER EXISTED.  Then people would simply play the holes as best suited for them.  Not that some don't.  But too often we allow PAR to influence what we choose to do next.  I'm sure some will say it shouldn't or they don't let it.  But, that is contrary to everything golf tells us.  Listen to how you mentioned it as needing to be there to compare to.  We could compare our scores without this arbitrary number just fine.   Having coached golfers of all skill levels, beyond teaching them, I coached them on the course and watched their competitors and listened to their coaches, in addition to hundreds of rounds played along with thousands of close observance of high level tour or amateur golf ....... PAR is mentioned so much ........ 

Take #1 this past weekend at LACC.  That hole is not either a par 4 or par 5 for those guys.  Closer to a par 4 for sure.  YET, even the tour winners announcing and the players themselves showed vastly different reactions to birdie 4 than par 5.  It is just one stroke, but the psychological difference was much more than one stroke.  All the while 4 was simply the score that should have been made there.  Nothing special.   It repeats hole in and out week in and out and so on.

If it didn't exist - in my opinion scores would drop for everyone.  Maybe not drastically.  But the plans of attack would improve and the mental ups and downs of any round would flatten.   Maybe it would all simply be replaced by some other similar factor, but absent whatever that would be ..... I'm saying it would be less damning for all golfers. 

Thanks!

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams Pro 20*/23*  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Bridgestone Tour Stage TS-202 (5-PW)  /  Yamaha Inpres XV Forged (5-PW)   /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)

WEDGES: Callaway MackDaddy2 52*/56*

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19 minutes ago, cnosil said:

I guess I don't understand your point.  Par is a number associated with a hole to enable comparison and as I am my playing partners have said numerous times,  there are no pictures associated with your score.  

That's a damn good thing.  I have made a good many pars and birdies that would have made gawdawful, embarassing pictures 😊.

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8 hours ago, Badams69 said:

To me, in an ideal world of playing your best golf, there is no such thing as a "short part 5" or a "long par 4" and on and on along that vein of thought.

The distance is relative. What might be short one one golfer isn’t for another, but there are still short par 4 and par 5 holes on a course just like there are short and long par 3s.

How they approached is part of course management. Short par 4 someone who hits the ball a long way will have to decide what distance they want into the pin based on what they are comfortable with. Same on a par 5 where the longer golfer may have a chance to reach in 2 but there may be some kind of trouble and is the risk of going for it in two.

I’m with @cnosil that this really is just another way of talking about course management, mental approach to the game and the shot at hand. Some people are better at it and don’t let ego get in the way of the what tees they play, don’t try shots they can’t execute and take what the course gives them. These golfers tend to be better golfers overall, but there are some good golfers with big egos and they will have days that go in their favor and they score well and days where it doesn’t and they don’t score as low

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If i understand your point correctly there was one of the last long par 4's at the us open that played against your point.  They showed a stat indicating about a 1/2 stroke better for the field going for the green rather than laying up.  

I think the tour players (and other competitions) look at the field average on a hole as the "par" rather than the scorecard par since they are competing relative to each other and not competing against the card par if that makes sense.

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8 minutes ago, Shapotomous said:

I think the tour players (and other competitions) look at the field average on a hole as the "par" rather than the scorecard par since they are competing relative to each other and not competing against the card par if that makes sense.

Yes they are competing with each other but it’s stroke play and not match play. They are competing against the card because lowest total score of 4 rounds wins the tournament. There are some pros make and female that don’t look at the scoreboard during a round so they have no idea what others are shooting and thus aren’t competing against another golfer

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9 hours ago, Badams69 said:

I'm saying it subconsciously changes the way we all approach holes.  It is not relevant for anything concerning our plan of play, yet it exists...

If it didn't exist - in my opinion scores would drop for everyone.  Maybe not drastically.  But the plans of attack would improve and the mental ups and downs of any round would flatten.   

Not sure if the above is a circular argument but if it is that's fine as it's a circular game, but I think a number does affect how we act.  If a person is asked to do a 5 foot standing broad jump comparing it to their a 1 inch standing broad jump there would be no doubt in my mind more knee flex would be needed to jump 5 feet, without be told to do so.       What if we are forced to play a round with just a 4 degree putter, should the short par 5 now become a long par 8, perhaps it should.

I think it all reduces to the game itself which is a game of acquiring real estate in rather precise increments and we tally up the end product using numbers and going home for Chinese food, but be careful and don't use Worcestershire sauce believing you're using soy sauce, save the puckering for the course.   Interesting discussion though...

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9 hours ago, Badams69 said:

I'm saying it subconsciously changes the way we all approach holes.  It is not relevant for anything concerning our plan of play, yet it exists, for several other valid reasons within the scoring systems/handicap etc today.  But, I'm saying if it DID NOT exist, or probably more accurately, NEVER EXISTED. 

This is the mental aspect of golf.  Even with an identified par, the goal is to get the ball in the hole with the fewest strokes you can.  Decisions are made based on the current situation, your known abilities, and general expectations.    Yes, the PAR number sets an expectation and that plays a part in how people play; just like you are saying.   It creates a pressure to perform and makes people make bad decisions.  You say scores would drop if we didn’t have this number, probably.  I could say scores would drop if people played smarter golf.  Both are tied to course management and strategy and I’ll say it again what you are saying is exactly what DECADE discusses and advocates.  

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1 hour ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

The distance is relative. What might be short one one golfer isn’t for another, but there are still short par 4 and par 5 holes on a course just like there are short and long par 3s.

How they approached is part of course management. Short par 4 someone who hits the ball a long way will have to decide what distance they want into the pin based on what they are comfortable with. Same on a par 5 where the longer golfer may have a chance to reach in 2 but there may be some kind of trouble and is the risk of going for it in two.

 

Thanks for the reply! You and CNOSIL are not wrong or anything about mental game/course management. I'm saying it is something that isn't being acknowledged because it is deeper than we have ever contemplated.  Why would we?  As Bruce Hornsby said, THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS.

But, my point is within this highlighted portion.  "GOING FOR IT IN TWO".   

Not likely how said stroke would be discussed or "framed" in a golfers mind ..... IF the hole were a Par 4, OR did not have a PAR of any kind because there were no such thing.  All else remains the same, in that scenario, all that is different is the PAR established.   Given this game is ultimately an accumulated total at the end of 18.  It is simply odd that anything such as the "PAR" established for each hole along the way would have us view similar shots at varying points in our golfing life, far different.  It does the same on puts.  One putt for a three is a PAR, another a BIRDIE, and another and EAGLE. Whether we agree on it or not, it is not hard to acknowledge we all understand that it is a rare golfer who is able to give more than lip service to how they view each putt as they stand over it.  Same score - different mentality.  

Additionally distance is NOT relative in my opinion.  It is not arbitrary.  A mile is a mile.  A yard is a yard.  For some it may seem further than others and vice versa, but the number is not up for debate.  So - I'm simply saying that in few other endeavors would you likely argue that this would be the case.  A 419 yard hole is a 419 yard hole regardless for me, you or anyone else.   The difference here is approach and my point is ....... golfers literally are conditioned to truly consider the PAR on said hole as to how they process that information.   Which may seems to make all the sense in the world.  But, if PAR did not exist ...... and we all played in that world, then heard the way we talk about it in this world and how it impacts our approach, in my opinion, we would all wonder what is wrong with these silly cats.  Why do they see the holes through this lens, its is simply a hole to be played the best you can.

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9 minutes ago, cnosil said:

 You say scores would drop if we didn’t have this number, probably.  I could say scores would drop if people played smarter golf.  Both are tied to course management and strategy and I’ll say it again what you are saying is exactly what DECADE discusses and advocates.  

Thanks.  I agree he tries to touch on this.  But maybe I have missed something.  Within his discussions I have not heard him acknowledge the power this arbitrary number has over how we DO approach a hole.   Yes, we all should do better within the current framework.  I am saying it is an irrelevant number that probably would be better not to even exist.  If it had never been there, EVER, and then someone said let's do this..... I think we would all laugh and ask them WHY?

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1 hour ago, Shapotomous said:

If i understand your point correctly there was one of the last long par 4's at the us open that played against your point.  They showed a stat indicating about a 1/2 stroke better for the field going for the green rather than laying up.  

I think the tour players (and other competitions) look at the field average on a hole as the "par" rather than the scorecard par since they are competing relative to each other and not competing against the card par if that makes sense.

THANKS.  Highlighted your second point because it is exactly what SHOULD be happening ...... in my opinion this is all we need.  PAR is irrelevant.   

I'm probably wrong, but in your other point, I would imagine that even the way that is discussed in golf would be different absent this PAR existing.  Because THAT is the goal, to play whatever hole you are on in the least strokes based on what you are dealing with internally, externally and all.   So - not to argue, but that is not "against my point" is IS MY POINT!   But, keep in mind, they still discussed the whole thing in the context of how is related to par.  Which I'm saying likely caused several golfers, mind you golfers who are the best we have doing it, to go against what they sensed was best and play it by default a certain way.   No way to know if that is right or wrong, but we all know it is not a non existent force within the psyche of any golfer and how they choose to approach a shot or a hole.   It is a fly in the ointment for no reason whatsoever and distracts us, in part, from the real way this game is score.  TOTAL SCORE at the end.   

Ex:  Rickie Fowler and his total Birdies record that kept getting discussed ........  as cool as that was and congrats to Rickie ......  I don't get how that even matters at all.  Yet it does ....... because of how we are obsessed with PAR.  Not our fault, it is just so ingrained, we are powerless to even question it.

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10 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

That's a damn good thing.  I have made a good many pars and birdies that would have made gawdawful, embarassing pictures 😊.

No kidding on this one!  Some of my poor scores for certain would not be the wallet sized photos.   Freakin wall hangers!

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8 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

  But, if PAR did not exist ...... and we all played in that world, then heard the way we talk about it in this world and how it impacts our approach, in my opinion, we would all wonder what is wrong with these silly cats.  Why do they see the holes through this lens, its is simply a hole to be played the best you can.

Personally, I think I just normally play the way you describe.  I don't look at what the par is for the hole. All I look at is what is in front of me. Where I need to land the ball, how far I can hit it before I get in trouble. what side of the fairway do I need to be on for the best approach for the next shot and so on.  The total of strokes it takes for the ball to settle in the bottom of the cup goes on the card. I'm just trying to get the total of all holes as low as I can.  

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18 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

Thanks for the reply! You and CNOSIL are not wrong or anything about mental game/course management. I'm saying it is something that isn't being acknowledged because it is deeper than we have ever contemplated.  Why would we?  As Bruce Hornsby said, THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS.

Not sure why you think it’s not being acknowledged. As mentioned it’s part of the mental approach of the game and those who aren’t as good mentally on the course will have a harder time based on the number listed on the hole. Imo you are trying to make it out to be something bigger and it’s just the mental side of the sport.

 

21 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

It is simply odd that anything such as the "PAR" established for each hole along the way would have us view similar shots at varying points in our golfing life, far different.  It does the same on puts. 

It’s arbitrary decision by the inventors just like in basketball a free throw is a single point, yet a basket made from the arm spot in the flow of the game is 2 and if one makes a basket outside an arbitrary distance it’s worth 3 points. 

 

23 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

Additionally distance is NOT relative in my opinion.  It is not arbitrary.  A mile is a mile.  A yard is a yard.  For some it may seem further than others and vice versa, but the number is not up for debate. 

It is relative because it determines the club used and the shot to be played along with decision making on tee shots for whether one wants to hit driver and accept any risk of the results from that whether it be a shot offline, or a shot that leaves them with a distance they aren’t comfortable with just for the benefit of being closer to the hole, or does the golfer want to hit less club and sacrifice some distance of being closer to the hole to have a shot from a distance they are more comfortable with. Then for approach shots it matters as well again for club selection and determining what the risks are if they come up short or go long. So while a yard is a yard and a mile a mile the distance on a course isn’t about that measurement but the total distance left at the start of each shot. A short hitter may not have as many options as a longer hitter so the guy who drives it 250 probably has to hit driver on most par 4s where the guy at 280+ has different options off the tee. Same for their approach shots. The longer hitter can choose a shot and club based on distance and where the flag is at where the shorter hitter will only have one club option and that’s to play a full swing with a longer iron.

16 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

Ex:  Rickie Fowler and his total Birdies record that kept getting discussed ........  as cool as that was and congrats to Rickie ......  I don't get how that even matters at all.  Yet it does ....... because of how we are obsessed with PAR.  Not our fault, it is just so ingrained, we are powerless to even question it.

This is to make broadcasts interesting to watch. There are all kinds of stats given on a broadcast. Number of greens hit in regulation, number of birdies, Jin young ko’s GIR streak. Golf is boring to watch, and just like any other sport the commentators tell different kind of stories to draw the attention of the viewers. Some are personal stories, some are sport related and so on

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26 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

Thanks.  I agree he tries to touch on this.  But maybe I have missed something.  Within his discussions I have not heard him acknowledge the power this arbitrary number has over how we DO approach a hole.   Yes, we all should do better within the current framework.  I am saying it is an irrelevant number that probably would be better not to even exist.  If it had never been there, EVER, and then someone said let's do this..... I think we would all laugh and ask them WHY?

PAR isn’t discussed in DECADE because it is irrelevant like you are discussing .   He talks about not chasing birdies.  He talks about where you should hit the ball based on what is in front of you.  He talks about being mentally committed to the shot you are going to hit.   He talks about understanding how many strokes it should take to get in the hole for a certain position (expectation management) and why you shouldn’t try to hit the hero shot .

The par number is partially used to create an expectation and pressure to meet and exceed that expectation.   

none of this is a subconscious thing it is all about emotion and scoring is partially tied to how a played deals with emotions.   

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23 minutes ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

Personally, I think I just normally play the way you describe.  I don't look at what the par is for the hole. All I look at is what is in front of me. Where I need to land the ball, how far I can hit it before I get in trouble. what side of the fairway do I need to be on for the best approach for the next shot and so on.  The total of strokes it takes for the ball to settle in the bottom of the cup goes on the card. I'm just trying to get the total of all holes as low as I can.  

Thanks Tom for pointing this out, and this approach likely plays a large part in your fairly impressive hdcp!!! 👍  

That approach along with skill is surely a big reason it is .6 rather than 6.  

Might I ask out of curiosity ......  do you agree, based on a few years around the game, that this is outside the norm for most all golfers, and even how golf is normally discussed?  

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1 minute ago, Badams69 said:

 

Might I ask out of curiosity ......  do you agree, based on a few years around the game, that this is outside the norm for most all golfers, and even how golf is normally discussed?  

From my perspective, if you have read any of the responses to Fawcetts or Stagner Twitter account it is outside the norm for most players.  Most players don’t really understand course management and shot dispersion and how to mentally approach a hole.

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1 hour ago, MacTourney said:

Not sure if the above is a circular argument but if it is that's fine as it's a circular game, but I think a number does affect how we act.  If a person is asked to do a 5 foot standing broad jump comparing it to their a 1 inch standing broad jump there would be no doubt in my mind more knee flex would be needed to jump 5 feet, without be told to do so.       What if we are forced to play a round with just a 4 degree putter, should the short par 5 now become a long par 8, perhaps it should.

I think it all reduces to the game itself which is a game of acquiring real estate in rather precise increments and we tally up the end product using numbers and going home for Chinese food, but be careful and don't use Worcestershire sauce believing you're using soy sauce, save the puckering for the course.   Interesting discussion though...

Good point.  And maybe you are agreeing or not, but I failed to make such a good analogy.  PAR sets a level of expected production, that might or might not be reasonable, to varying degrees based on skill, etc.    We've all been there on exams that were pass/fail vs otherwise.  We've driven on roads with varying speed limits, some should have been higher and lower, but it changed our approach and how we perceived what others were doing also.   Puckering is a good descriptor for what happens out there too often! 🙃

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3 minutes ago, cnosil said:

From my perspective, if you have read any of the responses to Fawcetts or Stagner Twitter account it is outside the norm for most players.  Most players don’t really understand course management and shot dispersion and how to mentally approach a hole.

No doubt about that.  Along those lines.  I love when, I believe Fawcett pointed out .... we are playing with a shotgun, NOT a rifle, but we all aim as if we had a snipers skill level.  Likely more the younger crowd, but it gets to us all when we feel forced.

Their work is invaluable to say the least!

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6 minutes ago, cnosil said:

From my perspective, if you have read any of the responses to Fawcetts or Stagner Twitter account it is outside the norm for most players.  Most players don’t really understand course management and shot dispersion and how to mentally approach a hole.

I couldn't agree more.  And they don't teach that to the young kids because you can't teach that in a simulator.  Course management has been my biggest focus recently and I am seeing better scores because of it, that I am certain.  My son is struggling with this a bit and I am trying to teach him but for him its all about distance.  

Lee Stanek

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As a 19 HCP -

Par is a bonus for me.  I struggle with par 3s, mostly from accuracy, so a par on a par 3 is like a birdie for my psyche.   I try to stay positive out there and remember I’m playing a game.  
 

 I do agree with a lot of what is said about the mental game we face each hole.   One hole I play doesn’t intimidate me, it has a reliable aim point and I have had repeated success every time I play.  I enjoy that hole the most and look forward to attacking it.   

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5 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

Thanks Tom for pointing this out, and this approach likely plays a large part in your fairly impressive hdcp!!! 👍  

That approach along with skill is surely a big reason it is .6 rather than 6.  

Might I ask out of curiosity ......  do you agree, based on a few years around the game, that this is outside the norm for most all golfers, and even how golf is normally discussed?  

I would say it is very outside the norm. If they are not paying attention, you will always hear someone ask what's the yardage and is this a par 4 or a par 5. But it does force me to look at the card for them.  

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1 minute ago, Lee Stanek said:

I couldn't agree more.  And they don't teach that to the young kids because you can't teach that in a simulator.  Course management has been my biggest focus recently and I am seeing better scores because of it, that I am certain.  My son is struggling with this a bit and I am trying to teach him but for him its all about distance.  

Speaking of kids ...... When I coached teams, we had rounds where we played with all flags pulled and others where they could only use a club from a tee once.  Others where every tee ball or approach (alternate days) would be worst ball.   This did help elevate options along with likely outcomes to the front of some of the better players minds.    Oddly my first sub par round in HS came using nothing but 4 iron from the tee outside of the par 3s.  Mostly because my dad took away my driver, because I traded the one he bought me and he took the new one away, because I was an idiot.   Little did he or I know what the result would be, my best round ever to that point.

That convinced me at 16, of how it didn't have to be one way.

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Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams Pro 20*/23*  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Bridgestone Tour Stage TS-202 (5-PW)  /  Yamaha Inpres XV Forged (5-PW)   /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)

WEDGES: Callaway MackDaddy2 52*/56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / Bobby Grace Fat Lady Swings

BALLS:   :srixon-small:  Z-Star    :vice:  Pro +

:ping-small:        :callaway-logo-1:   :cobra-small:   :1332069271_TommyArmour:      :bobby-grace-1:   :adams-small:      :cleveland-small: 

 

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4 minutes ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

I would say it is very outside the norm. If they are not paying attention, you will always hear someone ask what's the yardage and is this a par 4 or a par 5. But it does force me to look at the card for them.  

Hilarious ..... and I only laugh because I can picture it.  Likely you are better than most you play with, sure you play with some similar or better also.  But, it is funny how I can picture any average golfer paired with you relying on you for all info. Even what par is.  When it is on their scorecard, the tee box itself and often quite apparent by simply looking in front of you.    

But, we both know WHY they ask.  Which is not always the best result.  Thanks Tom.

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams Pro 20*/23*  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Bridgestone Tour Stage TS-202 (5-PW)  /  Yamaha Inpres XV Forged (5-PW)   /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)

WEDGES: Callaway MackDaddy2 52*/56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / Bobby Grace Fat Lady Swings

BALLS:   :srixon-small:  Z-Star    :vice:  Pro +

:ping-small:        :callaway-logo-1:   :cobra-small:   :1332069271_TommyArmour:      :bobby-grace-1:   :adams-small:      :cleveland-small: 

 

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11 hours ago, Badams69 said:

In all fairness, that is not the full extent point I'm making, or at least trying to make. To me, it is something outside the control of most golfers not because we don't have the ability, but rather because it is ingrained as such a premise of how the game is played, score, judged. 

I've read and consumed loads of Fawcett, Broadie along with numerous other aspects of course management.  And yes, there is surely some overlap in facets of the point I am struggling to make.  But, this is NOT something I see touched on in the way I am attempting to approach it and the impact it can have.  Very little of which I have ever seen as score enhancing.

I am saying it is so ingrained that we don't even realize how powerful it is.  This is not relegated to poor players.  I heard it all weekend from the mouths of former tour winners commentating on the THE US OPEN.  Hear it in most every broadcast and interview.  We literally see identical holes completely different if they possess a different labeling in terms of PAR.  

It is deep within the mentality of all golfers and often to our own detriment in how we perceive our approach or results on any given course or hole.

Is the gist of my point.  

Thanks

It's fascinating to me that if you ask anyone about their course management they will tell you that it's great, always.  I think you may be on to something here, they think it's great because it's so ingrained that we need to make par on a hole, whatever that par might be that we think we are making the correct choice when we pull the proper club to hit that 235 yard shot (I only have one club that hits it that far and then only from a tee in favorable conditions so maybe I should back down to 180 or 150 or 120 it doesn't really matter.)  

 

Generally speaking people play to their handicaps across the board - a touring pro is going to be better at course management than a plus handicap/scratch am who is better than a single digit handicapper who is better than a 12 who is better than an 18 who is better than a 24.  Honestly I see it all the time when I play in league and get paired with higher handicap players, they fire straight at pins that I wouldn't dream of aiming at even though I have a much higher probability of executing the shot.  But there are times when I make very poor choices from club selection, to shot avoidance, to God only knows what.

 

What should be ingrained is that par is the anticipated score for an expert golfer on the course.  Bogey is the anticipated score for an average golfer.  It was really fun to watch the US Open with two par 3's approaching 300 yards and a par 4 the same length.  Of course the hazards around the par 4 were radically different from those around the 3's so you couldn't make a 1 for 1 comparison but it really was interesting to watch the differing strategies based upon the differing capabilities - if 6 were a "bad" yardage guys chose to lay up even though they could easily hit it far enough.  I doubt that many of us have that sort of discipline or the ability to interpret Brodie any other way than I should hit it as far as I'm capable of on every shot.  🙂

Taylor Made Stealth 2 10.5 Diamana S plus 60  Aldila  R flex   - 42.25 inches 

SMT 4 wood bassara R flex, four wood head, 3 wood shaft

Ping G410 7, 9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Srixon ZX5 MK II  5-GW - UST recoil Dart 65 R flex

India 52,56 (60 pending)  UST recoil 75's R flex  

Evon roll ER 5 32 inches

It's our offseason so auditioning candidates - looking for that right mix of low spin long, more spin around the greens - TBD   

 

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