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


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4 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Oh, you might add to your list of good references Lowest Score Wins, another book based on Broadie's Strokes Gained research and concepts.

My point in a nutshell I guess.

PAR is wholly irrelevant to this in every aspect!!!!  

Handicaps actually make this same argument.  If par actually meant anything that is what would be the basis for calculating a handicap ..... but rather they use a more scientific approach bringing in slope and rating and the like.  Which ....... if par was more arranged this way, then I would find it far more relevant and would be a different animal than the one today. 

...... yes in the parameters of the game we know dealing with it is a challenge and such, which shouldn't be. It has nothing to do with winning an actual tournament.  Stroke or match play.   Not a handicap event, a real actual golf tournament.   

Tee it up, count your strokes and put em on the table!

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3 hours ago, Badams69 said:

Agree 100% from the standpoint you are talking about.  I'm saying it dictates our perception of too many variables in a game that is about total score.  

Let's take the tee example..... IF PAR was not a thing ......  why would someone need to play from different tees?  I think it is a valid question that honestly until that typing I hadn't even pondered at all.  IF PAR DID NOT EXIST ON A HOLE ....... what would it matter which tees you, I or anyone played from?  

I'm not arguing for anything, for me this is just something I enjoy, a mental exercise of what is and why it is, and what if it weren't at all?  LOL

Par and tees exist because our brains always need to find an end point. Psychology as proven that our brain doesn't compute endless loops and always strived to complete the puzzle. Same reason why a song gets stuck in our head. Unfortunately, we are predisposed to chaos as a species when structure is non existent. Could you imagine having no drive to improve? Man this game would have died alongside Bobby Jones. I believe this question or perusal is almost more evolutionary than it is simple the game itself. It would be difficult to distinguish even self progress without some sort of bench mark. Once par goes away, and tees, so does slope and rating and now we can't determine the calibre of the course. I'm starting to see a spiral effect of par being removed and spiraling. Chaos is like gravity, it only needs a little push.

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19 minutes ago, TylorJudd said:

Par and tees exist because our brains always need to find an end point. Psychology as proven that our brain doesn't compute endless loops and always strived to complete the puzzle. Same reason why a song gets stuck in our head. Unfortunately, we are predisposed to chaos as a species when structure is non existent. Could you imagine having no drive to improve? Man this game would have died alongside Bobby Jones. I believe this question or perusal is almost more evolutionary than it is simple the game itself. It would be difficult to distinguish even self progress without some sort of bench mark. Once par goes away, and tees, so does slope and rating and now we can't determine the calibre of the course. I'm starting to see a spiral effect of par being removed and spiraling. Chaos is like gravity, it only needs a little push.

Grammar here wasn't strong but that's what you get for a post on the sh!tter!

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4 minutes ago, TylorJudd said:

Par and tees exist because our brains always need to find an end point. Psychology as proven that our brain doesn't compute endless loops and always strived to complete the puzzle. Same reason why a song gets stuck in our head. Unfortunately, we are predisposed to chaos as a species when structure is non existent. Could you imagine having no drive to improve? Man this game would have died alongside Bobby Jones. I believe this question or perusal is almost more evolutionary than it is simple the game itself. It would be difficult to distinguish even self progress without some sort of bench mark. Once par goes away, and tees, so does slope and rating and now we can't determine the calibre of the course. I'm starting to see a spiral effect of par being removed and spiraling. Chaos is like gravity, it only needs a little push.

Well if PAR was the goal, then I would agree with this point.  However, this is a sport, as any other, around competition.  That necessitates another party.  And yes, as is in this sport PAR has served as that opponent in effect.  However, it is really another golfer or field of competitors.  At which point how the winning total relates to par is irrelevant.  The handicap competitions are neat and serve a purpose, but that is derived for several reasons and that is fine.  But the goal is to shoot the lowest total you or I can on any given round within the abilities we display that day, the way we execute, and the conditions outside our control.

We don't have to agree, but I would find it hard to believe that you think it is not factual that par on any given hole politely implies ...... this is how you SHOULD score here.  And that spirals into many of the effects we are all aware of.   Not sure why the push back on this, it is real, it is not as if I'm saying Mizuno is better than Titleist or something.   Par 4 says get home in two, and golfers of all stripes strive for that often for no good reason other than it is a Par 4 and that is expected or they lay up for no reason other than it is ok because 2 is the goal.  It also assigns a different value to stroke 3, 4, 5 and so on whether taken on a Par 3 or a Par 5.  And of course .... that computes because making a 3 on a 600 yard hole is normally different than a 3 on a 125 yard hole.   

However ...... the assignment within a golfers value system during a round to various strokes is inextricably linked to how each hole score relates to par.  Super negatives cascade and follow golfers for holes around the course.  When that should not happen.  If PAR didn't exist maybe we'd simply play them as we saw fit for the game we possess and be much more cognizant of the singular value of each stroke.  Not the exponential values that we apply today.  Values are placed on putts that make no sense from a total strokes perspective but only compute if noticing their relevance to par on said hole. Golfers don't see all putts the same, they assign them an importance level depending on what they represent to par.  That's insane!!!  AND NOT A GOLFERS' FAULT.  It is out of their control to some extent.  PAR was and is there,  always has been.

A birdie and an eagle are one stroke apart but we treat them as much more.  Far different!  Yet they are NOT! No different than a triple to a quad.

If you are thinking of par as a goal and a measuring stick, then I think that is a point in the favor of my argument. Maybe it is NOT a goal .... maybe it is a ceiling instead?  It is a limiting factor that impacts our best golf for no reason whatsoever!  It is total score only that matters irrespective of how that relates to par.   

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2 hours ago, Badams69 said:

ok thanks.  Par is maybe a goal, but it shouldn't be.

It could also be seen as a limiting concept as well.

I stick by my argument and don't concur about the tee thing at all.  Unless PAR is the goal.  I'm saying it only is accepted because it is there and always has been, with all due respect all I hear when you explain your point of view, is how ingrained it is in a golfer's mentality.

You'll be happy to know - as a guy who also coached basketball for years and years - I have this same exact discussion about goal height and court size and why on earth kids and NBA would be asked to play on the same court with same goal height. (they aren't identical but close enough) NBA would get better with higher rims and wider courts.  

 

What I will absolutely agree with you on ....... as it stands par is a measuring stick and it is our job as golfers to try and get as near it up or down of it, as we can.  But I think, as stated, it is a negative to cause worse scores and that works on the better end also, it can serve like a depth in the ocean that is hard to push below (lower scores) and cause some to seek less pressure depths at all costs.  But I'm sorry to say - it is absolutely an arbitrary number.   If it were not, it would have decimal points abound.  Some holes are more of a par 4.5 than a 4 or a 5 and others even a par 5.8 etc .......  

We may  not agree and that's fine - thanks for the 2 cents! And the suggestions on clubs to check out the other day - I've been really digging into the old nike hybrids just in case.

If par didn’t exist there would be no need for golf courses because there would be objective to the game.

It’s there and accepted because the inventors determined that was the arbitrary goal. Just like in tennis they determined the scores would be 0,15,30,40. Why not just make it 1,2,3,4.

Or football and touchdowns as 6 points, an extra point kick as 1 and 3 for a field goal even though it’s just another kick Iike an extra point.

If we removed par we could all just quit playing on course and go to driving rangers or top golf and just have fun with no mental over a subjective arbitrated score and just score points on where we land on a target 

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1 minute ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

If par didn’t exist there would be no need for golf courses because there would be objective to the game.

It’s there and accepted because the inventors determined that was the arbitrary goal. Just like in tennis they determined the scores would be 0,15,30,40. Why not just make it 1,2,3,4.

Or football and touchdowns as 6 points, an extra point kick as 1 and 3 for a field goal even though it’s just another kick Iike an extra point.

If we removed par we could all just quit playing on course and go to driving rangers or top golf and just have fun with no mental over a subjective arbitrated score and just score points on where we land on a target 

I respectfully find this a good attempt at arguing a different point. The inventors of golf had nothing to do with PAR.

Par was established in 1911, here is a snippet: 

The word "par," officially entered the golf lexicon in 1911 when the USGA put it in play. But the word itself was around long before that. 

 

Generally, "par" was used when talking about stocks, as in, "a stock may be above or below its normal or par figure," according to the USGA.

 

For golf purposes, the USGA defined "par" as, "the score that an expert player would be expected to make for a given hole. Par means expert play under ordinary weather conditions, allowing two strokes on the putting green."

 

Prior to the 1900s, "par" was actually a term used interchangeably with "bogey," but "bogey" was the term more universally used. 

 

Eventually, it was decided that "par" should be used to identify the "ideal score" on a given hole, while "bogey" would be the term used to describe a score that recreational golfers would be happy with.

 

Here are the yardage variables that were used to determine a holes "par" in 1911:

 

Par 3 - Up to 225 yards

Par 4 - 225 to 425 yards

Par 5 - 426 to 600 yards

Par 6 - 601 yards or more

 

Wouldn't touring pros love it if those specific yardages were used to identify a hole's par today? My point ---- why would someone write such a silly statement ..... what difference would it make what par is or isn't ..... strokes is the measuring stick! Has been from the start of this game!

 

Those numbers changed in 1917:

 

Par 3 - Up to 250 yards

Par 4 - 251 to 445 yards

Par 5 - 446 to 600 yards

Par 6 - 601 yards or more

 

And, finally, they were last updated in 1956, which is incredible when you consider the innovations in golf technology since then and especially in the last 20 years:

 

Par 3 - Up to 250 yards

Par 4 - 251 to 470 yards

Par 5 - 471 yards or more

 

 

 

 But let's say you are correct - that doesn't change the unnecessary effects it has on golfers.  That part is apparent across all levels of play, all coverage of the game, all post-round conversations, all keepsakes based on various achievements. 

However - I don't see an equivalent in any other sport.

PAR is aside and apart from our individual performances. 

It would be as if any basketball team not scoring 100 pts in a game, or 25 in a quarter.  Kinda arbitrary but something to shoot for.  A football team having to score at least 10 points/half but at least 21 in a game or some other arbitrary imagined scoring barometer.

 

TOTAL SCORE is all that matters!

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FW: Adams XTD Speedline 3W

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams and Callaway  hook sticks!🤓

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I have been debating whether to weigh in or not as I think most of my thoughts have been covered by others, however I do have some questions. 

If there was par per hole would golf course architecture then be completely changed or in a sense thrown out the window? I ask because golf course architects go through a lot of work and time to design holes to play a certain way and to play to a par. If that was just thrown out wouldn't it kinda kill that challenge or design element of golf courses? 

Maybe I am in the minority, but the course I play there are 2 par 5s which I know if I have a good drive they are easily reachable in 2 and play much more like a slightly longer par 4, where as there are 2 par 4s which are far tougher and in truth if I get a 4 I am thrilled, but most of the time count on a bogey. This isn't demoralizing or upsetting to me, but part of the challenge and enables me to get excited about getting a par on those tough par 4s and thrilled if I manage a birdie, where the par 5s I am still happy with a 5, but getting really excited and good nerves when I have a birdie or even eagle putt. 

Taking par away from all the holes I think kills some of that excitement, nerves and thrill of shooting those scores on a hole. This is not to say total score doesn't matter it obviously does, but taking par away from each hole looses that excitement and challenge of golf. Not to mention if total score is all that matters I think there will also be a negative knock on effect of always thinking about the final score. 

I don't often look at what I am over or under par till after the round. I usually have a good idea of being 4 over or whatever it may be, but if total score is all that matters I would for sure be adding up every hole and with 4 holes to play I would be thinking I need to finish in 16 shots or whatever it is which takes away from one hole at a time mental state that helps me shoot better. 

It is an interesting thought experiment, however I haven't quite seen anything that convinces me we should remove par from the equation. 

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I read somewhere along the line a coach's tips for course management and one of them was along the lines of "Mark your scorecard to reflect your handicap. Cross off the hole's par and write the number reflected by your handicap."

Ever since I've incorporated that into my routine I have a different approach in relation to the listed par for each hole. A par 6 will look different from the teebox. A par 3 looks different than a par 3 that is crossed off and a "4" I'll be happier with coming up 8' short on the fringe on the latter.

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On 6/21/2023 at 8:13 PM, 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.

🤓

I am late to the party on this one and admittedly did not read every response. However, I will assume you are advocating that the Par of the hole will dictate how a golfer believes that it should be played or attempted. So, your premise is Par dictates strategy. I might be an outlier here. I play a hole based on distance, sight lines and percentage. My motto is safety first and acceptable risk. I hope to minimize the big miss this way. Do I go at drivable Par 4’s and attempt to hit Par 5’s in two, yes absolutely. However, it is done when the percentage favors success. Also I take into account what a miss will get. Safety first and acceptable risk. 

Play like a champion today!

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1 hour ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

Maybe I am in the minority, but the course I play there are 2 par 5s which I know if I have a good drive they are easily reachable in 2 and play much more like a slightly longer par 4, where as there are 2 par 4s which are far tougher and in truth if I get a 4 I am thrilled, but most of the time count on a bogey. This isn't demoralizing or upsetting to me, but part of the challenge and enables me to get excited about getting a par on those tough par 4s and thrilled if I manage a birdie, where the par 5s I am still happy with a 5, but getting really excited and good nerves when I have a birdie or even eagle putt. 

Most courses are this way, some may have a bigger mix than others with regards to par 4s and also where whoever puts the tee markers out sets them. I think most golfers are like you and aren’t demoralized by not making par on tough holes.

One of the courses I play is a long par 4 opening hole and a bad shot off the tee makes it even harder. Like you on that hole making par is a good score. I’ve never worried about it being a par 4 and affecting my mind or my shot selection or whatever. I’m going to try and hit good shot after good shot ad score the best I can based on where my ball goes

I also haven’t players with anyone that at least demonstrated some kind of mental block or whatever on the tee box or somewhere down the hole or worried about par and their score in relation to it.

Sure we all have probably had some  thought about par and our score during our playing careers but I don’t think it’s to the level the OP is making it out to be. I’ve been lucky to play with scratch golfers that play scratch from the tips, low handicap who hit the ball along way and some low caps who are relatively short and then a bunch of people of mid and high handicaps. I even played with a couple on a tough course who played the wrong tees and never got to the fairway on any par 4 or 5 and never saw them be mental about par.

there’s ego golfers all over the place who are going to attempt that crazy shot to try and get to a green after a bad shot, but I don’t consider them to have some issue because of par on the hole, they just have the I don’t give a crap mentality and will attempt the miracle shot when they feel like it

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33 minutes ago, Javs said:

I am late to the party on this one and admittedly did not read every response. However, I will assume you are advocating that the Par of the hole will dictate how a golfer believes that it should be played or attempted. So, your premise is Par dictates strategy. I might be an outlier here. I play a hole based on distance, sight lines and percentage. My motto is safety first and acceptable risk. I hope to minimize the big miss this way. Do I go at drivable Par 4’s and attempt to hit Par 5’s in two, yes absolutely. However, it is done when the percentage favors success. Also I take into account what a miss will get. Safety first and acceptable risk. 

Fantastic approach.  I'd ask you this ...... does the par on said hole actually ever matter? 

I'm guessing the hole types you mention, your strategy wouldn't change.  With that said, you didn't get to mid single digits without some effort, and much trial and error.  So, let me ask you this.....

When you access a hole in two, does it matter to you that one is called a par 4 and the other a par 5?  Let's presume same hole different courses ........ and somehow they ended up different par assignments.   Does a four seem better on one during that round than the other???  We both know it matters.  Matters to you, me and every golfer ever to walk the planet in varying amounts.

THAT is the issue.  THAT shouldn't be. WHY NOT?  Because in a game that simply counts total strokes to have any strokes along the way seem more or less valuable is silly.    Whether or not one deals with that better than others we all deal with it.   But - why?  Why does it even exist to begin with?   It isn't there for that reason but that is the effect is has across the globe.  Might make .5 strokes difference one day and 10 strokes another, but it is there ........ whether we see it or not, and honestly I've rarely heard anyone discussing this aspect of the game.  PAR as an infiltrator and impediment to our best golf.

With all that said, your approach is as good as one can hope to do given how it is.  I do tip my cap to you on that for certain!!!

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

FW: Adams XTD Speedline 3W

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams and Callaway  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Callaway CF19 (4-P)   /   CF16 (4-AW)  /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)   /   Tommy Armour 845s (3-W)

WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 56 ES  /   Cleveland CG14 50*, 56*    /  Smartsole  56*   /  RTX4 56*  /   NIKE VR 56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / couple of Odyssey No. 2's

BALLS:  :bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS   :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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1 minute ago, Badams69 said:

Fantastic approach.  I'd ask you this ...... does the par on said hole actually ever matter? 

I'm guessing the hole types you mention, your strategy wouldn't change.  With that said, you didn't get to mid single digits without some effort, and much trial and error.  So, let me ask you this.....

When you access a hole in two, does it matter to you that one is called a par 4 and the other a par 5?  Let's presume same hole different courses ........ and somehow they ended up different par assignments.   Does a four seem better on one during that round than the other???  We both know it matters.  Matters to you, me and every golfer ever to walk the planet in varying amounts.

THAT is the issue.  THAT shouldn't be. WHY NOT?  Because in a game that simply counts total strokes to have any strokes along the way seem more or less valuable is silly.    Whether or not one deals with that better than others we all deal with it.   But - why?  Why does it even exist to begin with?   It isn't there for that reason but that is the effect is has across the globe.  Might make .5 strokes difference one day and 10 strokes another, but it is there ........ whether we see it or not, and honestly I've rarely heard anyone discussing this aspect of the game.  PAR as an infiltrator and impediment to our best golf.

With all that said, your approach is as good as one can hope to do given how it is.  I do tip my cap to you on that for certain!!!

Thank you for the great feedback and praise. I learned the hard way to check my ego and not pay attention to what I should score on a hole. That approach almost always ended badly. I also try not to keep track of under/over. I approach each shot with the same methodology. Safety first and acceptable risk. A 300 yard drive and a 35 foot downhill breaking putt count the same. I approach them the same. As you clearly pointed out, at the end of the day it’s the total strokes. Were you successful depends on the definition of “your” success. The same course one day could yield low rounds and the next day take it all away. Environment, weather and how you are striking it all factor. If I am striking it well, I take more risk. However, some of my best rounds have been when my swing is off and I am conservative. When I have just tried to place it in play and hit the middle of the green or safest spot near. Those days often are more satisfying than the days it is easy. Hope that made sense. 

Play like a champion today!

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22 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Most courses are this way, some may have a bigger mix than others with regards to par 4s and also where whoever puts the tee markers out sets them. I think most golfers are like you and aren’t demoralized by not making par on tough holes.

One of the courses I play is a long par 4 opening hole and a bad shot off the tee makes it even harder. Like you on that hole making par is a good score. I’ve never worried about it being a par 4 and affecting my mind or my shot selection or whatever. I’m going to try and hit good shot after good shot ad score the best I can based on where my ball goes

I also haven’t players with anyone that at least demonstrated some kind of mental block or whatever on the tee box or somewhere down the hole or worried about par and their score in relation to it.

Sure we all have probably had some  thought about par and our score during our playing careers but I don’t think it’s to the level the OP is making it out to be. I’ve been lucky to play with scratch golfers that play scratch from the tips, low handicap who hit the ball along way and some low caps who are relatively short and then a bunch of people of mid and high handicaps. I even played with a couple on a tough course who played the wrong tees and never got to the fairway on any par 4 or 5 and never saw them be mental about par.

there’s ego golfers all over the place who are going to attempt that crazy shot to try and get to a green after a bad shot, but I don’t consider them to have some issue because of par on the hole, they just have the I don’t give a crap mentality and will attempt the miracle shot when they feel like it

That's how you do it!  Just play.   

But how is your birdie putt performance vs par putts?😄 

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

FW: Adams XTD Speedline 3W

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams and Callaway  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Callaway CF19 (4-P)   /   CF16 (4-AW)  /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)   /   Tommy Armour 845s (3-W)

WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 56 ES  /   Cleveland CG14 50*, 56*    /  Smartsole  56*   /  RTX4 56*  /   NIKE VR 56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / couple of Odyssey No. 2's

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1 minute ago, Javs said:

Thank you for the great feedback and praise. I learned the hard way to check my ego and not pay attention to what I should score on a hole. That approach almost always ended badly. I also try not to keep track of under/over. I approach each shot with the same methodology. Safety first and acceptable risk. A 300 yard drive and a 35 foot downhill breaking putt count the same. I approach them the same. As you clearly pointed out, at the end of the day it’s the total strokes. Were you successful depends on the definition of “your” success. The same course one day could yield low rounds and the next day take it all away. Environment, weather and how you are striking it all factor. If I am striking it well, I take more risk. However, some of my best rounds have been when my swing is off and I am conservative. When I have just tried to place it in play and hit the middle of the green or safest spot near. Those days often are more satisfying than the days it is easy. Hope that made sense. 

Absolutely that mode leads to lower scores.  Which some don't grasp.  You don't improve your score trying to turn 4's into 3's.  You attack the 6's and 7's and shave from there first.

But in fairness my point simply centers around par even existing is silly ..... only because of how it permeates our perceptions of scores.  It chips away at the total score wins goal.  One hole at a time.

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

FW: Adams XTD Speedline 3W

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams and Callaway  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Callaway CF19 (4-P)   /   CF16 (4-AW)  /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)   /   Tommy Armour 845s (3-W)

WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 56 ES  /   Cleveland CG14 50*, 56*    /  Smartsole  56*   /  RTX4 56*  /   NIKE VR 56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / couple of Odyssey No. 2's

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1 hour ago, richk9holes said:

I read somewhere along the line a coach's tips for course management and one of them was along the lines of "Mark your scorecard to reflect your handicap. Cross off the hole's par and write the number reflected by your handicap."

Ever since I've incorporated that into my routine I have a different approach in relation to the listed par for each hole. A par 6 will look different from the teebox. A par 3 looks different than a par 3 that is crossed off and a "4" I'll be happier with coming up 8' short on the fringe on the latter.

Given how golf is - that is a highly effective method. 

But it also is a precisely concrete example of the concept of the whole initial premise.  None of that should be necessary at all.  All those holes are the same regardless of what we label them.   

For instance ...... why do you have to adjust it?  Why did the coach suggest it?  What the heck is wrong with this sport? LOL

It is related to how we perceive a hole due to the listed par. 

Again an arbitrary number that has zero to do with our own total score.   It brings in an element that shouldn't exist. 

Make more sense now????

Thanks

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

FW: Adams XTD Speedline 3W

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams and Callaway  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Callaway CF19 (4-P)   /   CF16 (4-AW)  /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)   /   Tommy Armour 845s (3-W)

WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 56 ES  /   Cleveland CG14 50*, 56*    /  Smartsole  56*   /  RTX4 56*  /   NIKE VR 56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / couple of Odyssey No. 2's

BALLS:  :bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS   :srixon-small:  Z-Star    :vice:  Pro +

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32 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

Absolutely that mode leads to lower scores.  Which some don't grasp.  You don't improve your score trying to turn 4's into 3's.  You attack the 6's and 7's and shave from there first.

But in fairness my point simply centers around par even existing is silly ..... only because of how it permeates our perceptions of scores.  It chips away at the total score wins goal.  One hole at a time.

I think Par and under/over is really just a simple way to track tournament and other competitions. Very easy to see a leader is 12 under. While watching a tournament or playing in one and seeing such and such is at 260 on 17 and this other dude has 269 in the club house would be too much for most. Same with the handicap application. How do you know where to give/get strokes. Based on rating and hole rating. Simplified it’s almost driven by par. While just a number it does have its place. It just doesn’t drive how I approach the hole during play.

Play like a champion today!

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@Badams69 This was, off the top of my head I may be wrong, a golf digest article about simple ways to improve scoring that have nothing to do with your swing.

Further putting myself in jeopardy of misquoting, I think it was from David Leadbetter.

The concept was that par 72 relates to a scratch golfer and amateurs shouldn't look at the par of the hole as reflective of their ability to score in that particular instance. Scorecards have a wealth of information on them and it is all there for a reason.

A par 4 that is handicap #1 is not the same as a par 4 that is handicap #12 and the entirety of the scoring system is devoted to this.

 

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1 hour ago, Javs said:

I think Par and under/over is really just a simple way to track tournament and other competitions. Very easy to see a leader is 12 under. While watching a tournament or playing in one and seeing such and such is at 260 on 17 and this other dude has 269 in the club house would be too much for most. Same with the handicap application. How do you know where to give/get strokes. Based on rating and hole rating. Simplified it’s almost driven by par. While just a number it does have its place. It just doesn’t drive how I approach the hole during play.

I don't disagree it has a place ..... and yes that is how it is used to an extent, which I also find odd,  but in my opinion as an overall number would serve the game better.  One thing I found to be a problem when I was coaching teams ......and of course I've heard this beyond that time ......   ex: a player (top tier player) makes a bogey or worse..... it is not uncommon to hear "gotta get that one back".  Obviously the stroke they lost to par.  However, that is a complete fallacy.  You absolutely CANNOT get a stroke back.  You may can grind down and focus and play more determined and better golf going forward ........ but that prior stroke ain't going away no matter how well you play after.    

It is a tough topic because of how ingrained the concept is in this game.

Perception based around it skews the objective at time.   

Fair?

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

FW: Adams XTD Speedline 3W

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams and Callaway  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Callaway CF19 (4-P)   /   CF16 (4-AW)  /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)   /   Tommy Armour 845s (3-W)

WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 56 ES  /   Cleveland CG14 50*, 56*    /  Smartsole  56*   /  RTX4 56*  /   NIKE VR 56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / couple of Odyssey No. 2's

BALLS:  :bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS   :srixon-small:  Z-Star    :vice:  Pro +

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Ive always been a fan of Dr Joseph Parent's idea of, "your par".  The concept is that the par thats listed on a hole is for a pro and you arent a pro, so why go by that?  Maybe whats a par 4 or par 5 is really more like a par 6 or par 7 if youre a 20 handicap.

Its something Ive adopted and it has made me a happier golfer.  Im now to the point where my par is actually bogey golf.  If I play bogey golf all day long, thats a great round.  Theres no sense in trying to live up to the standards of a professional golfer when Im no pro.

"I suppose its better to be a master of 7 than to be vaguely familiar with 14." - Chick Evans

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1 hour ago, richk9holes said:

@Badams69 This was, off the top of my head I may be wrong, a golf digest article about simple ways to improve scoring that have nothing to do with your swing.

Further putting myself in jeopardy of misquoting, I think it was from David Leadbetter.

The concept was that par 72 relates to a scratch golfer and amateurs shouldn't look at the par of the hole as reflective of their ability to score in that particular instance. Scorecards have a wealth of information on them and it is all there for a reason.

A par 4 that is handicap #1 is not the same as a par 4 that is handicap #12 and the entirety of the scoring system is devoted to this.

 

Yes that is not an uncommon approach to managing expectations to help improve ones approach.  I don't think you said it wrong at all.

This is a part that that I find fascinating as I go through this mental exercise here ......  if PAR was anything real, two holes so different in nature could not truly be labeled the same par.  Decimals would need to be incorporated. LOL

It is all about total score and these pars cloud is a bit at times.

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

FW: Adams XTD Speedline 3W

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams and Callaway  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Callaway CF19 (4-P)   /   CF16 (4-AW)  /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)   /   Tommy Armour 845s (3-W)

WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 56 ES  /   Cleveland CG14 50*, 56*    /  Smartsole  56*   /  RTX4 56*  /   NIKE VR 56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / couple of Odyssey No. 2's

BALLS:  :bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS   :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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3 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

I don't disagree it has a place ..... and yes that is how it is used to an extent, which I also find odd,  but in my opinion as an overall number would serve the game better.  One thing I found to be a problem when I was coaching teams ......and of course I've heard this beyond that time ......   ex: a player (top tier player) makes a bogey or worse..... it is not uncommon to hear "gotta get that one back".  Obviously the stroke they lost to par.  However, that is a complete fallacy.  You absolutely CANNOT get a stroke back.  You may can grind down and focus and play more determined and better golf going forward ........ but that prior stroke ain't going away no matter how well you play after.    

It is a tough topic because of how ingrained the concept is in this game.

Perception based around it skews the objective at time.   

Fair?

Very fair and I agree you can’t get a lost stroke back. It’s gone and the last hole is over. All you can do is play hard the rest of the way. Have a short memory of the bad and a long memory of the good!

Play like a champion today!

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2 minutes ago, ZenGolfer said:

Ive always been a fan of Dr Joseph Parent's idea of, "your par".  The concept is that the par thats listed on a hole is for a pro and you arent a pro, so why go by that?  Maybe whats a par 4 or par 5 is really more like a par 6 or par 7 if youre a 20 handicap.

Its something Ive adopted and it has made me a happier golfer.  Im now to the point where my par is actually bogey golf.  If I play bogey golf all day long, thats a great round.  Theres no sense in trying to live up to the standards of a professional golfer when Im no pro.

Yes that is what  @richk9holes was referring to also.

That matches up directly with what the usga set forth. Bogey is the score an amateur/average golfer should make on said hole. 

Given all that, can we agree it is odd we have to work around it, this concept of PAR per hole.  Maybe it is an impediment in some fashion if that is having to be done?

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

FW: Adams XTD Speedline 3W

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams and Callaway  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Callaway CF19 (4-P)   /   CF16 (4-AW)  /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)   /   Tommy Armour 845s (3-W)

WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 56 ES  /   Cleveland CG14 50*, 56*    /  Smartsole  56*   /  RTX4 56*  /   NIKE VR 56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / couple of Odyssey No. 2's

BALLS:  :bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS   :srixon-small:  Z-Star    :vice:  Pro +

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I don't view as working around it as much as working toward it. 

Shot #1 of the round has a certain expectation and I will meet, surpass or fall short. Each following shot is the same. In that regard, it's crazy we put more weight on certain strokes because of this concept of par. I see what you mean.

But my approach to the game is based on that shot in front of me regardless of the number stroke it is for the hole. 

 

Finding a way to turn birdies into bogeys since 1992. #TeamChunks

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3 hours ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

I have been debating whether to weigh in or not as I think most of my thoughts have been covered by others, however I do have some questions. 

If there was par per hole would golf course architecture then be completely changed or in a sense thrown out the window? I ask because golf course architects go through a lot of work and time to design holes to play a certain way and to play to a par. If that was just thrown out wouldn't it kinda kill that challenge or design element of golf courses? 

Maybe I am in the minority, but the course I play there are 2 par 5s which I know if I have a good drive they are easily reachable in 2 and play much more like a slightly longer par 4, where as there are 2 par 4s which are far tougher and in truth if I get a 4 I am thrilled, but most of the time count on a bogey. This isn't demoralizing or upsetting to me, but part of the challenge and enables me to get excited about getting a par on those tough par 4s and thrilled if I manage a birdie, where the par 5s I am still happy with a 5, but getting really excited and good nerves when I have a birdie or even eagle putt. 

Taking par away from all the holes I think kills some of that excitement, nerves and thrill of shooting those scores on a hole. This is not to say total score doesn't matter it obviously does, but taking par away from each hole looses that excitement and challenge of golf. Not to mention if total score is all that matters I think there will also be a negative knock on effect of always thinking about the final score. 

I don't often look at what I am over or under par till after the round. I usually have a good idea of being 4 over or whatever it may be, but if total score is all that matters I would for sure be adding up every hole and with 4 holes to play I would be thinking I need to finish in 16 shots or whatever it is which takes away from one hole at a time mental state that helps me shoot better. 

It is an interesting thought experiment, however I haven't quite seen anything that convinces me we should remove par from the equation. 

Fair enough.  And honestly I don't see par going anywhere and personally don't have an issue with it.

However - golf was around for quite some time before PAR was established in 1911.  Does it serve some purposes? Sure. 

But - I'm simply saying that the excitement or nerves are not always positive.  They do make it neater when you do well, but outside of those instances ...... how many times does it detract from the process of simply scoring your best free from outside expectations, conscious or not, it is there ..... PAR. LOL

I just get a kick out of thinking through these types of things especially in a sport I love.  Talking through things like this with other golfers, especially those who come to me for help has always been fruitful.   I found removing any obstacle apparent or otherwise to good play, was one additional element to playing their best, the quickest.  

Ex:  We'd list the holes characteristics with our teams and not show them the card.  Then have them work out what could derail them on a hole and what could ensure a smooth hole free of trouble. The newbies would go as far to learn that they scored better hitting 7 and 9 irons as often as they possibly could.  Prior to that they were always told, it's a par 4 you try to get there in two.

Their scores would come down so fast.        The better players we would figure out their favorite two yardages and do whatever was needed to play to that yardage as many times as possible during a round.   Especially if their short game was relatively suspect.  Either way ...... with no awareness of par, they simply would mathematically plan their way around the course pre-round.  And then when they played they had a plan to fall back on and learned to ignore par altogether.  They didn't discuss it, they didn't ask about it.  They just played.  Obviously it helped the pure beginners far more but it had an impact on the better players also. 

Freed them up to just play, they didn't think birdie eagle or double they just played. We sent three medalists to state that year. Not a traditionally deep school for high end golfers, but we had 3 and they beat kids that played much higher levels than they did outside school golf.

Just an example of how I've seen this thinking help golfers.

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This is a philosophical question and those have no ends, no answers. You're absolutely right that lowest score matters, for the pros. But when two people of different skill levels want to compete against eachother, PAR is absolutely vital. Our handicap system is based on it. I think you can say that once at a certain level, say professional for arguments sakes, then yes par is irrelevant. But for amateurs, it's necessary

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6 minutes ago, richk9holes said:

I don't view as working around it as much as working toward it. 

Shot #1 of the round has a certain expectation and I will meet, surpass or fall short. Each following shot is the same. In that regard, it's crazy we put more weight on certain strokes because of this concept of par. I see what you mean.

But my approach to the game is based on that shot in front of me regardless of the number stroke it is for the hole. 

 

And that is to be saluted!  This concept I bring up isn't our fault it's the game as we know it.  So much so that it is a hard concept to even contemplate.   Golf without par on a hole?  What?   That's silly ..... LOL 

Well, golf with rules existed for 167 years without par.

Par has now been in play for 112.

 

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Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

FW: Adams XTD Speedline 3W

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams and Callaway  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Callaway CF19 (4-P)   /   CF16 (4-AW)  /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)   /   Tommy Armour 845s (3-W)

WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 56 ES  /   Cleveland CG14 50*, 56*    /  Smartsole  56*   /  RTX4 56*  /   NIKE VR 56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / couple of Odyssey No. 2's

BALLS:  :bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS   :srixon-small:  Z-Star    :vice:  Pro +

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8 minutes ago, richk9holes said:

I don't view as working around it as much as working toward it. 

Shot #1 of the round has a certain expectation and I will meet, surpass or fall short. Each following shot is the same. In that regard, it's crazy we put more weight on certain strokes because of this concept of par. I see what you mean.

But my approach to the game is based on that shot in front of me regardless of the number stroke it is for the hole. 

 

I believe it was Hogan that said the most important shot is the next one. Meaning play this shot to put yourself in the best shape for the next one. Nothing else matters. 

Play like a champion today!

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1 minute ago, TylorJudd said:

This is a philosophical question and those have no ends, no answers. You're absolutely right that lowest score matters, for the pros. But when two people of different skill levels want to compete against eachother, PAR is absolutely vital. Our handicap system is based on it. I think you can say that once at a certain level, say professional for arguments sakes, then yes par is irrelevant. But for amateurs, it's necessary

Appreciate the input.

No argument that hdcp system allows two dissimilar golfers to compete. 

However, in fairness with no handicaps in place among about 10 teens and early 20's golfers (breaking par regularly or at worst mid 70s) where I grew up playing, we didn't have any issue figuring out how many strokes to give and not give as we competed.   I imagine you do the same.

 

I put forth there is an answer ........ PAR as presently perceived is not good for golfers of any level.   

 

It may not harm all the same but in my opinion it does nothing to help.  It is arbitrary and mostly misunderstood by almost all.  Or again it would have decimals - LOL

We both know it isn't going away. I'm not silly.  Just hope to shine a small light on some of the effect it can bring into the game unwittingly.   Nerves or disappointments that are not always accurate to the situation of playing the game.

WITB

Drivers: Cobra F9 w/Atmos

FW: Adams XTD Speedline 3W

HOOK STICKS(hybrids): Adams and Callaway  hook sticks!🤓

IRONS: Callaway CF19 (4-P)   /   CF16 (4-AW)  /   Ping Eye2 (3-S)   /   Tommy Armour 845s (3-W)

WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 56 ES  /   Cleveland CG14 50*, 56*    /  Smartsole  56*   /  RTX4 56*  /   NIKE VR 56*

PUTTER: Ping Zing2 /  Anser4  /  Bobby Grace LoPro   / couple of Odyssey No. 2's

BALLS:  :bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS   :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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3 minutes ago, Badams69 said:

And that is to be saluted!  This concept I bring up isn't our fault it's the game as we know it.  So much so that it is a hard concept to even contemplate.   Golf without par on a hole?  What?   That's silly ..... LOL 

Well, golf with rules existed for 167 years without par.

Par has now been in play for 112.

 

Boxing matches with no caps on rounds were once the gold standard for determining the heavyweight champ but now we use 12 rounds of 3 minute length. 

I don't think the minutiae of the standards matter so much as the idea that there are competitive standards everyone follows.

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