How to Check Par in Golf

By William McCoy
Scorecards contain the par for each hole and the overall par for 18 holes.
Scorecards contain the par for each hole and the overall par for 18 holes.

Checking the par, or number of strokes, of each hole during a round of golf helps you gauge your performance on the hole. By calculating the par prior to teeing off, you can expect to know roughly how long the hole will play and what clubs you might expect to use. After you hole out, comparing your score against the par shows you how you're playing.

Note the par of the hole on the course scorecard before teeing off. The hole's par is almost always also displayed on the sign located next to the tee box. This sign also contains such information as the hole's number and yardage. On some courses, the sign features an overhead image of the hole.

Keep track of your strokes as you play the hole. After sinking your putt, add up your total strokes and write the number down on the scorecard. Compare your total strokes to the par of the hole. For example, if the hole is a par-4 and you took five shots, you are 1 over par for the hole.

Add up your score over the front nine and compare that number to the par for the front nine. For example, if the front nine's par is 35 and you shoot a 42, you were seven 7 over par for the front. Repeat this process on the back nine and over the total 18 holes. If you shot a 41 on the back nine, and the par for that nine is 36, you were 5 over par for that nine holes. You total score was 83, and if the par for the course is 71, you finished 12 shots over par.

About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.

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