Probably not. Beginners should totally ignore this convention and make their own par.
Trying to hit greens in regulation causes beginners more bad shots than anything in golf. It encourages beginners, and even intermediate golfers, to try shots that deep down they know they could never pull off. Letting go of this arbitrary, unrealistic expectation will increase everyone’s enjoyment of golf and improve their scores at the same time.
If you think about it…getting to a 400 yard par 4 in 2 shots is pretty difficult. It requires a drive of at least 200 to 220 yards and a second shot of 180 to 200 yards with accuracy. What percentage of beginner golfers can hit two 200 yard shots relatively straight with any sort of consistency.
The honest answer is probably not many.
In fact, many single digit handicap golfers can’t do it consistently. Now how about three 140 yard shots. Now that’s within the realm of possibility. That’s just three 6 or 7 irons for most male beginners (the women’s game is another matter altogether). Three shots to get on, two putts, that’s a five.
A bogey on probably one of the more difficult holes. Do that on every hole you shoot 90. Even if you don’t you’re bound to break 100.
The real beauty of creating your own individual par is the enjoyment it will bring to your game. Trying to hit shots that you have a reasonable chance of pulling off is so much more fun than trying to hit that super difficult shot. And most any 180 yard plus shot is difficult for a beginner.
And the real irony is you’ll probably score much better because you won’t have as many of those disaster holes.
As your tension level goes down, your percentage of good shots will go up. If you work on your short game you’ll start to score even better.
So Let’s Make a New Par Strategy.
If you’re an average male beginner golfer try this. If the hole length is:
- 100-150 yards … par should be 3…..1 shot to get on the green
- 175-350 yards … par should be 4 ….. 2 shots to get on the green
- 350 to 425 yards … par should be 5 ….. 3 shots to get on the green
- 425-600 yards … par should be 6 ….. 4 shots to get on the green over
- 600 yards … par should be 7 ….. 5 shots to get on the green
If you are a woman or an older senior consider adding a stroke to each of the above pars.
If there is a lot of trouble on a hole like large water hazards to carry or many bunkers or a tight tree-lined fairway, consider adding an extra stroke to that hole.
Give this idea of making your own par a try. And don’t tell your playing partners. At least not until they wonder why you’re playing so well and taking all their money.
Remember…it’s about making a difficult game as simple as possible…the KISS principle in action.