Par (golf scoring format)
- This article is about the scoring system "Par", that is commonly used in Australian club golf as an alternative to Stableford and normal stroke play. The Par (score) page provides a general definition of par on a golf hole.
Par is a scoring system used mostly in amateur and club golf. It involves scoring (+, 0, −) based on results at each hole. The objective is to have an end score with more pluses than minuses. The result on each hole is always based on one's handicap-adjusted score.
For ease of explanation, assume a player's handicap gives him/her one stroke per hole (e.g., an 18-hole handicap of 18). This player, playing to his/her handicap on a given day, will average a bogey on each hole. Playing 'to' ones handicap is expected and so there is no reward or punishment due when a bogey five is recorded on a par four. Thus, a 0 (zero) is recorded. A double-bogey six (one over what's expected from a player on a nine handicap, would incur a penalty of a minus '−'. A four (a genuine, unadjusted par) is one better than a '9-handicapper' would be expected to score and would earn a plus '+'. However, for this golfer, sixes and above still incur just one minus '−'. Likewise, fours and below earn just one plus '+'. At the end of the round, pluses and minuses are reconciled (a minus cancels out a plus). If a player finishes with two pluses, s/he is 'two up' or 'plus two' (+2). The opposite applies if s/he finishes with two minuses − 'two down'; 'minus 2'; '−2'.