Golf is more fun when you don’t measure your game against professionals
Every day, thousands of SoCal golfers head out to the course with the hopes of playing well, impressing themselves and others and, most of all, measuring themselves against par.
Unfortunately, the notion of par can bring about unrealistic expectations for a vast majority of amateur golfers.
With the help of Wade Wilson, a PGA professional at El Niguel Country Club in south Orange County, let’s take a closer look at what par is and how it relates to everyday golfers:
First things first. In golf, par is the number of strokes that a skilled player should require to complete a hole or a round. Par is primarily determined by the length of each hole, which includes a regulation number of strokes to reach the green based on the average distance a proficient golfer hits the ball, and two putts.
Par for a golf course is usually determined during the design phase. In essence, the course designer lays out a mixture of 18 holes that add up to somewhere between 70-72, which is a common par for the majority of courses. Wilson points out that people want to play championship golf courses; they want to play where the pros play. Yet, people who have no chance of shooting par are still complaining about how high their score is in relation to par.
“In short, the par of a traditional 18-hole golf course should not be considered a means of measuring a majority of a golfers’ success, because it was not set up for the average golfer,” Wilson said. “When was the last time you saw this: ‘Come play our course, it is for the below-average golfer.’”
“I suggest you grab your scorecard and increase the par on every hole by two. Yes, increase every score on every hole by two shots,” Wilson said. “That will be your par the next time you play. So if par is 72 and you increase par by 36, your personal par is 108.”
After playing and scoring that round, Wilson says to take whatever you shot and make that your new par. Let’s say you shot 96. On your next scorecard set par to equal 96. Continue this cycle until you get to a score that you shoot seven out of 10 rounds.
“I believe you will find golf more rewarding and fun when you set your own par and don’t measure yourself against the par standard for golf professionals,” he said.
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Greetings, fellow golfers, and welcome to SoCal Golf Insider! We are Rob Lyon and Eric Marson and we've been reporting and writing about the game throughout the region since 1995. Here, we will provide you with the latest news, features, reviews and more on all things golf in Southern California. Let’s tee it up!
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