The R&A - Working for Golf
Appendix F - Establishing Par

The Rules of Handicapping feature par as a factor in the calculation of:

  • Net par (for hole(s) not played)
  • Net double bogey (maximum hole score for handicap purposes)
  • Course Handicap which includes a Course Ratingpar adjustment (FOR ALL ASSOCIATIONS THAT HAVE SELECTED TO INCLUDE COURSE RATING–PAR)

It is important that an accurate par be established for each hole on a golf course for both men and women, and these values should be printed alongside each hole on the scorecard.

It is recommended that par be established for each hole in accordance with the following hole lengths: 

Par

Men

Women

3

Up to 260 yards

(240 metres)

Up to 220 yards

(200 metres)

4

240 to 490 yards

(220 to 450 metres)

200 to 420 yards

(180 to 380 metres)

5

450 to 710 yards

(410 to 650 metres)

370 to 600 yards

(340 to 550 metres)

6

670 yards and up

(610 metres and up)

570 yards and up

(520 metres and up)

 Note: These guidelines assume an altitude less than 2,000 feet/610 metres above sea level.

  • Par reflects the score a scratch player is expected to score on a given hole and may be allocated depending on the playing difficulty of the hole, including any effective length correction factors, for example, elevation changes, forced lay-ups and prevalent wind.
  • Where a hole length falls within two par ranges, for example 470 yards (men) or 400 yards (women), the par may be allocated as 4 or 5 depending on the difficulty of the hole.
  • Where a hole length falls within two par ranges, it may be appropriate to designate par relative to the way the hole was designed to be played. For example, if the hole lengths from all sets of tees on a specific hole lie within the recommended par 4 range for men, with the exception of the forward tee at 250 yards, this hole can still be designated as a par 4 hole due the way the hole is designed to be played.