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How is the "average number of strokes" decided for each hole?
While watching golf competitions, the majority of players are far below the par.

Shouldn't it then be adapted? If 90% of players are doing an eagle on a Par 5, why isn't it converted to a Par 3?

It should work as long as you don't try to compare from year to year if there has been a change in-between.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The par for a hole is primarily based on the length of the hole, but other factors can also affect its value; most noticeably the type of terrain and any potential obstacles (water, hills, buildings etc). Wikipedia article for Par

The USGA lays out the following guidelines for par computation;

Yardage Guidelines

To quote their advice on par computation;

Yardages for guidance in computing par are given below. The effective playing length of a hole for the scratch golfer determines par. (See Section 13-3b.) These yardages may not be applied arbitrarily; the configuration of the ground and the severity of the obstacles should be taken into consideration.

Authorized golf associations are empowered to adjudicate questions of hole par. (See Decision 16/1.)

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excellent. Thanks! –  wax eagle Feb 10 '12 at 14:00
Of course, PGA Tour events often exceed the guidelines. See the 528-yard par 4 for instance. –  Michael Myers Feb 10 '12 at 15:00
Holes can also be less than the recommended yardage for a particular par. This is less common than a longer par, but can happen when a hazard, dogleg or fairway feature makes the "ideal" shot for the given distance unwise. For instance, take a 460-yard level hole with a nice big pond across the entire fairway from 260 yards to 320. The ideal tee shot for 460 yards would be a nice long drive (275 or better), but to make that work here your drive better carry 320+ yards in the air. Instead, the smart play is the 3-wood for two shots and a wedge to approach, making it a par-5. –  KeithS Jun 11 '12 at 22:16

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