When discussing the merits of an individual hole or less so, an entire course, par is often a part of the conversation. To many, a golf course whose par is less than 72 is deemed inferior (see http://adventuresingca.blogspot.ca/2012/11/standards-of-par-yardage.html). When it comes to individual holes, the word unfair is often brought up due to the par value attributed to the hole in question. The concept of golf is rather simple; get the ball from the tee into the hole in as few strokes as possible. Good golf architecture should allow for a variety of routes to the hole, and it is the responsibility of the golfer to choose a route that best matches their ability, to say nothing of actual execution. The concept of par should not weigh into the discussion, but a lack of viable alternatives for non-scratch players must when assessing the quality of individual golf holes.
|No. 16 at Cypress Point, should the fact the hole is a par 3 influence which club you pull from the bag? |
|Mackenzie left a wide fairway for those unable to make the carry on the direct line, an option that yields less pars, but fewer doubles, triples or higher. (Photo: Google Earth)|
|The Road Hole at St. Andrews demands two superlative shots to reach the green in regulation, but for most golfers, conceding at the tee the need to take three (see yellow line) to get home is a more prudent option. (Photo: Google Earth)|
If golf is about getting the ball into the hole in the fewest number of strokes and understanding your limitations, ignoring par is a good idea.