It’s always a good day on the course when you can overload your scorecard with pars. Those are the days where everything seems to be going perfectly. Every throw, curve, and flip is right on target and your buddies just can’t seem to keep up. But in order to keep getting good scores, you have to at least par each hole when play.
Today, we’re going to be talking about the “par” in all its fame and glory, like what exactly a par is, how you can score a par, how they can help you on the course, its history, and 5 things you can do to get more pars in your round.
So what is a Par in disc golf?
In disc golf, “par” is the number of strokes (or throws) that a disc golfer is expected to need to complete an individual hole, or to complete all the holes on a disc golf course. Par is the standard measure of a hole on the disc golf course.
How to score a par
Once you get fairly decent at the sport of disc golf, achieving a par isn’t all that difficult. Whatever the par is, that’s how many throws you have to get that score on an individual hole. So here are all of the scores that it will take to get par on any individual hole.
• Score a 3 on a par-3 hole. (Most unmarked disc golf holes are par 3 holes)
• Score a 4 on a par-4 hole.
• Score a 5 on a par-5 hole.
• Score a 6 on a par-6 hole (you won’t find many of these).
And just remember, if you achieve the course par score (all of the scores of all of the holes added up), you will have achieved par for the course.
How pars can help you on the course
1. Pars can help you stay in the lead: for the players that stay at par, continue to get this score, and stay at 0 (or par), this can help you stay ahead of other players who may not be keeping up. There will always be those players that start making mistakes on the course. Trees, other objects, out of bounds, and water can just crush your score. But if you avoid these, other players will start messing up. These mistakes will allow you and your pars to win the round.
2. Pars can help you not fall (too far) behind: there are a lot of players who don’t make mistakes. In fact, these players usually score a lot of birdies and pars. Of course, I want you to score more eagles and birdies. But if you can at the least keep your pars, and other players play really well, you won’t fall too far behind. This can allow you to catch up if you can play better (and the other players start messing up).
3. Par keeps you at zero: no matter what happens with your par, you will always stay at zero. As you can see, the par doesn’t really help you very much and it doesn’t really hurt you very much. If a player does really well and you make par, they will probably beat you. If that person starts making mistakes and you keep par with the course, you will probably win.
History of the par
Par, like the words birdie and eagle, is rooted in ball golf’s origins. The word par, though, has been around since about the year 1500. It was originally used to refer to “equality” or “something that was equal.” Outside of golf, if something is “on par,” it typically meets a certain standard.
Around the end of the 19th century, ball golfers used the words par and bogey almost interchangeably (bogey was more widely used). In the early 1900s, the two terms started to split and have separate meanings. Par was used as the ideal target score for the best golfers. And bogey was applied to scores that recreational players would be happy with (those golfers would then aspire to try and meet par on the course).
And that’s what we try to do in disc golf. We try to get par, and meet (or beat) the standard amount of throws on each hole. For disc golfers, the word itself was probably carried over around 1926 or so, when some players started playing Tin Lid Golf with frisbees. Today, it’s one of the most commonly used terms in disc golf and remains the score that all players try to achieve or beat during their rounds. If you can make par, you will crush it on the course.
5 things you can do to get more pars in your round
1. Never ever sacrifice your par: This is a simple concept and I can’t stress it enough. When you’re playing, whether you are approaching the basket or putting from 60 feet out, don’t sacrifice your par. It may be ego or whatever, but if the shot is too intense, just lay the shot up near the basket. That way you can smash the par and move on.
2. Focus on technique: As a beginner or amateur player, you need to focus on throwing technique if you want to improve your game. Stop worrying about speed, distance, or anything else your ego is making you think about. Put your ego aside and learn the beginner throwing techniques.
For a great post on this, check out our post, “7 Steps to the Best Disc Golf Technique and a Perfect Throw”
You can also check out this really awesome video by Pro Disc Golfer Scott Papa on throwing basics.
3. Throw discs that feel good to you: Something simple that really progressed my disc golf game was this really simple tip – make sure you’re throwing discs that feel good to you. You should only throw discs that you like to hold and like to throw. I recently just bought an Innova Atlas two-piece disc and I absolutely love how it feels. That disc is awesome. You should check it out. You can find it for around 17 bucks on Amazon, Innovadiscs.com, or infinitediscs.com. If you love how a disc feels, you will throw better.
4. Have a goal in mind for your round: if you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a huge advocate for goal-setting and all that jazz. Why? Well, because setting goals for yourself is setting yourself up for future success. Setting goals can be hugely productive and practical, so why not apply it to the course and all of your rounds? When you’re out playing, set a goal for your score or for how many pars or birdies you would like to get. Now shoot for that goal, and even if you don’t get it, I bet you will have done better than if you didn’t have any goals. More pars is always my goal.
5. Read our post, “101 Disc Golf Tips to Take Your Game to the Next Level”: this blog post is absolutely epic and is essentially the basis for our book, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual.” In this post, we highlight 101 tips that can take you from beginner to intermediate to advanced player in a very short time frame. This post is fine tuned for you, so be sure to head over to it and take it all in. If you do that, you will surely be able to improve your ability to possible get way more pars during your round.
Extra tip – Pay for personal coaching or hit up a local clinic: personal coaching and paid clinics are an excellent way to improve your game. Personal coaching can help you because it’s usually 1 on 1 coaching and your coach can help you out with whatever you’re struggling with.
If you’ve gotten this far, you must really want to learn more about disc golf and everything about it. If you’re interested in more frequently asked questions, you can check out the resources below or hit up our FAQ page here.
You can also check out our awesome related content.
You can also grab a copy of our book, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual,” here on the site. It’s packed full of extremely practical tips and tricks to help you immediately start improving on the course!