Golf Quick Tips – Knowing Your Score

Getting the ball into the hole with the least number of shots is the basic goal of golf. Most 18-hole courses have a par of 72 shots. (A few have pars of 69, 70, or 71.) You’re supposed to take no more than three shots on a par-three, four on a par-four, and five on a par-five.

Par-threes are the shortest holes, and range up to 250 yards. In a best-case scenario, it should take one shot to hit the ball onto the green of a par-three hole. Par-fours are medium-length holes that range up to 470 yards. Here, it should take two shots to reach the green. Par-fives are the longest, between 471 and 690 yards. Depending on length, players will take two or three shots to hit it on the green on a par-five.

How you describe your score for a given hole depends on whether it takes you more shots than “par” or less.

If you take one stroke less than par you’ve made a birdie. If you take two strokes less than par you’ve made an eagle. If you take one more stroke than par you have a bogey. Two strokes over is a double-bogey and three over is a triple-bogey. Anything more than that is a disaster!

Three under par is a Double-Eagle, (the British refer to it as an Albatross), and is a very rare score. A Double-Eagle can only happen on a par-four or par-five hole. It would be impossible to be three under on a par-three as that would be a zero. Of course, on a par-four you’d need to make a hole in one which would also be an amazing feat!

The most famous Double-Eagle was made by Gene Sarazen at the Masters Tournament in April 1935. On his second shot of a par-five he holed it from 235 yards with a four-wood. That shot was dubbed “the shot heard round the world” and it’s what put the Masters Tournament on the map.


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