Par (score)

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Par is a term in the game of golf used to denote the pre-determined number of strokes that a scratch (or 0 handicap) golfer should require to complete a hole, a round (the sum of the pars of the played holes), or a tournament (the sum of the pars of each round). Pars are the central component of stroke play, the most common kind of play in professional golf tournaments.The length of each hole from the tee placement to the pin determines par values for each hole primarily, though not exclusively. Almost invariably, holes are assigned par values between three and five strokes. For a casual player from the middle tees, a par-three hole will range between and from the tee to the pin. Par-four holes range between and , although tournament players will often encounter par-four holes as long as or more as it is not uncommon for short par-five holes for normal play to be turned into par-four holes in championship play. Par-five holes are typically between and , but in the modern game holes of over are becoming more common in championship play. Other relevant factors in setting the par for the hole include the terrain and obstacles (such as trees, water hazards, hills, or buildings) that may require a golfer to take more (or fewer) shots. Some golf courses feature par-sixes and, albeit very rarely, par-sevens, although the latter are not recognised by the United States Golf Association.

Typical championship golf courses have par values of 72, comprising...
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