Thread: Par Talk
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by gdub58 View Post
As I said a few hundred pages ago, the question should not be focused on whether par is doing its job.
I think that should be one of the first questions. That doesn't preclude others. It's just that I very much want par to do the job expected of it, which is to indicate what an expert would expect to score with errorless play.

Your data simply shows that some holes can't have a good par because they are poorly designed.
This is also a very good question--is a hole designed well?

So, I think the question is: "What is the range of scoring distributions that we would find acceptable?" Should we start with the notion that par should always be the most frequently achieved score, but no higher than 80%? Can we agree that the proportion of birdies should be at least 5%? 10%? And they should be no higher than say, 30%?
Well, I'd expect par to be the most frequently achieved score among experts who play the hole, sure. I don't think any particular percentage of par scores in play would be expected, in general use. For competition purposes, I'd expect designers/TDs to want holes that provide scoring spread, so an analysis for competitive play would include that.

I also don't think there should be a minimum percentage of birdies, nor a maximum percentage of bogies, in general. Again, I can see it being a concern for scoring spread in competitive play. I certainly don't have any problem with holes being designed with that in mind.

As for percentages with competition on mind, I reckon at least half of all experts should score par, with the rest of the scores being lower or higher in roughly equal percentages for a hole to be well-designed for competitive play. A hole playing 50-60% par, 20-25% under par, and 20-25% over par seems fine to me. I also wouldn't be offended by a hole that gave up only 2% under par scores and 38% over par. (I'm not a competitive player, though, so my ideas of suitable scoring spread may not match those of competitive pros.)
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