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Par for the course may be a well-known saying to mean something that is normal and expected but is actually a golf term used to describe the number of strokes a player is expected to take to go around a golf course in.
For example, many 18-hole golf course have a number of holes made up of par threes, par fours and par fives. For each of those holes, the par score represents the number of shots a player should take to get their ball in the hole.
The total par number of all the holes is added up to give the total par for the course and is often in the region of 72 strokes.
Players then attempt to achieve par by taking no more than 72 strokes over the 18 holes.
For example, at a venue where the par for the course is 72, if a player goes around in 70, they have then shot two under-par. The player who took the lowest number of shots over the tournament is the winner.
A player who shoots par across the tournament will likely not be in contention come the final day’s play so it is important to look at backing players who regularly score under-par as opposed to just achieving par for the course.
Three players share the record for having shot the lowest ever rounds in golf in relation to the par for the course.
Japans Ryo Ishikawa, Germany’s Stephan Jager and American Jim Furyk have all shot rounds of 58 strokes when the par for the course score was 70.