Playing the 'Various Pars' Golf Format

Various Pars is the name of a golf format most associated with golf association playdays, golf league tournaments and the like. In Various Pars you (or your team) play 18 holes, but only nine of your scores count for your final score. Which holes? Holes of ... various pars.

Which holes count? The good news is that only your best scores are used for those nine holes. But not necessarily your lowest nine holes of the round, because those nine scores must include some of each among the par-3 holes, par-4 holes and par-5 holes on the golf course.

The combination of holes used for your Various Pars score typically breaks down like this:

  • You count your two best scores among the par-3 holes.
  • Count your five best scores among the par-4 holes.
  • Count your two best scores from the par-5 holes.
Your average 18-hole, par-72 golf course contains four par-3s, 10 par-4s and four par-5s. So in the standard Various Pars breakdown, you are using half your scores on each type of golf hole.

But not all golf courses use that standard configuration, nor are all golf courses par-72 layouts. The golf course played might have only two par-5 holes, for example, and in such cases the number of scores used per hole type will be adjusted.

But if you are playing a tournament, or just using Various Pars as a betting game within a group of golf buddies, you'll know before the round begins what the scoring requirement is — how many scores on each type of hole you'll be using.

And at the end of the round, you pick out those nine holes for your score, throw the others out, and tally up your Various Pars score.

More golf formats:

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