How to Play the 'Par or Out' Golf Format

The name of the game is "Par or Out," and the gist of it is right there in the title: In this game, you have to keep making pars (or net pars, if handicaps are being used) or better to stay in the game. The winner is the golfer who goes the longest without making worse than a par.

Using par as the benchmark score makes it clear that this a game for lower-handicap golfers. However, mid- and higher-handicap golfers can use the same basic rules with a different benchmark (bogey, double bogey). One version of the game for golfers who aren't low handicappers is called Bogey or Bust.

Par or Out as a Side Game

Par or Out is most commonly played as a side game to another format. Say a group of four golfers are playing stroke play amongst themselves. As a side bet, they add Par or Out. Whichever of the four goes the longest without making a bogey (or net bogey) or worse wins the Par or Out bet. All four continue playing stroke play to the end of the round. And if enough holes remain when the first Par or Out bet is won, the group can play it again on the remaining holes.

Par or Out as a Tournament Format

In a Par or Out tournament, golfers drop out of the tournament when they make a bogey or worse. The winner of Par or Out is the golfer who makes it farthest around the golf course without making anything worse than par. Obviously, you'll need to use full handicaps and net scores, or very few golfers will get very far.

Also note that you can set up Par or Out so that golfers literally stop playing after making a bogey or worse. (This version greatly speeds up completion of the tournament, but also results in many golfers stopping play very soon into the round.) Or all golfers can play the full round while noting on which hole their first score higher than par occurred.

In the second case (full rounds are played), Par or Out can also serve as a secondary game within a tournament, a bonus game or honey pot.

More golf formats:

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