Par 3 Scoring – Key Takeaways

  • Longer holes result in higher average scores.
  • Roughly 1 out of every 7 golfers can’t reach a 200+ yard par 3 hole off the tee.
  • 1 out of 3 golfers needs to hit a driver to reach a 200-224 yard par 3.

Improved Performance Through Data

Big data is a powerful tool. Not only does it allow golfers to assess individual parts of the game, but it provides an opportunity to examine performance from a variety of perspectives.

Golf stat-tracking and performance management companies like ShotScope help golfers better understand individual on-course performance. However, by aggregating data from golfers across the world, we get a more complete picture of the realities of amateur performance.

So, as we dive into a relatively straightforward topic, take a moment and think about the par 3 holes on your home course. What is the typical yardage? What strategy do you use to produce the highest probability of success?

As you look through the Shot Scope Par 3 performance data, keep in mind that the PGA Tour scoring average is 3.06 on all par 3 holes. Manage your expectations accordingly

Par 3 Scoring Average by Handicap (150-200 Yards)



  • Even on short(er) par 3s, avoiding bogey beats the database average by nearly a full stroke.
  • If you’re a “bogey” golfer, consider playing every par 3 as a short par 4 instead.

Par  3 Scoring Average by Handicap (200+ Yards)


  • As expected, longer holes yield higher scores, though the Shot Scope database average score increased by only .21 strokes.
  • Using a strategy that gives you the best opportunity to make par is a simple way to lower your score by 2-3 strokes/round.

Distribution of Driving Distance

We tend to only consider driving distance on holes designated as a par 4 or par 5.

The reality is, nearly 50% of golfers will use a driver on a 200-yard par 3. If the hole is longer than 224 yards, the percentage increases to over 70%.

How Do You Compare?

Do you score better or worse than the Shot Scope database averages?

What’s your biggest takeaway? How do you strategically attack the par 3 holes on your course?

Post a comment below!

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