"Par" comes from Latin and means "standard, ordinary" or "equal, well-matched, equivalent." The expression "subpar" therefore means "below expected standards." In other words, it doesn't come from golf. The use of the term "par" in golf isn't attested until the late 19th century.
The phrase “below par” is stated to have originated from financial transactions. Its first printed usage has been traced to a Scottish paper, The Caledonian Mercury, in its June 1720 publication. It states that it was first used as “under par” and again “below par” in its August publication in the same year.
Definition of below par
: worse than expected : not very good Our meal was below par. I'm feeling a little below par.
Thus, when someone describes something (such as a hotel room or meal) as above par, they usually mean "more than what was strictly required, but not necessarily outstanding".
It's performing below average, or worse than usual. However, in the game of golf, coming in “under par” is good. That means you've completed the course in fewer strokes than the standard.
A very good golfer — or a very lucky golfer — might complete a hole in fewer strokes than the par (called "under par"). And of course, most of us are not "experts" at golf, and so on most holes we'll need more strokes than the par (called "over par").
Definition of above par
: better than normal or expected : very good The performance was above par.
If the par for the course is 72, over par is a score of 73 or higher. Most golfers are, therefore, scoring over par on a regular basis.
A Definition of the Golf Term With Scoring Examples
Par is the standard to which golfers aspire. Usage Examples: "This hole is a par-4." "The par for this golf course is 71." "I'm 3-over par so far in my round." "If I par each of the last three holes, I'll shoot 75."
Above par is a term used to describe the price of a bond when it is trading above its face value. A bond usually trades at above par when its income distributions are higher than those of other bonds currently available in the market.
if someone is moved from pillar to post, they are moved repeatedly from one place or position to another, usually in a hurried or disorganized way so that they suffer as a result.
below an average, usual, or normal level, quality, or the like; below par: This month his performance has been subpar.
For golf purposes, the USGA defined "par" as, "the score that an expert player would be expected to make for a given hole. Par means expert play under ordinary weather conditions, allowing two strokes on the putting green."
Par's General Meaning and Origins
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "par" derives from the Latin, meaning "equal" or "equality," and dates to the 16th Century. Outside of golf, the word is often used to denote a standard level or to mean average, usual, ordinary. If something is "subpar," it is below average.
Par - (apocryphally an abbreviation for "professional average result"), standard score for a hole (defined by its length) or a course (sum of all the holes' pars).
For example, a golfer could record a 70 in the first round, a 72 in the second round, a 73 in the third round, and a 69 in the fourth round. That would give a tournament score of 284, or "four-under-par".
An “eagle” in golf means a score 2-under par on each hole. This golf term is really easy to understand. All there is to know to get the equivalent strokes you need to target to get an eagle score on a particular hole is the par. As you may have known already, each hole on a course is assigned a par.
A Bogey means one over par. Birdie: In the 19th century, the term "bird" was the equivalent of "cool" or "excellent" - golf scholars believe this is where the term came from. An Atlantic City, New Jersey, course claims that the term originated there in 1903. The meaning being a score of one under par.
The most recent recorded condor was achieved on December 20, 2020 by Kevin Pon at Lake Chabot Golf Course in Oakland, CA on the 667 yard par-6 18th hole. This is the only recorded condor to have happened on a par-6. A condor is so uncommon in golf that bookmakers don't even offer odds on such a feat.
But there's only one place in the world where you'll find a Par 6 hole so long that golfers tee off in one state and putt in another. Farmstead Golf Links in Calabash is one of several popular courses along the Brunswick Islands, a noted golf area at the southern tip of North Carolina's coast.
A condor was scored without cutting over a dogleg by Mike Crean at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver, Colorado, in 2002, when he holed his drive at the 517 yard par-5 9th. This is longest hole in one on record, although it was of course aided by the altitude and thin air of 'mile-high' Denver.
A good score for a professional golfer is typically under 72.
An average score is net even par to +3 for the round. Anything higher than that would be considered a bad score. As an example, if you are playing off a 15 handicap, and you card a 88 on a Par 72 course, that would be considered an average score.
According to data from the National Golf Foundation, only 26 percent of all golfers shoot below 90 consistently on regulation 18-hole courses; 45 percent of all golfers average more than 100 strokes per round. A player who shoots 85 is doing better than nearly three out of four of his golfing peers--a good score.