Here are five of the best par 3s from courses that host The Open Championship.
5 Of The Best Open Championship Par 3s
Golf’s greatest tournament naturally asks some of the most difficult short-hole questions. Here are five of the best par 3s on the Open Championship rota.
The final par 3 at Carnoustie (pictured above) is at the start of probably the most exacting finishing three holes in Open golf. Although the water isn’t really in play, Barry Burn is a monstrous 245 yards and frequently played into the wind. There are pot bunkers near the front which mean that long is the better option, if you have the artillery. The 1975 play-off champion, Tom Watson, failed to make par on any of his five attempts that year.
Short but sweet may be an overused cliche, but it’s entirely justified on the famous par-3 8th. The lack of length is no guarantee of success on this classic hole, the shortest on the Open roster. The tiny green is surrounded by a handful of greedy bunkers, the catchment areas of which are magnified greatly by the natural contours of the land. Gene Sarazen holed in one here at the age of 71, while plenty of stars have run up big numbers.
With views over the Hilbre Islands nature reserve out in the estuary, Alps is the 11th hole at Royal Liverpool but has been played as the 13th during the club’s two 21st-century Opens. The green is set at an angle from the tee and is protected by a solitary bunker front right, with the left side guarded by mounds that make club selection vital. A shade under 200 yards, the vagaries of the wind will play a vital role here.
Unusually for one of our most demanding links tests, the suburban setting here separates the course from the coast. This is perhaps most in evidence at the very far end, where the picturesque short 9th is surrounded by a pearl necklace of deep and beautifully revetted bunkers. At 164 yards from the championship tee and the shortest hole on the course, it is just a short-iron for competitors.
The 6th hole at Sandwich is known as Maidens and usually calls for a mid-iron to reach its difficult, undulating green. Once a blind hole, the approach was opened up in the 1930s, making the tee shot far more inviting. There are bunkers short, long, left and right, but even finding the sanctuary of the surface is no guarantee of a three as you can be left with a very long putt, or one with subtle breaks that are difficult to read.
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