Here we take a look at some of the best short holes on the planet.
The Best Par 3s In The World
Literally hundreds of holes could be included in a list of the best par 3s in the world but we have attempted to create a condensed list below.
Are there any we have forgotten? Let us know via our social media channels.
Augusta National – 12th
The par-3 12th always plays a key role in deciding the winner of The Masters each year.
Postage Stamp, Royal Troon – 8th
Martin Ebert may have made changes to the course fairly recently but golfers everywhere will be delighted that the 8th hole – the world-renowned Postage Stamp – has remained the shortest on the Open rota. But as many will testify, it’s most definitely not the easiest.
Cypress Point – 15th, 16th
Regularly voted one of the best courses in the world, Cypress Point on the Monterrey Peninsula features many incredible holes, chief among which are the consecutive par-3 15th and 16th.
Carnoustie – 16th
The final par 3 at Carnoustie (the 16th) 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.
TPC Sawgrass – 17th
Of course TPC Sawgrass is Pete Dye’s most famous creation as it hosts The Players Championship every year, but its most iconic hole, the island green par-3 17th was actually the handiwork of his wife Alice.
The original design was supposed to have water just on the right-hand side but she had other ideas. Indeed the three finishing holes are all spectacular.
Royal Liverpool – 11th
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.
Royal Lytham & St Annes – 9th
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.
St Andrews (Old) – 11th
One of the world’s greatest par 3 holes, this little beauty plays out towards the Eden Estuary and has ruined many scorecards over the years, including that of the great Bobby Jones in the first Open he contested at St Andrews.
Hankley Common – 7th
This brilliant short hole is played on the edge of the vast wilderness which surrounds Hankley Common – the whole area (including the course) has been classified as a site of specific scientific interest.
This is a hole that has captivated many great players over the years, including Bobby Locke and Sir Henry Cotton.
Royal St George’s – 6th
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.
Pebble Beach – 7th
One of the most iconic golfing venues in world golf, playing Pebble Beach is on the ‘bucket list’ of most enthusiasts of the game.
With holes running along Stillwater Cove and then out onto a peninsula jutting into the Pacific, there are some incredible shots to be hit on the way round.
The short par-3 7th is one of the most famous – 100 yards from an elevated tee straight out towards the ocean. There are few holes that have been photographed more.
The Dell, Lahinch – 5th
The 5th hole at Lahinch – Dell – takes ‘blind’ to another level, a short par 3 to a long shallow green sandwiched between 30ft dunes front and back.
Calamity Corner, Royal Portush – 16th
The golfing world was wowed by the 16th hole at Royal Portrush at the 2019 Open Championship.
It had previously been the 14th hole before MacKenzie and Ebert made changes to the course, and the hole known as Calamity Corner shot to prominence because of the huge, cavernous hole short and right of the green.
Vale Do Lobo – 16th
The par-72 Royal course at Vale do Lobo features one of the most photographed holes in the world, the cliff-top par-3 16th.
Devil’s A-hole, Pine Valley – 10th
A legend of a golf course that nobody really seems to know all that much about, Pine Valley regularly tops lists of the best golf courses in the world.
Perhaps the most famous has an iconic name, the Devils A-hole which is named as such because of the small, incredibly deep bunker short of the green as you can see above.
Turnberry – 9th
This is the one of the newest holes on our list, arriving at Turnberry as part of the redesign of the Ailsa course that took place between 2015 and 2016. This par 3 makes the very most of the dramatic coastline around the iconic lighthouse.
TPC Scottsdale – 16th
Not the best in terms of design or anything like that, but in terms of theatre it is one of the best.
The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale has become incredibly famous because of its amphitheatre surroundings which gets thousands of fans during the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Kingsbarns – 15th
Playing right along the Fife coastline, the tee shot here must carry rocks and sea to reach the putting surface.
Cabot Cliffs – 16th
Cabot Cliffs has shot to prominence over the past few years thanks to holes like the one above, a stunning par-3 over the cliffs.
More great Par 3s worth mentioning:
Ardglass – 2nd
Banff Springs – 4th
Barnbougle Dunes – 7th
Bel Air – 10th
Caso de Campo (Teeth of the Dog) – 5th, 7th
Castle Stuart – 11th
Coeur d’Alene – 14th
Cruden Bay – 4th
East Lake – 15th
Gleneagles (PGA Centenary) – 6th
Gleneagles (Queens) – 14th, 17th
Kauri Cliffs – 7th
Kiawah Island (Ocean) – 17th
Le Golf National – 2nd
Los Angeles (North) – 11th
La Paz – 12th
Lofoten Links – 2nd
Barnbougle Lost Farm – 4th
Mauna Kea – 3rd
Mauna Lani – 15th
Mount Juliet – 3rd
Muirfield – 13th
National Golf Links of America – 4th
Notts – 13th
Ria Bintan – 9th
Royal Birkdale – 12th
Royal Melbourne – 5th
Royal Dornoch – 6th
Sand Hills – 17th
Sandy Lane (Green Monkey) – 16th
San Francisco – 7th
Sleepy Hollow – 10th, 16th
South Cape – 14th
St George’s Hill – 8th
Streamsong (Blue) – 7th
Tara-iti – 17th
Tralee – 3rd, 13th
Trump Doonbeg – 14th
Whistling Straits – 12th, 17th
Woburn (Dukes) – 3rd
Woodhall Spa – 12th
Yale – 9th
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