What are some of the best par 4s in the world of golf? We take a look in this piece.
The Best Par 4s In The World
Par-4s are the most common type of golf hole around the world which therefore suggests that this list of the world's best could be very long indeed.
No doubt there will of course be some we have forgotten and if that is the case then please let us know via our social media channels.
Augusta National – 10th, 11th
This two hole stretch of par-4s are incredible tough and have often played key roles in the deciding of a Masters champion. Just ask poor Rory.
Ballybunion (Old) (opens in new tab) – 11th
This is a daunting but magnificent par-4. The prevailing wind comes off the sea so you must be extremely brave on the drive and aim down the shoreline, allowing the breeze to push the ball back towards the narrow fairway.
Barnbougle Dunes – 4th, 15th
For the longer hitter both of these stunning par-4s are drivable but be warned because the dunes and massive bunkers are just waiting to turn a possible birdie, into a probable 6.
The Belfry (Brabazon) (opens in new tab) – 10th, 18th
Probably the most famous drivable par-4 in golf, the 10th at The Belfry is a guaranteed show-stopper that has seen more than its fair share of drama.
The tiger line requires a carry of about 250 yards to reach terra firma and avoid a watery grave, and Seve Ballesteros brought it to the public eye when he drove the green on day one of the 1985 Ryder Cup.
The 18th is also a fantastic finishing hole.
Bethpage Black – 5th
An incredibly intimidating hole at an incredibly intimidating course, the 5th tee shot requires a fade off the tee and for the second shot you have to hit a draw and get the clubbing right because of the elevation change.
Carnoustie (opens in new tab) – 17th, 18th
This is arguably the most difficult finishing stretch in golf. The 17th is tough but the difficulty really steps up on 18.
It has certainly been one of the most dramatic in the recent Open Championships contested over the testing Angus links.
It witnessed Jean Van de Velde’s meltdown and paddle in the Barry Burn in 1999 and then, in 2007, Padraig’s double visit to the water but eventual play-off win.
Crans-sur-Sierre – 7th
One of the most spectacular holes on the European Tour calendar is the 7th at Crans-sur-Sierre which hosts the Omega European Masters each year.
Cypress Point – 9th, 17th
Another course that could feature many par-4s in our list, Cypress Point's 9th and 17th are arguably the best of the lot. The 9th is a drivable par-4 that has a ribbon fairway and tiny green to target.
The 17th, which more than holds its own after the famous 15th and 16th holes, continues along the rocky coastline and has an iconic approach thanks to the grove of cypress trees. The small peninsula green is fantastic too.
Le Golf National – 15th, 18th
L’Albatross course at Le Golf National is famous for its water and is known as one of the toughest courses on the European Tour. The hole that epitomises this perfectly is the 15th hole which starts the incredibly tough closing stretch. The 18th also deserves a mention too despite the fact very few matches at the 2018 Ryder Cup got that far!
Machrihanish (opens in new tab) – 1st
Innumerable books and articles over the years have extolled the virtues of one particular golf hole or another as one of the finest of its type in golf.
Machrihanish has one such offering, and it comes right at the very beginning. The 1st hole, The Battery, is played from behind the pro shop at the edge of the beach.
Merion – 16th, 18th
The 18th hole was the site of Ben Hogan’s legendary 1-iron approach shot that set up his victory at the 1950 US Open, which came just 16 months after his near fatal car crash.
Muirfield Village – 14th
The 14th is the finest hole at Jack Nicklaus' famous Muirfield Village. It plays short by professional standards but it requires accuracy and good club selection thanks to a a winding creek and green side bunkers.
North Berwick (opens in new tab) – 13th
The stretch from the 13th to the 15th at North Berwick contains the course’s most famous holes – The Pit, Perfection and Redan.
The 13th is famous as it is stoutly defended by an eminently adjacent wall that takes the links chip and run firmly off the table.
Oakmont – 3rd
The 3rd at Oakmont is where the course really kicks up a gear as you have to find a way to avoid the dreaded and outstanding Church Pews bunker on the left side of the fairway. The bunkers on the right are deep too and the second shot plays uphill which makes clubbing difficult.
Old Head (opens in new tab) – 4th, 12th
The 4th is the best par-4 at Old Head and also one of the toughest especially when the wind is whipping your ball into the cliffs and water to the left.
Pebble Beach – 8th
Said to be Nicklaus' favourite approach, the 8th hole is a stunning but testing par-4. You are advised to hit a 240-yard tee shot towards the edge of the cliff and then hit roughly a 190-yard approach over a yawning chasm. The green is tiny too.
Royal Birkdale (opens in new tab) – 1st, 18th
The 1st tee of one of the toughest courses in the country and the Open Championship venue will always be intimidating, but at Royal Birkdale it leads to one of the stiffest opening tests you will find anywhere.
The hole works its way gently to the left and a solitary bunker at the corner is generally the line but demands a long carry. The green is protected by sand at the front and attractive humps and bumps at the back and sides. The 18th is also an outstanding hole.
Royal County Down (opens in new tab) – 3rd, 9th
This formidable par-4 plays from an elevated tee, affording spectacular views across Dundrum Bay. The 9th at this outstanding links is also spectacular.
Royal Dornoch (opens in new tab) – 14th
This cracking par-4 demonstrates how natural terrain can provide all the defence a hole requires. There are no bunkers on ‘Foxy’, but it ranks as stroke index one on the Championship course at Dornoch.
Royal Lytham & St Annes (opens in new tab) – 17th, 18th
An excellent finish is always on the cards at Royal Lytham & St Annes thanks to these two outstanding par-4s in particular. 17 is a slight dog-leg that seems to have one thousand bunkers to negotiate both on the tee shot and approach.
18 is a straight away hole that requires two perfectly executed swings to find the putting surface. Seriously, take a par here and move to the bar!
Royal Porthcawl (opens in new tab) – 2nd
This stunning hole plays right out to the shoreline, with the beach and the rocks providing a beautiful backdrop. On top of these obvious aesthetic qualities, this is also a brilliantly challenging par-4.
Royal St David's (opens in new tab) – 15th
Playing down this fantastic, bunkerless hole, travelling between and over the dunes, you get the feeling you are experiencing golf in its most natural state. This is how the golfing gods intended for the game to be played.
Royal St Georges (opens in new tab) – 4th
One of the most visually intimidating holes in Open golf, a towering bunker set into a sand dune faces the player from the tee. It forces the drive to go left, but too far left and more trouble awaits. The approach is a particularly difficult one and not just because you’ll likely be coming in from some distance.
Rye (opens in new tab) – 4th
There are some excellent long par 4s at Rye chief among which is the 4th hole.
Seminole – 6th
Ben Hogan described the 6th at Seminole as the best par-4 in the world and given he was not one for hyperbole, that gives you some idea of the quality of this hole.
Shinnecock Hills – 14th
The par-4s at Shinnecock Hills form the backbone of the incredibly tough layout, and one of the best is the 14th hole.
St Andrews (Old) (opens in new tab) – 17th
The Road Hole is iconic and memorable in every respect, starting with a blind drive as you take on the fabled railway sheds on the corner.
The approach is guarded by the scariest bunker in golf and a road at the back from which there is no relief.
St Enodoc (Church) (opens in new tab) – 10th
The course’s toughest test –the fearsomely demanding 10th – lies closest to the grave of poet Sir John Betjeman. Even a very good drive may leave a long approach that needs to get airborne quickly to clear the dune angling in from the right.
Sunningdale (Old) (opens in new tab) – 10th
Many argue over which course is the best at Sunningdale, the Old or the New. Indeed many then argue about which hole is the best on either course.
One that is always in that conversation though is the 10th on the Old which perfectly encapsulates heathland golf thanks to an elevated tee, ample heather and all around beauty.
Swinley Forest (opens in new tab) – 12th
The stunning 12th at Swinley Forest seems to play like a double dogleg to a green backed by a riot of rhododendrons.
Tara-iti – 3rd, 7th,
We could have picked many of the par-4s at this New Zealand golf course as they are all beautifully draped onto the land and have their own quirks and intricacies. I guess if we had to pick it would be the 3rd and 7th holes.
TPC Sawgrass – 18th
Yes the 17th gets all the attention at Sawgrass but the 18th is a truly great hole as well. After the thrill ride that is the previous hole, a player going for victory at The Players Championship must keep their composure with two solid swings to find the putting surface.
Winged Foot (West) – 18th
The site of Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie's horror finishes in 2006, the 18th on the West course at Winged Foot is the prototypical finishing hole. Narrow, long and it requires an exact approach into an undulating green.
More great Par 4s worth mentioning:
Bandon Dunes – 4th
Bay Hill – 18th
Cabot Cliffs – 5th, 17th
Cabot Links – 3rd, 4th
California Golf Club of San Francisco – 7th
Colonial – 5th
Congressional – 17th
Crystal Downs – 5th
Doral (Blue Monster) – 18th
Druids Glen (opens in new tab) – 13th
Fishers Island – 4th
Gleneagles (Kings) (opens in new tab) – 9th
Harbour Town – 18th
Hazeltine - 16th
Kauri Cliffs – 16th
Kawana – 7th
Kiawah Island (Ocean) – 3rd
Kingston Heath – 6th
Los Angeles (North) – 5th, 16th
Mid Ocean Club – 1st, 5th
Morfontaine – 7th
Muirfield (opens in new tab) – 18th
Naruo – 10th
National Golf Links – 16th, 17th
Oakland Hills – 16th
Olympic Club (Lake) – 18th
Pacific Dunes – 13th
Paraparaumu Beach – 17th
Pasatiempo – 16th
Pinehurst No.2 – 2nd, 5th, 11th
Pine Valley – 13th, 18th
Prairie Dunes – 8th
Prestwick – 17th
Quivira – 5th
Riviera – 10th
Royal Melbourne (West) – 6th
Sand Hills – 7th, 8th
Shanqin Bay – 17th
Southern Hills – 12th
Spyglass Hill – 4th
Streamsong (Black) – 9th
Streamsong (Red) – 9th
Sunningdale (New) (opens in new tab) – 4th
Tokyo – 2nd
Victoria - 15th
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A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly.
Working with golf gear and equipment over the last five years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes.
He also loves to test golf apparel especially if it a piece that can be used just about anywhere!
As a result he has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice and tips.
He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since December 2017. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.
Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well.
Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five.
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