Par 3 Near Me is a website is dedicated to par 3 golf courses, so with that focus in mind, I set out to create a post that highlights the best par 3 holes in the world.
Obviously, using the word “best” opens the door to some debate, so I’m not going pretend that this list is THE authority. You are welcome to agree or disagree with my choices in the comments section below. I promise my feelings won’t be hurt.
Check Out the Best Par 3 Holes in the World (Listed Alphabetically)
Augusta – Hole 12
(Photo Source: Masters.com | See Hole 12 Details)
Location: Georgia, USA
Distance: 155 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: One of the world’s most famous golf holes and a beautiful part of the Masters. Framed by Rae’s Creek in the foreground and blooming azaleas in the background.
What Makes it So Challenging: Wind, wind, wind. Hole 12 is the shortest hole on the course, but it also sits in the lowest spot which leads to winds that are tough to predict. Three tricky bunkers, as well as steep slopes and water add to the fun. Historically, this par 3 is the third toughest hole at the Masters.
Castle Stuart – Hole 11
(Photo Source: CastleStuartGolf.com | See Hole 11 Details)
Distance: 170 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: The elevated tee box coupled with beautiful views of the sea and the Chanonry Lighthouse.
What Makes it So Challenging: Can’t shoot long and left. Can’t shoot long and right. Wind, thick grass, bunkers and the icy sea all await shots that miss the mark.
Coeur d’Alene Resort – Hole 14
Location: Idaho, USA
Distance: 218 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: This is a floating island green that can move via an underground cable system. Bright red geraniums surround the back border. You can only reach the island by boat and you get a Certificate of Achievement from the boat captain.
What Makes it So Challenging: The target green is deceptively large, but there’s still water all around as well as some rather significant bunkers.
Four Seasons Punta Mita – Hole 3B
(Photo Credit: FourSeasons.com | See Hole 3B Details)
Distance: 194 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: This hole is known as the “Tail of the Whale.” It sits on a naturally occurring island in the Pacific Ocean. At low tide, golfers can walk to the green on a sandbar, but at high tide it’s only accessible by an amphibious golf cart. Jack Nicklaus calls this “probably the best par-3″ he ever designed.
What Makes it So Challenging: Wind plays a significant role in this approach as it can carry a shot an additional 10-30 yards that must be accounted for. There are bunkers to the left and behind the green. Not surprisingly, most golfers lose their first ball here.
Green Monkey Golf Course – Hole 16
(Photo Credit: TheGolfCourses.com | See Hole 16 Details)
Distance: 226 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: A downhill par 3 with a gigantic bunker that features the silhouette of a green monkey. A truly breathtaking hole.
What Makes it So Challenging: The size of the main bunker is ridiculous, but don’t forget that other bunkers are waiting to the right and left of the green. A large quarry lake sits to the right.
Kingsbarns Golf Links – Hole 15
(Photo Source: Kingsbarns.com | See Hole 15 Details)
Distance: 212 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: The green is located on a small piece of land the projects into the sea.
What Makes it So Challenging: Golfers are advised to shoot toward the back left of the green (there’s a bunker in that area as well) in order to allow the ball to roll toward the center of the green. There is a designated “Drop Zone” for all the balls that go onto the beach or into the sea.
Legend Golf & Safari Resort – Hole 19
(Photo Source: Caters News Agency | See Hole 19 Details)
Location: South Africa
Distance: 395 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: The highest (1,300 ft) and longest (395 yards) par 3 in the world. Only accessible by helicopter. A tee shot takes nearly 20 seconds to land. The fairway is shaped like the African continent.
What Makes it So Challenging: The features that make this hole awesome are the same features that make this hole difficult. Case in point, as of February 2016, nobody has ever scored a hole in one. If you do score a hole in one, you get $1,000,000.
Lemuria Golf Course – Hole 15
(Photo Source: GTSpirit.com | See Hole 15 Details)
Distance: 165 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: An elevated tee box with magnificent views of white sand contrasted with crystal blue waters.
What Makes it So Challenging: Tee shots seem easy, but golfers must calculate a 164 foot (50m) drop to the green that sits in the valley below. A large bunker sits to the left of the green.
Pebble Beach – Hole 7
Location: California, USA
Distance: 106 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: The crashing waves of the Pacific.
What Makes it So Challenging: Despite it’s short distance, the influence of wind is the most challenging aspect of Hole 7. Honorable mentions: six bunkers, and the surrounding Pacific Ocean.
Royal Golf Course (Vale do Lobo) – Hole 16
(Photo Source: 1golf.eu | See Hole 16 Details)
Distance: 237 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: One of the most photographed holes in all of Europe.
What Makes it So Challenging: The green is located on the other side of a steep sandstone cliff. This setup gives golfers plenty to think about as they tee off. Wind can also be a major factor.
Royal Troon Old Course – Hole 8
Distance: 123 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: One of the smallest holes in championship golf. The view has Scottish golf written all over it.
What Makes it So Challenging: The green on hole 8 is nicknamed the “Postage Stamp” for it’s tiny size, which means you need a well-placed shot to avoid all the gorse (a spiny shrub) and dunes that characterize the hole. The “Postage Stamp” green is also surrounded by five nasty bunkers. Wind abounds.
TPC Sawgrass – Hole 17
(Photo Source: Wikipedia | See Hole 17 Details)
Location: Florida, USA
Distance: 132 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: The iconic island green. The dramatic tournament scenarios that Hole 17 often creates.
What Makes it So Challenging: There’s water all around and the potential for sudden wind gusts. Professional golfers fear/respect/loathe this legendary par 3.
Whistling Straits – Hole 17
(Photo Source: AmericanClubResort.com | See Hole 17 Details)
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Distance: 223 yards
What Makes it So Awesome: The varying jagged landscape with Lake Michigan in the background. A memorable combination of beauty and treachery.
What Makes it So Challenging: This hole is named “Pinched Nerve”, which gives you an idea of the challenges that lie ahead. To the left: sand dunes 20 feet below the actual green. Lake Michigan also looms below. To the right: steep hillsides with additional bunkers.
Your Thoughts on the Best Par 3 Holes in the World
Are there some holes that you think should be on the list? Make your case in the comments section below.
Have you played any of these par 3s? Share your experience(s) with us.