Great Holes in Golf: The 2nd at Wentworth (West)

Courses and Travel

Architect Tom Mackenzie reveals what is so special about this 154-yard par 3

One of the luxuries of being a golf course architect is that there are no precise design rules to follow, but when it comes to Par 3s a mix is required and the second at Wentworth (West) ticks all the boxes.

Par 3s are most players’ favourite holes, offering the chance of glory without the need for a 250-yard drive down the middle.

But what makes a great short hole?

It must look good for a start – making people look forward to playing it as soon as they see it. It also needs teeth to be really great and it need not be long – the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon (128 yards) or the 7th at Pebble Beach (just 109 yards) being notable examples.

The Postage Stamp at Royal Troon

They must be mentally difficult, having enough menace around the green that the prospect of missing the green tightens the muscles and brings on the nerves. There has to be a big reward for hitting the green. Without that, it will be filed under ‘Pleasant But Unremarkable’.

Great short holes go under ‘Brutal, Unique, Tantalising and Memorable’.

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