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3rd hole at hoylake

Stressful or stress-free? The jury’s out on the 3rd hole at Hoylake

Does the presence of the clubhouse and the out of bounds area scare the best players in the world? NCG preview the 3rd hole at Hoylake and its crucial role at The Open

 

The 3rd hole at Hoylake contains features that strike dread into the heart of even the most talented golfers – but offers some forgiveness too.

Is the internal out-of-bounds a threat to the world’s best players at The Open, or is it simply an iron-iron job to the putting surface?

There are few easy holes at Royal Liverpool, but the NCG team discusses whether the intimidation factor of the 3rd hole is real, or if the players will make hard work of this special par 4.

Clubhouse one side, out of bounds the other… It’s tough!

Any hole with the clubhouse located on the side of it is daunting to me, writes Matt Chivers. I might not be a tour pro, but surely this thought crosses the mind of any human being?

Just the idea of it while standing on the tee box makes the fairway look 10 yards narrower. And if the competitors disregard this, the internal out-of-bounds to the right will certainly catch their eye.

They’ll want to avoid a nervous push if feeling slightly apprehensive about their drive. Disaster could follow and one so early into the round could be fatal.

I caught Sungjae Im play an iron off the 3rd tee earlier. Sure, this would suggest the length of this hole isn’t a problem, but accuracy is crucial.

The South Korean came up over 10 yards short of the green with his approach. Perhaps with the out-of-bounds running so tight to the right of the green, hesitancy could’ve crept in.

All this hole needs is a swift left-to-right wind and the fear of going OB increases ten-fold too.

I believe the psychological presence of the long white line to the side makes this part of the course harder than some people would think, and a crucial stage of anyone’s round who wants to lift the Claret Jug.

3rd hole at hoylake
3rd hole at hoylake

NOW READ: Will internal out of bounds decide the destiny of The Open?

For these guys, it’s an easy hole!

The 3rd at Royal Liverpool is nowhere near as difficult as some golf fans believe it to be, says Matt Coles.

For the members, it would normally be the 1st hole, and that would make it much more difficult. No one wants to hit their opening tee shot with the clubhouse in view and out of bounds all down the right.

However, the course changes this week and in my view, that makes it easier. There are no first tee nerves and they’ll have two holes under their belts before they reach this one.

Apart from the internal out-of-bounds line down the right side, sectioning off what would normally be the driving range, there is not much danger.

For the pros, the tee shot only requires a driving iron or possibly less if the expected WNW wind is in play. It is about 250 yards to the corner of the dogleg, and with the wind behind, that could see as little as a 5 or 6-iron off the tee.

That sets up an approach of around 175 to 180 yards to the middle of the green and it’s a flat green that lies in wait. The prevailing wind would be slightly behind and off the right, meaning that as little as 9-iron could be used to find the putting surface.

Add to the fact there are no bunkers, the only hole on the property without one, and you have one of the easier holes on the course.

Whose side are you on? Let us know on Twitter!

british open or the open

Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

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