Disclaimer. This isn’t a definitive list of the best par 3 holes in Great Britain and Ireland. Some of them are, but it’s all subjective, isn’t it? And even with the amount of golf courses the four of us have played between us, we haven’t got close to playing them all. So it’s a selection of our very favourites that we’ve grown fond of for one reason or another.
Have a read through our selection of par 3s and let us know if we missed any of your favourites…
Camberley Heath – 2nd
The great architect Harry Colt often used to design his par 3s first and then fit the other holes around them. This is a classic – played 162 yards over a valley to a green that is in distinct sections. DM
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Bude & North Cornwall – 4th
You cross the road from the magnificent 3rd green, play the 144-yard 4th, then cross back over to play the 5th. Yes, the cute par-3 4th at Bude is in a little triangle of roads leading to and from Crooklets Beach.
The only single hole completely isolated by public roads in the UK, if not the world? Probably. In the summer, expect a crowd of tourists cheering you on from the two bars just yards from the tee. AP
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Perranporth – 4th
There’s a bit of a theme developing already. There aren’t many things in golf or, indeed, life that are more satisfying than a par 3 set to an ocean backdrop.
Just get your ball on the dance floor and enjoy the views of the town and its beach as you stroll the 197 yards to make your birdie putt. AP
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Swinley Forest – 4th
This 171 yards of wonder at Swinley Forest is the hole I hope I can play every day in the next world.
I just don’t know how you better it. The Redan green, the steep drop off the front, the cavernous bunkers waiting for your misstep – it’s my idea of the perfect par 3. SC
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The entire front nine of this classic links on the remote outpost of Campbelltown is to be savoured, but none more so than the walk from the 3rd green to the 4th tee, which opens up the stunning views out across the Irish Sea.
The hole itself, at 121 yards, can be anything from a wedge to a 6-iron, depending on the wind, into a table-top green that demands to be hit. Not just one of my favourite par 3s in the UK, but the world. AP
Prince’s (Himalayas) – 5th
A brand-new 125-yard hole, created by Martin Ebert at the far end of the Himalayas. Evocatively named Bloody Point after a naval battle in Anglo-Saxon times (851AD, to be exact), the remoteness of the setting, at the furthest end of the property, makes you pause before you attempt to find the surprisingly elusive green. DM
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All the short holes at Dornoch are exceptionally good but the 161-yard 6th, especially when the gorse is in bloom, gets my pic here. It’s a terrifying prospect, especially into the prevailing wind, because the table-top target looks tiny and the little pot bunkers are brutal. DM
The 123-yard Postage Stamp utterly befuddled me. How can something so short cause that much trouble? Well, if you thin one off the back and then plant it into the Coffin bunker from the thick cabbage, you’re not going to be putting a low number on your scorecard. SC
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St George’s Hill (Red) – 8th
Another example of Colt’s genius when it comes to the short holes. It’s a picture-perfect, 179-yard par 3 but it’s anything but pretty should you find one of the front bunkers or, worse still, end up through the back with the most rapid of chips. DM
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We’ve reached the metaphorical turn in our fantasy par-3 course, so grab a drink in the halfway house and head to the next page as we turn for home…