The Clubhouse

Best par 3s in the world

A handy guide to the best par 3 holes in the world, from PGA Tour favourites to exclusive resorts.

Jordan Manning
Jordan Manning
6 mins read
UK & IrelandScotlandLinksParklandAmericasUSA

Defining a great par 3 can be difficult, especially as so many golfers have very different preferences when it comes to the short holes.

Whether you enjoy ones that are just a little flick with a wedge, or monstrous 200+ yard holes where you have to hit a green surrounded by water with a fairway wood, take a look at our shortlist for the ten best par 3 holes in the world.

11th hole, Castle Stuart Golf Links

Although less than 150-yards from the very back tees, this short par-3 is a brute. Hit your tee shot long and/or left and your ball is going to end up wet; long and right and your ball will end up in deep rough or potentially the large bunker that awaits. The saving grace of this Castle Stuart short hole that exudes intimacy with the Highlands sea is the stunning views of Chanonry Lighthouse and the firth beyond the green.

Castle Stuart Golf Links

9th hole, Trump Turnberry (Ailsa Course)

Recent renovations to this hole have made it even more of an awe-inspiring par 3, where golfers play across the Ayrshire bay creating an exhilarating test. The iconic Turnberry Lighthouse is in full view on the Ailsa course, as is the remains of Robert the Bruce’s Castle, to offer both a beautiful and dramatic par 3. It certainly demands your full respect as you stand on the tee.

Ailsa Course, Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort

17th hole, TPC Sawgrass (THE PLAYERS Stadium Course)

The 17th hole on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course in Jacksonville is arguably the most famous par 3 in the world. From the tips, it is only 137-yards but, thanks to the island green combined with swirling winds, it strikes fear into most golfers who play it – even the professionals. If you spent the day at the 17th hole during the PGA Tour’s Player’s Championship, you are almost guaranteed to see the world’s best golfers finding the water with just a wedge in hand.

THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass

8th hole, Royal Troon (Old Course)

Better known as the 'Postage Stamp' because of its tiny putting surface, the 8th hole at Royal Troon is arguably one of the most famous holes on the Open Championship rota. Although no more than 123-yards, there is no safe way to play this other than to hit the green. A crater bunker shields the approach, with two bunkers and a steep sand hill protecting the left hand side, and two deep pot bunkers guarding the right hand side of the green. Good luck on this Scotland gem!

Old Course, Royal Troon Golf Club

7th hole, Pebble Beach Golf Links

On the 7th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links you can hit anything from a sand wedge to a 3-iron, depending on which way the brutal wind off the Pacific is blowing. This dramatically downhill hole also offers some of the most scenic vistas in golf, as you look out to the Pacific Ocean and along the California coast.

Pebble Beach Golf Links

16th hole, Vale do Lobo (Royal Course)

The 16th hole on the Royal Course at Vale do Lobo is quite possibly the most photographed hole in Europe, thanks to its famous tee shot over the towering, orange cliffs. If you manage to play this hole as the sun is going down, you are in for a treat. Don’t mistake the beautiful views for an easy hole though, as this par 3 is a beast measuring at 215-metres off the whites.

Royal Course, Vale do Lobo Resort

14th hole, Trump Doonbeg International Golf Links

The coastal holes at South West Ireland's Trump Doonbeg International Golf Links sustained significant damage during a storm, but since Dr. Martin Hawtree redesigned these holes in 2015 they have become some of the most memorable in Europe – and none more so than the 14th hole. The original design was “lost to the sea,” but now it is a tough par 3, with absolutely no bail out areas and one that you won’t forget in a hurry.

Doonbeg Golf Links, Trump Doonbeg International Golf Links & Hotel

17th hole, Kiawah Island (Ocean Course)

The 17th hole on the U.S. Open hosting Ocean Course at Kiawah Island was arguably one of the most intimidating penultimate holes in major history. The 221-yard South Carolina hole is fiercely guarded by water both short and right, and with a green that is 10,000 square feet long, a variety of shots are required depending on where the pin is located.

Ocean Course, The Villas at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

4th hole, Royal County Down (Championship Links)

Located in Northern Ireland, the elevated tee on the 4th hole at Royal County Down offers breathtaking views which can be distracting from the testing tee shot golfers face. From the championship tees, the hole plays 228-yards and with large drop offs either side of the green and at the rear, on top of a sea of gorse and a multitude of bunkers, a par here is a great score on this exceptional tough and brutally challenging par 3.

Championship Links, Royal County Down Golf Club

16th hole, Sandy Lane (The Green Monkey Course)

The fact that the Green Monkey Course 16th plays 226-yards downhill with beautiful vistas and towering quarries would almost be enough to make this hole at Sandy Lane an amazing one. But, when you add to that the unique green monkey bunker – a large monkey shape piece of grass in the middle of a bunker that arguably stands out more than the green, you create a memorable golf hole in Barbados.

The Green Monkey Course, Sandy Lane

Feeling inspired?
It's clear that par 3's can hold their own when it comes to prestigious golf holes. Take the challenge on your next golf holiday.


Jordan Manning avatar
Jordan Manning

Scotland & Ireland Team Leader

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