Fearsome Par 3's

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By David M. -Team Titleist ANZ Manager

  • 18 Replies
  1. Every golf course has one and every player has faced at least one terrifying tee shot in their life.  Heavily bunkered holes, holes surrounded by water, one shot holes more than 200m in length. When you step on the tee they are truly fearsome Par 3's.

    2015 Players Champion Rickie Fowler overcame one of the most nerve wracking tests in golf three times on Sunday when he made three 2's at the famous 17th 'Stadium' Hole at TPC Sawgrass on his way to a 'fearless' playoff victory.

    Now we want to hear about the scariest Par 3 hole you've played.  At which golf course?  What were the stakes? and what was the result?

    The best post below will win a Titleist Players Cap personally signed by 2015 Players Champion Rickie Fowler and two dozen New Pro V1x golf balls. (pictured below)

    Entries close on Saturday 16 May. Good luck!

    Team Titleist Australia New Zealand

  2. The 7th at the old course at the National (Vic). a 135 m gem across a ravine into a howling southerly. caught it thin, it just made it over, skipped onto the green and rolled to 15 feet. Drained the Putt! 

  3. Hole 17 on the new Russley Golf course.

    This was the first round of senior Clubchamps matchplay not too long ago, I was 3 down with 3 to play winning the 16th with an easy par.

    The new 17 is almost impossible to stop on the green especially in windy conditions off the blue tees playing around 200m as the greens are rock solid. My opponent flushed a hybrid just off the back only needing par to win the match. Knowing that I needed to pull off an impossible shot, I tried to play a fancy fade into the pin so it would stop but ended up hitting a fat about 40m short. Then I played a pretty good chip to about 7 feet while my playing partner absolutely pumped his putt past the pin making bogie. The putt I was left with was a 7 feet left to right slider with a fair bit of brake on it. However having momentum on my side I confidently holed the putt winning the hole and the 18th, allowing myself to play the 19th. With a good drive and the perfect pitch to about 7 feet again, I drained the putt for birdie claiming the victory on the 19th after playing average golf for the first 15 holes.

  4. It was me and a few mates playing a golf course called Cape Kidnappers on a hole called Als Ace, we were playing skins for a few beers. Funnily enough, we were all on two points after the first twelve holes mean the 13th was worth 7 points. I went first and hit it to about 4 feet and was as cocky and and happy as could be, especially after the person hitting second hit it into the left bunker. When all of a sudden my emotions stopped and became an empty pit of no emotions when the person hitting third by the name of Tawhiri hit a beautiful 9 iron straight at the flag and hopped into the hole, to win the match. An absolute distraught me was left standing all alone on the 13th tee box on one of the best golf courses in the world.  

  5. I was playing at Selborne Country Club in South Africa as a youngster. The mid sized par three 4th tee was surrounded by African bush and rife with wildlife. I hit the green, quite chuffed with my efforts I gallantly strided to the green. I made my way over the bridge going over the river when I was met by a black mamba, one of the most dangerous snakes in the world. I waited for the serpent to move on and eventually made my way to the green. Needles to say, I missed the birdie putt. But a lucky escape nonetheless. Scariest par 3 of my life for sure!
  6. Posty417

    Old Beach, TAS

    Scariest par 3 I would have played would be the 11th at The Heritage's St John course, it's only 163 meters long but green sits at base of an old quarry & with water on the entire right hand side!! I was playing in the final of the Drummond Cup, a 2 man Ambrose event & my partner & I were playing quite well, till we got on this hole!! I teed off first & planted my first ball into the water.My partner tees off, same result, so I reload, bang, swimming again, so more pressure on my partner!! He tees off & hooray, he hits it into a green side bunker below the quarry!! So now we have a bunker shot back towards the water, partner plays first, splash, shot into water!! Pressure back on me, I play an ok shot but ball trickles off green down into the reeds in the water!! Luckily ball rests against a reed that prevents it from being wet again!! We manage to get ball onto the green & walk off with a 7 which deflated us for the remainder of round!! Definitely the scariest par 3 I have played!!
  7. Paul C

    Paul C
    Fitzroy North, VIC

    It would have to be the 1st hole at Latrobe GC in Alphington VIC - pretty straight forward 160m - but on Friday afternoons when I sneak out for a quick 9 and the phone rings and it reads 'The Wife'!
  8. Michael E

    Michael E
    Jerrabomberra, NSW

    Hogans hole at narooma was the most nerve wracking par 3 I've played. It is right on the ocean and a fair Gorky above the beach which makes for a great view but intimating shot because between tee and green is a big hole where the coast cuts in.

    One the weekend into the wind I hit 4 iron and was short and donated a ball to the beach below. Next day with the wind it was a wedge and I donated a ball by going over the back. 

    It didn't cost me anything but a skin, 2 balls and a don't into my pride but I can't wait to play it again.

  9. Chris J

    Chris J
    Luddenham, NS

    Me and my brothers have been fortunate enough to live on a golf course for the last 4 years or so. It was common for us to trudge out to the par 3 second hole of an afternoon and put our respective games to the test. My brother did not have a set of clubs at this stage, so he would often grab a 7, 8 and 9 iron out of my dad's bag, to cover the various distances we would require from the assorted tee boxes. After I long session into the dark evening we headed back inside happy with our days work, casually dropping the clubs on the back lawn as we went inside. 

    My father and I, easily the most golf addicted in the family, had a tee time the next morning and in typical fashion were running the gauntlet with our tee time - always amazes me how living so close to the first tee always seems to cause us to be the latest to arrive. The first hole went by without a hitch, with dad needing his customary driver, 6 iron combination to reach the par 4 first. 

    It then dawned on me that if dad had gone to pull a 7 iron, he would find that he was in fact missing not only that club, but 2 other of the most used clubs in his bag... With the same par 3 me and my brother had put to task the night before  to come.

    Upon reaching the second hole, I had the honour, and would proceed to hit the usual club purposely short, in order to get him mentally prepared to take a longer club than usual... 

    Dad: "man that came up short... "

    Me: "strange, there must be serious wind up there" 

    Dad: "I'll hit the 7 instead of the 8"

    This was so close to the answer I wanted to hear... The next 5 minutes wasn't a pleasant experience. 

    He decided to back off a 6 iron after giving me a mental rinsing about responsibility and life in general (a few other tangents were found, but unrepeatable). As the script would have it, he plugged in the face of the front trap, and walked off with a 6, to my well crafted par... 

    That was the scariest (and waterless) par 3 I have ever played. I don't think the golf gods have forgiven me since, as I am in those front traps more than I care to remember. 

  10. Congrats Chris,  Great story.  Who hasn't raided 'Dad's' golf bag in their time?  But I'm betting not everyone has cost the old man a triple the next day as a result!

    The cap and golf balls are on the way to your place.

    Good golfing


  11. Yarrawonga & Border Golf Club located in Mulwala NSW 2647
    Murray Course, 17th hole, 120m Par 3, elevated blind green, bunkers covering the front and left side.
    I was 12 years old, had my 4 iron in hand playing with my dad and 2 of his friends in the Saturday comp.
    I swung so hard that I lifted my head to watch the ball hopefully make it over the front bunker for a change but I topped it and the ball just fell off the tee and stayed behind the tee markers. I was cranky with myself and lent over, ripped my tee out of the ground and jammed it in my pocket, stood back up to the ball and swung in anger. The ball sailed over the front bunker directly at the pin and it didn't have any chance at stopping on the green. I saw it bounce once and then a loud bang. Been a junior the group in front of us always watched me hit my shots and they came running back to the front of the green and yelled "IT WENT IN!!!". They waited for us to walk up to the green where they thought it was a hole in one until I told them what happened. Was definately a birdie I will remember forever. To this day I still haven't had a hole in one.

  12. Adam S

    Adam S
    Richmond, VIC

    G'Day David,

    Last week I played at Bonville International Golf Resort near Coffs Harbour in Golflinks Race to Bonville National Final, in the last round I had one of the best rounds of the day going and I knew that I needed to finish strong to put some pressure on the final two groups. 

    Coming into the 17th Hole at Bonville (one of many signature holes at the resort) I had heard a few whispers around the course that a couple of players had spun balls off the front of the green into the water! I was a front pin and needing to post a number I decided to go for the flag, pitching wedge from 135m (downhill). I hit it just past the pin and got a little nervous when the ball checked up and started coming back towards the water, luckily it didn't spin into the water and I had an uphill putt for birdie! 

    Unfortunately my score wasn't good enough to challenge the leaders but the 17th at Bonville certainly got the heart pumping!!

    Adam Sutherland

  13. [quote user="Damien Dillon  17th Hole par 3 @ Tasman Golf Club at Port Arthur Tasmania,  Hitting over a 50 to 80 metre drop to the ocean floor on the cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula, stiffed an 8 iron to 6 feet and made the birdie and went on to score 45 stableford points.

    17th hole par 3 @ Tasman Golf Club @ Port Arthur Tasmania, Hitting over a 50-80 metre drop to the ocean floor on the cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula always with a wind behind you or in your face depending on the day. I stiffed an 8 iron to 6 feet to go on to score 45 stableford points for the round.  One of the most picturesque golf holes in Tasmania even with Barnbougle Dunes & Lost Farm at Bridport.  Damien Dillon

  14. Bcape9

    Bellingham, MA

    The scariest par 3 I've played was the second hole of the Quincy Course at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, MA. The hole plays 180 from the whites or 220 from the blues. Your tee shot requires a carry over water, into a green that is guarded by sand left and right, as well as a steep drop off towards the woods long. My tee shot, however, found the left bunker. After a decent out that found the fringe, and two putts, I finished bogey. 

    The hole overview from the course website:


    The view from the tee: 

  15. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    Not eligible - US resident. Played The Straits course (PGA 2015) 3 times. #17 became scary on the third time by going left. Down 3 levels (1 above water) of almost vertical wall. Almost no swing space to try to go vertical. 2 bad mistakes - too cocky to carry the lob wedge and tried to go vertical. Eventually figured out to go lateral and up and take 2 shots to clear the wall. #7 and #14 only bad by comparison missing right.
  16. Dino J

    Dino J
    Burnaby, BC

    Hi Guys & Gals! 

    I presume that the contest for residents of Australia/New Zealand, but I will share my stories ... There were two par 3's that I have played at that create that sense of anxiety such as the TPC Sawgrass #17.  The first that I would like to mention is the Par 3 14th Hole on the Couer D'alene Resort Course in Couer D'alene Idaho.  It is a "floating" green with even more water than TPC Sawgrass! 

    Beautifully maintained course, and a fantastic par 3 hole!  Fortunately, the green is big enough that one should be able to land their tee shot on the green, but if there is any breeze, then look out! 

    The other that induced some anxiety was the Par 3 - 6th Hole at the Panorama Resort Greywolf Golf Course in Panorama, B.C. Canada.  It is a "hanging" cliff...in which your tee shot crosses a small canyon to the green that is on the other side.  Distances range from 140 yards to approximately 200 yards from the tips.  The hole is visually intimidating in that the bottom of the canyon is a long way down and there really is no room from a mis-hit!  :-) 

    Look forward to reading others stories!


  17. Wayne  C

    Wayne C
    Melbourne, VIC

    Played Hidden Valley Golf course middle of last with a few mates. As you can tell it was freezing. This is the final hole. Pearler of an 18th. Fingers were numb, the pressure was on, 2 of the boys already in the water, a loud mouth mate sitting pretty in the middle of the green. My shot. Nailed an 8iron close and holed the putt for clubhouse bragging rights. Fun drive home.

  18. Thanks everyone for the contributions.  There's some really wonderful tales of triumph and woe below.  

    Unfortunately there can be only one winner - well played Chris, enjoy the cap and balls.

    We'll have more 'From the Tour-to-You" offers coming soon.  

    Stay tuned and good golfing to all.

    Team Titleist ANZ

  19. Geoff


    Thought you might like this Par 3 in Phuket ,Blue Canyon Country Club

    Tiger shot 71 as a amateur 1994. 

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