Par 3's on Tour can vastly differ in length and difficulty and often serve as the "signature hole" that we naturally associate any particular course with. What can appear to be a dinky hole can easily become an eye sore on your scorecard (where someone just deposited $12.50 in the form of 3 brand new Srixon Z Star balls) or become that coveted "ace" (hole in one). Such drama and variance in performance drives the entertainment factor for spectators through the roof. These brilliantly designed golf holes are often the perfect combination of difficulty and finesse to challenge those who play them to use their head before getting themselves in serious trouble. Almost every par 3 puts players through a mental grind; however, three holes provide an exceptional challenge while keeping the fans on the edge of their seats. We profiled them to show you exactly what we mean:
3. Augusta National - 12th hole - 155 yards
The second leg of the ever famous "Amen Corner" at Augusta never ceases to dissapoint. Seemingly a short 155 yard tee shot must be hit on a dime because of the bunker and Rae's Creek short and the huge bunkers and pine straw behind the narrow green which slopes heavily back to front. Nicknamed the "Golden Bell" for it's notoriously swirling winds that make club decision and shot trajectory on a pedestal. At the 2013 Master's, the scoring average at the 12th was 3.21.
2. TPC Sawgrass - 17th hole - 137 yards
Known simply as "The Island Green" this is highly regarded as one of the most difficult holes on the PGA Tour. From 138 yards away, players are forced to hit this floating green in order to avoid the massive water hazard that surrounds it. Even if the green is missed, the drop area is still not on the island so players are still forced to hit the target, albeit from a little closer. Although the hole itself does challenge even the best of players, the amphitheater of fans surrounding the green adds another layer of challenge. The 17th at TPC provides a rare opportunity for fans enjoy misery of the pros.
1. TPC Scottsdale - 16th hole - 162 yards
While the signature hole at TPC Scottsdale may not be the most difficult tee to green, the atmosphere is like none other, anywhere. As the pictures highlight, the course assembles a legitimate stadium completely surrounding the hole where there are several thousand college students packed in, yelling at the players. This may be one of the only holes in golf that the fans demand a good shot, and heckle the pros if they miss. Players who hit good shots get roaring cheers--a nice confidence boost--while those who miss the green get slammed with a wall of boos. At this year's Waste Management Open Paddy Harrington kicked footballs into the stands, Rickie Fowler handed out a stack of hats to the crowd, and one caddie took a huge spill while racing the other caddie to the green. The 16th at TPC Scottsdale is truly a huge party which is why we have ranked it the #1 Par 3 on Tour!
Check out the links below to see some famous moments on these holes!
- Rickie, Dustin and Phil all stick it at the 16th at Scottsdale
- A young Tiger Aces the 16th at Scottsdale and the crowd gos bananas
- Sergio cards a 7 on the 17th at Sawgrass when leading THE PLAYERS
- Compilation of memorable moments at the 17th at Sawgrass
What did we miss? Let us know!