It can be challenging to define the best par 3 holes in the world because golfers have varying preferences when it comes to shorter holes. Some prefer a simple wedge shot, while others enjoy the challenge of hitting a green surrounded by water on a 200+ yard hole using a fairway wood. If you’re interested, check out our shortlist of the top ten par 3s in the world.
Best Par 3s in the World
1. The 11th at Castle Stuart Golf Links (144 yards)
Despite measuring less than 150 yards from the farthest tees, the par-3 11th at Castle Stuart Golf Links poses a significant challenge. Any shots hit too long or left will end up in the water, while those hit too long or right will land in deep rough or a sizable bunker. However, the breathtaking views of Chanonry Lighthouse and the firth beyond the green compensate for the difficulty of this par 3 hole. Its intimate connection to the Highland Sea also adds to its charm.
2. The 9th at Trump Turnberry – Ailsa Course (248 yards)
Renovations to this hole have transformed it into one of the most awe-inspiring par 3 holes in the world, providing golfers with an exhilarating challenge as they play across Ayrshire Bay. The iconic Turnberry Lighthouse and the ruins of Robert the Bruce’s Castle are both visible on the Ailsa course, making for a beautiful and dramatic setting. Standing on the tee, you’ll feel a sense of reverence for this hole, which demands your utmost attention.
3. The 17th at TPC Sawgrass (137 yards)
Arguably, one of the most famous par 3s in the world is the 17th hole on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course in Jacksonville. Despite measuring only 137 yards from the tips, the island’s green and swirling winds make it a daunting challenge for most golfers, including professionals. During the PGA Tour’s Player’s Championship, spending the day at the 17th hole virtually guarantees to witness the world’s best golfers struggle to avoid finding the water, even with just a wedge in hand.
4. The 8th at Royal Troon Golf Club – Old Course (123 yards)
The 8th hole at Royal Troon Golf Club is widely recognized as the ‘Postage Stamp’ due to its minuscule putting surface, making it one of the most iconic holes on the Open Championship roster. Despite measuring no more than 123 yards, there is no risk-free way to approach it other than hitting the green. The approach is guarded by a crater bunker, while two bunkers and a steep sand hill protect the left side, and two deep pot bunkers defend the right side of the green.
Best of luck when playing this Scottish gem!
5. The 7th at Pebble Beach Golf Links (111 yards)
The 7th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links is known for being one of the most challenging par 3 holes in the world, thanks in part to the unpredictable winds that blow in from the Pacific Ocean. Golfers face a decision on which club to use, as they could need anything from a sand wedge to a 3-iron to make the shot.
The hole features a steep downhill slope, adding to the difficulty of the shot. But despite the challenge, the 7th hole is also one of the most scenic holes in golf. As golfers tee off, they are treated to stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged California coastline, making it a truly unforgettable experience.
6. The 16th at Vale Do Lobo – Royal Course (224 yards)
The 16th hole on the Royal Course at Vale do Lobo has become one of the most iconic holes in Europe, mainly due to its signature tee shot over the towering, orange cliffs. The stunning views of the surrounding coastline are particularly impressive during sunset, making for an unforgettable golfing experience. However, don’t let the scenic beauty fool you – this par 3 hole is no walk in the park, measuring a whopping 215 meters from the white tees. Golfers need to bring their A-game to tackle this challenging hole, making it a true test of skill and nerve.
7. The 14th at Trump Doonbeg International Golf Links (138 yards)
South West Ireland’s Trump Doonbeg International Golf Links suffered extensive damage to its coastal holes during a storm. However, in 2015, Dr. Martin Hawtree revamped these holes, and they have since become some of the most unforgettable in Europe. Among them, the 14th stands out as a tough par 3 hole, with no easy escape routes. Previously lost to the sea, the hole is now an impressive challenge for golfers, offering little margin for error. Playing the 14th at Trump Doonbeg is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who takes on this daunting yet exhilarating test of skill.
8. The 17th at Kiawah Island – Ocean Course (221 yards)
The 17th hole at the Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, which has hosted the U.S. Open, is undoubtedly one of the most challenging penultimate par 3 holes in the world, especially in the history of major tournaments. Measuring 221 yards, this South Carolina hole is fiercely protected by water both short and right, making it an intimidating shot for any golfer. The green measures a whopping 10,000 square feet, which makes it necessary to use a variety of shots depending on where the pin is placed. The hole is a true test of skill, strategy, and nerve for any golfer, and it certainly adds to the Ocean Course’s reputation as one of the most challenging courses in the world.
9. The 4th at Royal County Down (228 yards)
The 4th hole at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland is one of the most challenging par 3s in golf. The elevated tee provides a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding landscape, including the imposing Mourne Mountains. However, the view can also be a distraction from the difficult tee shot that golfers face. From the championship tees, the hole measures 228 yards and requires a precise shot to avoid the steep drop-offs on either side of the green, as well as the bunkers and thick gorse that line the fairway. A par on this challenging hole is a significant accomplishment for any golfer.
10. The 16th at Green Monkey Course (226 yards)
The 16th at Sandy Lane’s Green Monkey Course in Barbados is a visually stunning par 3 hole. The downhill hole spans 226 yards, offering breathtaking views and imposing quarries. However, what truly sets this hole apart is its unique green monkey bunker – a large patch of grass shaped like a monkey placed in the middle of a bunker. This element of the hole is so distinctive that it draws the eye away from the green. Golfers who have played this hole will undoubtedly remember the challenge of navigating both the bunkers and the awe-inspiring landscape.
Above is the list of the top 10 best par 3 holes in the world. Conquering them all has never been an easy task, even for seasoned pros. So, follow our Best of Blog series to learn more golf lessons & tips. Or, sign-up for newsletters if you are interested.