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Delicate-Pitch One-Shotters, Or What's Left Of Them

In Golf World's recent Architecture Issue, Ron Whitten highlighted a handful of the game's great 120 yards and less pitch par-3s.

The collection is posted at, and of course any nominations you might have for others he left out are welcomed. The only one missing for my money was the 16th at Engineers, the infamous "2 or 20" hole. You can see it and read about it on's write up.

Included in Whitten's group was The Los Angeles Country Club's recently restored bye hole on the North Course, Little 17. (Pictured right.)

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Reader Comments (37)

I absolutely love a short,tricky par 3.However played a good course in Portugal called Larangel on holiday a couple of weeks ago and the shortest par 3 was 210 yards!Spoilt what was otherwise a really good course in good condition.Don't mind a couple of long ones- but not all 4!
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChico
Wasn't that par 3 on LACC "found" in the recent re-do?

Love short par 3s
I know you can make a 120-yarder out of any par 3 if you play it from a forward tee, but I think the 8th on Streamsong Red is worth a mention. I played it from 119 off the Black tees (147 from the very back). C&C love those bunkers front and center and the one here made it a wonderfully tricky hole. The pitch needed to be judged very precisely but there was, of course, plenty of space either side of the bunker if you didn't fancy going at the pin.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamad
Ghost, you can read about it on LA's website. It's under club history in the North Course Commemorative Edition. It states that the hole has been returned as a unique historical tribute to the Fowler-Thomas version.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
If he'd taken Canada into account Jasper's fabulously named "Bad Baby" would have surely made the grade.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Thompson
#7 on Streamsong Blue was as good as the brochure shows. I missed the green into a left side bunker, but my wife hit the green from the Blacks (played about 150). And then rolled in about a 20' birdie putt.

So that was fun.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattS
Sore arm?
Patting self on back
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCeloso
Oops, didn't see the top of the reference to 120 and less. Never mind :)
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattS
Arm doesn't get sore reaching out to pat my wife on her back :)
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattS
All the best and most memorable par threes in golf are all short. Take Innisbrook for example, the last track the Tour played. I don't think there was a Par 3 on there less than 195. The Tour needs to play some better courses for sure.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterG-Man
The 7th at Pebble Beach is the obvious one, but Spanish Bay has a very difficult one as well.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJSS
The 14th at Edgewood Country Club in Pittsburgh is an excellent, lesser known example
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ
@Ryan, for some reason LACC has put that document behind the member login. I looked at it a month ago, but now it isn't available. I have a pdf of it somewhere.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKevin part deux
Just made a two at Ventana Mtn. Course third hole...the fifth on this list...what do I win?
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
"Bad Baby" at Jasper is evil.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Foster
@Bobby D - you win a shout out from @Celoso?

and a congratulations from me
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattS
@MattS...the bad news is I shot 80...but I stayed out of the junk!
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Tom Doak built a mighty fine / nasty one at Barnbougle. 122 yards from the tips -- hey, what's 2 yards among friends? -- and 107 from the next tee forward.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark B
Another Canadian one missed is #14 at Cabot Links. 102 yds from the tips and teeing off directly at the ocean.

Designed by someone that often gets confused as Ron Whitten, namely Rod Whitman.

Now, with respect to Whitten, you would have thought that he has played Jasper as he has been to the Canadian Rockies before, calling Wildstone in Cranbrook BC his "favorite round in 2011" in a previous issue of Golf Digest.

And, finally, another Whitman course in BC, Sagebrush, the 12th hole is about 110 from the tips (they pruposely don't post yardages on the course) and the course is ranked by Golf Digest as the 85th best course in the world outside of the US, so it is not like it is some completely unknown layout.

That's it for gawf architecture today.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Foster
Some might want to, but I'll never forget the quirky 9th/18th at the 1892 Highland Links in North Truro, MA. When the sand greens were replaced in 1916, Ouiment came to play in the inaugural event. It received considerable attention in the 1970s being voted as one of the best in the world. The 136 yd 14th at Sankaty Head is another gem that may require anything from bunt wedge to a full 5-iron.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
Well, one more.

Speaking of Barnbougle, the Coore/Crenshaw designed Lost Farm course has THREE holes that would qualify - #4 and #13A are terrific. #18A is a bit lame (there are 20 holes hence the use of the suffix "A" on two of the holes).
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Foster
was supposed to play there last week but couldn't make it
The 7th at Ansley GC- Settindown. Hit the the green...or forget par. Around 125 yards.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Matre
The 4th hole at Pine Ridge CC, Wickliffe, OH, 85 yds....gonna have to go on a ramble here...this place probably means squat to all of you but it means a whole lot to me...I started caddying at Pine Ridge in 1956. It was one of the most vibrant and affluent private clubs in the Cleveland area. Bill Wehnes was a member...he "hired" Arnold Palmer to work for his paint company but what Arnie really did was play lots of customer golf and money games with Wehnes and his buddies....Laurie Purola, Art Brooks, Sevy Severino and others. Pine Ridge was a classic, hilly, treelined layout designed by Harold Paddock with dog legs etc. and the 13th hole (its now the 4th,they switched the nines) was a 90 yd. pitch over a deep ravine in the thick woods with a huge bunker in front of the green. The bunker was a good spot...missing the green anywhere else was dead. Arnie got his early money backers out of Pine Ridge but he didn't need those guys for very long. After he won the US Am in Detroit in '55 he turned pro and got hot... won the Masters in "58 and never looked back. And of course, Mark McCormack was based in Cleveland. Pine Ridge CC is still there...a nice Muny run by Cleveland Metro Parks.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Tobacco Road #17 ...134 from the back but it is well down hill and plays very short. Great hole. Watched Mike Blackburn shoot 64 here in a Sunbelt Senior Tour event a number of years ago ( I shot 71 and got dusted) and he bogeyed 17 after a tee shot to 3 feet! SHould have been a 62!
03.19.2013 | Unregistered Commenterthebigdad
I agree with Mark B, the 7th are Barnbougle definitely rates a mention. Its a dastardly little hole.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRob
A terrible list. There was a time when every designer had a Biarritz, Eden, Redan and Short in his par 3's, in other words there are a lot of Shorts around. Not a one do I see on this list. Must have been a deadline and lack of intent to write a good article about a good subject.
I've played the first five, all good holes. However why write the article without 25 or 50 holes worldwide. it's about us, we are the ones who read the articles and say "yeah, that is a good one", or "hey, that's not far from me I may be able to play that"
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeoffC
Throwing in another Cdn/Thompson one-shotter.

#8 at Banff Springs. It's a wee bit over 120 from the tips (130ish), but at that rarefied air/altitude it plays short(er). Paul Casey THREW balls onto the green at a corporate hit and giggle years back.'s the start of (IMNSHO) the best stretch of mountain golf in the world, all along the icy blue waters of the Bow River on the right hand side...and then the tee shot on 15 (Old 1st Tee) is way too much fun.
03.20.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Barnbougle Dunes on the front nine. As mentioned by others. Extremely annoying little hole. And when I played the 4th at Lost Farm it was short but I stll needed 5 to get there. So not really short!!
03.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLongy
Wanted to post about Bad Baby (15 at jasper) but looks like I was a little slow, saw the same pro make 2 and 7 on that hole last year two days during the Assistants championship
Come to think of it, Ron better keep a low profile if he's planning to attend the par-3 contest at the Masters.
03.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
GeoffC - I agree with you. And where is the 6th at the National? I thought that one would be on all lists. Maybe overshadowed by the Redan at the National?

03.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim Beckner
The severly downhill 77 yard downhill Par3 on front 9 at Pocono Manor (Penn) may not be great, but it is memorable and frustrating. Played it three times and could not hit the green. You don't often decide between a half Gap wedge or a three quarter sand wedge. Arnold Palmer supposedly took a very high number here in the 1960s and the course was once featured on a Shell WWofG TV match.
03.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephenP
Don't forget the 9th at Myopia Hunt, Hamilton, Massachusetts.

A dastardly par 3, max 130 yards, super narrow with deep bunkers left and right
03.20.2013 | Unregistered Commenterigolfchip
Would definitely concur on the two at Lost Farms, especially the terrifying 4th and the 9th is a great call on the 9th at Myopia.

Ron was sticking to extreme shorties, so the National holes fell outside the window but would surely be on anyone's list of great one-shotters. I couldn't leave either one off, but the Short green at National really is unbelievable.
03.20.2013 | Registered CommenterGeoff
No mention of the Short 8th at Rustic Canyon?
03.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterUbb
The 10th at Inwood CC on Long Island is a fun short par 3.
03.23.2013 | Unregistered Commentercc-rider

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