Best Par 3 Holes
It seems, at times, that golf is all about the long ball these days. Golf manufacturers promise their gear will help you hit the ball farther, and strength and conditioning is more important than ever. But there’s just something about par-3 holes, those seemingly simple one-shotters that everyone looks forward to on a scorecard. From the increased chance at that elusive hole-in-one, to the back up and pain points it provides to pace of play (kidding, kidding … we know that since we launched the SCGA Pace of Play Pledge that’s no longer a problem, right?), golfers love a great par 3 hole. We asked SCGA members to weigh in on their favorites in the Southland. And the winners are:
Oak Quarry GC, Riverside, No. 14
Playing 214 yards from the back, this visually stunning hole is nicknamed Spinel Slide. While they do provide a bail out area short right of the green, your goal here is to land on the small, peninsula-like putting surface. The tee shot spans the quarry, and this pretty, foreboding par-3 is the course’s signature hole.
Torrey Pines GC, North Course, La Jolla, No. 6
“Beauty and danger.” That’s how one SCGA member described the sixth hole of Torrey Pines’ North Course. With beautiful views of La Jolla and the Pacific, the elevation changes (nearly a 200-foot drop from tee to green), and risk and reward of this golf hole make it a one-of-a-kind. While the back tee markers say 206 yards, the wind can say differently. Prevailing winds are common, but a well-struck golf shot is rewarded. And make sure your practice routine includes taking a couple of photos if the sun is shining.
PGA WEST, Stadium Course, La Quinta, No. 17
Your round at the TPC Stadium Course is highlighted by trying to navigate the iconic island green on No. 17, known as Alcatraz. Lee Trevino made a hole-in-one here in the 1987 Skins Game, worth $175,000. Playing at 168 yards from the blacks, this visually intimidating hole leaves little room for error. You can’t miss short. Or right … or left … or long, so call on your inner Trevino, and good luck!
Sandpiper GC, Santa Barbara, No. 11
Why did this hole make the list? Clearly SCGA members have an affinity for the Pacific Ocean. This downhill par-3 has one of the best views in all of Southern California, as the green sits just inches from the sand. But it’s not just scenic. This hole is a challenge. Playing as long as 228 yards, the 11th hole may be the top “golf selfie spot” in Southern California.
Torrey Pines GC, South Course, La Jolla, No. 3
Ball hogs. Torrey Pines GC takes another spot on our “Best Of” list, with a hole an SCGA member called “amazing, and amazingly challenging.” The Pacific Ocean is once again the backdrop to the downhill tee shot on No. 3, a 198-yard par-3. It’s not the toughest hole on the course, but it’s the most photogenic.