The Best Par-3s in the Sandhills
They say size isn’t everything and in golf, it’s true: a good “little’un” often beats a good “big’un.”
Par 3s can often be the most memorable, thrilling — or feared — holes on a golf course. As a result, some of the world’s most iconic holes are par 3s.
Golfers have different preferences when it comes to the short holes. Some like a little flick of the wedge, others prefer a 200-plus-yarder that might play more like a reachable par 4.
And of course, great par 3s have helped spur amazing par-3 courses such as The Cradle at Pinehurst Resort.
Indeed, a memorable par 3 can turn a golf course into a bucket list destination.
The Sandhills, needless to say, has plenty of great par-3 holes. As for the area’s finest one-shotters, drum roll please….
BEST PAR 3s IN THE SANDHILLS
- Pinehurst No. 2 – 9th hole
- Talamore Golf Resort – 2nd hole
- Tobacco Road – 14th hole
- Pinehurst No. 4 – 6th hole
- Mid South Club – 6th hole
- Country Club of North Carolina Dogwood – 13th hole
It’s no surprise that Pinehurst No. 2 has three holes on our list of the Best 18 in the Sandhills, including the par-3 ninth (one of the best “par-5s” in the area, they say tongue in cheek).
“A visually stunning hole surrounded by bunkers and native wire grass,” Global Golf Post has written about No. 2’s 9th hole. “It’s the shortest hole on No. 2, but several beguiling hole locations and a two-tiered green can make it a ‘hard par.’ It’s also a beautiful representation of No. 2’s Ross, Coore and Crenshaw influence.”
Mid Pines, another Ross design recently updated by Kyle Franz, also has three holes on our Best 18 list, but no par-3s. Tobacco Road, one of the most inventive designs by the late Mike Strantz, is represented by two holes including its demanding par-3 14th.
Talamore Golf Resort is one of the most fun and playable course in the Sandhills area, and its Rees Jones-designed second hole is one of the area’s best one-shotters. Its sister course, the Arnold Palmer-designed Mid South Club was rewarded with its sixth hole making the list of the best par-3 holes.
“The iconic downhill par 3 that incorporates water, sand, and the wispy natural grasses found across the Sandhills,” the raters say about Tobacco Road’s 14th hole. “The picturesque setting framed by historic Stewart Cabin embodies Strantz’s artistic eye. From any angle, the tee shot visually demands precision in line and yardage, and the multiple teeing grounds can be utilized to either intimidate the player with a longer carry over water or soften the hazard by a frontal approach.
“The detail in Strantz’s work is showcased throughout the round, however, none so stunning as the walk-off view as the player looks from the green back to the tee complex. The tiered railroad ties curving in accord with the bend of the pond’s shore create a lasting memory of a round filled with visual stimulation.”
Pinehurst No. 4’s sixth hole was the fourth par-3 on our Best 18 in the Sandhills list.
“The 6th hole offers the best views on Gil Hanse’s No. 4, which means it affords the most stunning vista on property with sight lines to 15 different holes on the course,” the experts wrote about No. 4’s 6th hole. “All the trouble is on the right, including a deep greenside bunker that all but ensures a bogey.”
For those who know the Village of Pinehurst area golf, the list of best holes will likely have them shaking their heads in approval about many of the holes — or raising their eyebrows at others. For prospective visitors to the area or those considering a Village of Pinehurst golf vacation, it’s a bucket list of sorts.
You’ll have to come test them yourself and give us your opinion of the Pinehurst area’s best par-3 golf holes.