Postage Stamp, Old Course, Royal Troon
The legendary Postage Stamp at Royal Troon got its name after the great Willie Park described the green as "a pitching surface skimmed down to the size of a postage stamp". The shortest hole on the Open Championship rota, Royal Troon's 8th is also one of the most feared.
German amateur Hermann Tissies racked up 15 shots at the Postage Stamp in the 1950 Open. The isolation of the heavily guarded green (bunkers on both sides) makes this stunning golf hole an intimidating prospect.
Redan, North Berwick Golf Club
Created in 1869, Redan at North Berwick is one of the most copied golf holes in the world today. The sloping 15th green is set diagonally to the tee with bunkers flanking either side. Redan is a nerve wracking 192 yards.
Balgownie Links, Royal Aberdeen Golf Course
Another superb Scottish par 3 is the 8th hole on the Balgownie Links at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club. With no less than nine bunkers protecting the green, the only safe route on this daunting signature hole is straight down the middle, which, of course, is easier said than done. Depending on the strength of the wind you could be teeing off with anything from a 3 iron to a pitching wedge.
Boar Crag, Cullen Golf Club
On the Moray Firth, Cullen Golf Club is home to one of Scotland’s most stupendous par 3s. The only clue as to the whereabouts of the 13th green is the upwards facing arrow on the Boar Crag, an 80 foot red rock blocking your path. Once the stark reality of the task has hit home, it’s time to knuckle down and give it a go.
Further along the coast, the signature 12th at Hopeman Golf Club is a glorious golfing spectacle, with a dramatic drop of 100 feet from the tee to the green by the shore. The location cannot be bettered and playing Prieshach is always an exhilarating experience. Open champion Paul Lawrie has described Hopeman’s gem as ‘one of the best par 3s I have ever played’.
More short holes
Other exceptional par 3s include the 4th at Cruden Bay Golf Club where the North Sea is revealed in breathtaking fashion as you arrive on the elevated tee, and the 17th at Kirriemuir Golf Course, called Braid’s Gem, a lovely green flanked by tall mature trees and guarded by bunkers.