Scotland's best Par 3 holes

The Dream 'Composite' Course


The par 3 is both fun and sporting, offering everyone a bit of a chance, and of course, that one in forty two thousand chance!. Faraway Fairways thought it would be interesting to build an 18 hole golf course composed exclusively of short assignments, in a quest to establish Scotland's best par 3 holes.

Dornoch's 2nd. Tom Watson described the second shot at this par 3 as the "hardest shot in golf"-

Image by Kevin Murray CLICK 

Holes 1 to 3


189 yds, ‘John’s View’


184 yds, par 3, ‘Ord’


205 yds

Opening Par 3’s are always in short supply, so the Boat of Garten inherits the position to some extent (the view justifies it though). Dornoch’s 2nd is established as one of the great shorties, whereas the 3rd at the Trump International Links makes stunning use of the landscape

Holes 4 - 6


137 yds, ‘The Shelf’


165 yds,

#6 – EYEMOUTH,  –

167 yds, ‘A Still No Ken’

Although only a few miles from England, Eyemouth’s sixth plays from headland to headland on a cliff top with a deep gully below with waves rushing in. Often regarded as the most intimidating tee-shot in Scotland

Shiskine 4th

Image thanks to Hamish Bannatyne Shiksine GC

155 yds

Durness 18th

On the extreme northern tip of Scotland this is savage stuff. The tee shot plays over the sea to the green beyond

Bruce's Castle - 248yds

Turnberry 9th

Previously a strong par 4 playing in land, the hole is now a challenging par 3 playing across the rocky cove and waves, to a green perched near the lighthouse above it

'The Shelf', 165 yds

5th Hole - Machrihanish Dunes

Surrounded by ragged sandhills, the tee-shot plays at the Irish Sea from an untamed landscape to a punch bowl green

The 10th at Dornoch is a tricky landing strip

'The Postage Stamp' - 123 yds

Image by Kevin Murray CLICK 

Holes 7 - 9


198 yds, ‘Sea’


123 yds, ‘The Postage Stamp’


235 yds,  ‘Bruce’s Castle’

The choice of holes 8 and 9 was relatively straight-forward. The seventh set us thinking a bit but ultimately we couldn’t see beyond Western Gailes.  Royal Aberdeen’s 8th can count itself unlucky to be sharing a number with the Postage Stamp


Holes 10 - 12


174 yds, ‘Fuaran’

#11 – TURNBERRY,  –

192 yds, ‘Maidens’

#12 – HOPEMAN, –

150 yds, ‘Prieshach’

The Moray course of Hopeman is rubs shoulders with some illustrious company but then Prieshach hole is worth green fee alone. Played from a high tee above the green some 100 ft below it is one of the more awe inspiring launches to an illusive target

The 'new' 11th at Turnberry has a touch of genius about it

Image by Kevin Murray CLICK 

Image thanks to Lucy McKay, Durness GC

'Redan' - 190 yds

Image by Kevin Murray CLICK 

Holes 13 -15


‘144 yds, The Clivet’

#14 – TRAIGH,  –

135 yds,  ‘Allt an Asaidh’


190 yds, Par 3, ‘Redan’

Royal Tarlair is difficult to ‘get on’ and we considered excluding it, but then the Clivet is another great hole played from an elevated tee towards a narrow strip of land that threatens to fall into waves. North Berwick’s original ‘Redan’ won the vote for the 15th though pipping Kingsbarns when two superb par 3’s shared the same hole number

Holes 16 - 18


245 yds, ‘Barry Burn’


184 yds, ‘The Braes’

#18 – DURNESS –

155 yds,

Carnoustie’s 16th is the hardest par 3 on the Open Championship rotation. In 1975 Tom Watson made five consecutive bogeys here on his way to victory. The Braes on the St Andrews Castle Course gets our nod of approval for the 17th, and whereas few courses finish with a par 3, Durness does, and it’s a spectacularly savage affair too

'The Braes' on the Castle Course, with the St Andrews skyline in the background

Image by Kevin Murray CLICK 

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