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scotth

Par 3 opening hole

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One thing I learned recently is how rare it is for people to wave up on a par-3.  It's a common thing around here when a par-3 is an early hole (such as the third at my home course).  I don't remember if it actually speeds up play or not.

Anyway, one year the British Open was at the course mentioned in OP.  Actually many years, but I have one incident in particular in mind.  One player, I want to say Ian Woosnam, was playing with two drivers at the range and was almost late to his tee time.  He got there, played the par-3 hole, and when he got to the next tee, his caddie told him he had had two drivers in the bag (fifteen clubs total), and that he was going to go ballistic.  The caddie was right on both counts.  Normally I think the starter asks players if they've counted their clubs and have anything to leave behind, but I think Ian being nearly late played into the issue.  Probably would also not have been an issue if play hadn't begun on a par-3, as they'd have noticed as soon as they reached for driver and left out the offending club.

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37 minutes ago, iacas said:

No. It takes longer to putt than to hit an approach shot.

And even if it didn't, a par 3 would still be a longer wait because every shot after the tee shot is taken from the landing zone. You have to wait for the group in front to play every pitch, chip, and putt, including every duffed shot.

On a par 4, the group ahead could theoretically chunk their 2nd shots and be clear of the landing zone. Plus, people hit different distances, so they could have different targets off the tee which isn't the case on a par 3.

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I forgot to mention that Pacific Grove also has a par 3 as its #10, a short 110 yards or so, followed by a short par 4, about 300 yards, headed towards the ocean. Starting on the back 9 wouldn't really help pace of play and you wouldn't want to start on the 9 with the scenic views, and finish with the 9 in the forest, duh!

It is an odd course, for sure, but I have never seen it being really slow. To be fair, I haven't played it extensively...

Edited by sjduffers

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Glenbrook in Stroudsburg, PA used to open with a nasty Par 3 that was uphill and almost all carry. Then they swapped the nines and now the starting hole is a blind tee shot over a rather large hill to a fairway that slopes SEVERELY right to left- water at the bottom(left side) and woods and rough on the right.  Someone has to drive to the top and make sure the fairway is clear, then drive back...

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8 minutes ago, RayG said:

Glenbrook in Stroudsburg, PA used to open with a nasty Par 3 that was uphill and almost all carry. Then they swapped the nines and now the starting hole is a blind tee shot over a rather large hill to a fairway that slopes SEVERELY right to left- water at the bottom(left side) and woods and rough on the right.  Someone has to drive to the top and make sure the fairway is clear, then drive back...

Is this a club you're a member of?  Suggest a fairway flag to whatever committee would handle such a request.  My home course, plus one other near here, has a hole where some players might be in a landing zone unseen from the tee.  There's instead a small hole in the fairway a little over 200 yards from the blue tees that holds a flag.  You take out the flag while you're standing there if you aren't visible from the tee and replace it when your group has cleared the area so the group behind you knows it's okay to hit.  

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Yes, Waterland a course in Amsterdam (Netherlands) starts with a par 3. Then hole 2 is a driveable par 4, even for shorthitters. Its a par 70 course, nothing easy about it.

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On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 6:08 PM, Shindig said:

One thing I learned recently is how rare it is for people to wave up on a par-3.  It's a common thing around here when a par-3 is an early hole (such as the third at my home course).  I don't remember if it actually speeds up play or not.

Anyway, one year the British Open was at the course mentioned in OP.  Actually many years, but I have one incident in particular in mind.  One player, I want to say Ian Woosnam, was playing with two drivers at the range and was almost late to his tee time.  He got there, played the par-3 hole, and when he got to the next tee, his caddie told him he had had two drivers in the bag (fifteen clubs total), and that he was going to go ballistic.  The caddie was right on both counts.  Normally I think the starter asks players if they've counted their clubs and have anything to leave behind, but I think Ian being nearly late played into the issue.  Probably would also not have been an issue if play hadn't begun on a par-3, as they'd have noticed as soon as they reached for driver and left out the offending club.

Yeah it was Woosie. There is a clip on the net where you can hear him berrating his caddie. Says something like (and excuse my french here) "I give you one f***ing job to do and you cant even do that right". I got the impression he was a little bit unhappy ;-).

Cost him a big chunk of money and a Ryder Cup spot.

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A par four or five is better for logistical reasons, but other than that I don't care much.

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17 hours ago, Shindig said:

Is this a club you're a member of?  Suggest a fairway flag to whatever committee would handle such a request.  My home course, plus one other near here, has a hole where some players might be in a landing zone unseen from the tee.  There's instead a small hole in the fairway a little over 200 yards from the blue tees that holds a flag.  You take out the flag while you're standing there if you aren't visible from the tee and replace it when your group has cleared the area so the group behind you knows it's okay to hit.  

No, not a member and haven't played it in about 3 years. They may have done so since. OR, has I've seen on several courses- a bell you ring when you get out to a reasonable distance out over the crest of a hill. Usually about 300-320 yards. 

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5 hours ago, RayG said:

No, not a member and haven't played it in about 3 years. They may have done so since. OR, has I've seen on several courses- a bell you ring when you get out to a reasonable distance out over the crest of a hill. Usually about 300-320 yards. 

Since I can't seem to edit the post:

I will add that it would take a flag about 100 feet high to work. The crest of the hill is only about 120 yards away and 40/50 feet above the tee. then the fairway drops off rather quicky towards the water on the left and the green, which is actually below the level of the tee box. Hole itself can play out to about 370 from the tips

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13 minutes ago, RayG said:

Since I can't seem to edit the post:

I will add that it would take a flag about 100 feet high to work. The crest of the hill is only about 120 yards away and 40/50 feet above the tee. then the fairway drops off rather quicky towards the water on the left and the green, which is actually below the level of the tee box. Hole itself can play out to about 370 from the tips

Multiple courses around me that have blind tee shots have a bell or a metal pole with some sort of metal mallet/striker attached to it, once everyone in your group is clear, you strike the bell/pole to notify the group behind you that it is ok to hit their tee shots.

Found an example of this online:

bell.png.f677ee0e891768ebf428cf815ac73783.png

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I believe Montauk Down has a "Periscope" Hole. there is a tall periscope on the tee to see over the little hillock in front of the tee to see the fairway beyond.

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I have played a few courses with a bell on a hidden shot.  It is a great idea vs driving up over the hill to see if the group has cleared.

My course just put up a periscope this weekend on a blind hill shot.  Didn't get to try it out as nobody was in front of me.  I'll see if I can get a pic to upload.

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In high school we played Blacklake golf course and it had a starting par 3. It was a downhill 150 yard shot to a pretty severely sloped tiny green. It was a lot down hill. It was only a wedge or a 9 iron but still, when you have the pressure of a high school match it is an extremely hard opening hole. Looking back it is legitimately the worst starting hole I have ever played.

This picture doesn't do it complete justice. In the picture you can see how the trees put a massive shade over the green making it hard to see. Plus the sun sets just over it. And high school matches are all in the afternoon. It was a rough start. 

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 13.13.25.png

It is established that a par 3 is a lousy starting hole. What about finishing hole? I've played 2 one at Pasatiempo and one at Sandpiper, I don't mind either. It isn't nearly as bad in my opinion as a finishing hole.

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On 8/5/2018 at 7:49 AM, boogielicious said:

Par 3 holes, in general, can have a back up, because only one group can be on the hole at any one time. My home course has a par 3 as the second hole an it’s always backed up there. But as in you example, a following par 5 helps restore pace of play.

Back in the day when nearly everyone walked, it was expected that once a group was on the green, they would mark and stand aside to let the following group tee off and begin walking to the green.

I remember one round where we made the mistake of standing to the right side of the green. We felt like we were under artillery fire! The slicers tried to get us!

After we putted out and headed for the next tee, I proposed that on the next par 3, we should all cluster around the flagstick and wave up the following group! Seemed like the safest place to be.

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On 8/4/2018 at 8:49 AM, scotth said:

Watching some of the Women's British Open, and noticed that the first hole at Royal Lytham & St. Anne's is a par 3.  Guess I wasn't paying attention the last time the PGA tour was there or somehow it escaped my attention.  

I can't think of another course I have ever played or seen where the first hole is a par 3.  Does anybody know another course that does this, or is this a unique feature to the course?

Wasn't that where Ian Woosnam got gigged for having 15 clubs in his bag?

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10 hours ago, Valleygolfer said:

Par 3 start is not ideal but I find that courses that end in par 3s are entirely unfulfilling. 

Interesting, could make a tight round really, really interesting.  

Don't think I have ever played a course that ends in a par 3 either...…..  Might be a topic for another post to see how many of those are out there.  

21 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

I remember one round where we made the mistake of standing to the right side of the green. We felt like we were under artillery fire! The slicers tried to get us!

Think that's how our house we are moving out of must feel.  As we are packing and moving to Las Vegas this Friday, I just loaded two full 5 gallon buckets of golf balls in the POD.  Almost all have been found someplace on our property from the last two golf seasons.  🙂

 

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