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scotth

Par 3 opening hole

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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?

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There is a local cow pasture that had a par 3 as its starting hole.   They changed it to #10 because it created a huge backup.  You don't see too many courses that start with a par 3

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11 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

They changed it to #10 because it created a huge backup.  

I can see how an opening par 3 would...… 

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22 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

There is a local cow pasture that had a par 3 as its starting hole.   They changed it to #10 because it created a huge backup.  You don't see too many courses that start with a par 3

My home course is like this. Technically #1 is 200 yard par 3, but they have started making everyone tee off on #10 which is a par 4.

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29 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

There is a local cow pasture that had a par 3 as its starting hole.   They changed it to #10 because it created a huge backup.  You don't see too many courses that start with a par 3

Yea and I think pacing is exactly why. If you start on a par 4 you can start groups 8-10 minutes apart because they only need to wait on one or two shots. If you start on a par 3, groups might be 12-15 minutes apart because they have to wait for an entire hole to be finished before teeing off.

I can't think of any courses I have played that started with a par 3 other than one executive course.

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Pacific Grove (on the Monterey Peninsula, also called "Pebble Beach of the poor" because the back 9 plays along the same stretch of coast) starts with not one, but two par 3s. Interesting to say the least...

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11 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

Pacific Grove (on the Monterey Peninsula, also called "Pebble Beach of the poor" because the back 9 plays along the same stretch of coast) starts with not one, but two par 3s. Interesting to say the least...

And what makes it even more interesting is those holes are followed by two par 4s and then 2 par 5’s. Pretty quirky start, but I hear the back nine is worth what you pay and more.

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Sort of. There is only one hole (#12, I believe), a par 5 that doglegs right, that is really along the coast, notwithstanding the road between the golf course and the actual coast (part of 17 miles drive). You get to feel the wind, the salt and all that and the view is nice, even from the other holes after this one, on the back 9, except the last 2 that go back inland, but it's overly priced for a muni that's not really kept in good condition (greens can be really questionable). Granted, the green fee is nowhere what Pebble Beach commands/demands, but the experience is nowhere near the same either. Hence the "Pebble Beach of the poor" nickname.

Back to the par 3 opener(s). The interesting bit is that the right side of both first holes is OB, and is a cemetery. Both holes are at about 90 degrees to each other, you go up, about 160yds,  for the first, and then turn right and over 200 yards still uphill, for the second. I am sure there are lots of souls not resting in peace with all the balls flung rightward on those first 2 holes!

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I like a good opening par three… on my mini golf courses.

Anywhere else, except an executive course with mostly par threes, and… no thanks.

For reasons (tee time intervals mostly) already stated.

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I knew of one starting Par 3 on a privately owned course.  The first thing a new owner did was to move the start box back about 75 yards (he had the space, and a way to angle it more).  Only real change was to allow a better flow.  It was tricky as a par three due to some water, actually an easier par four as the water became less in play on the second (or third) shots. When that owner passed away, his son sold the course and put up a number of apartments.

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A course I've played in the past few weeks has a short par 4 (260 yards) as #1.    They send everyone off of the back 9 first for the same reason. 

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11 hours ago, dennyjones said:

There is a local cow pasture that had a par 3 as its starting hole.   They changed it to #10 because it created a huge backup.  You don't see too many courses that start with a par 3

The only thing that might be worse is to start the course with a relatively leisurely par 5, only to follow it with a long, difficult par 3. Talk about groups stacking up on a tee! There was a local course, now a farm, that I absolutely loved but it was set up goofy this way.

#1 was a 510 yard par 5, wide fairway, no bunkers to carry, #2 was a 195 yard par 3 with a slope to the right of the green that would send your ball down a ravine into a creek! They finally built a bunker to catch shots headed for the creek, but it only helped a little.

The back nine was no better. #10 was a brutal par 4 that played like a 5, and #11 was a killer par 3 of 210 from the whites, 225 from the blues! Two bottlenecks to open both sides.

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My father-in-law was a member at Cumberland CC in Cumberland MD.  Both #1 and #10 are par-3 holes. #1 is about 220 yards and gently downhill, #10 is about 150 yards and steeply downhill.  On each side the next hole is a par-5.  I agree that its not ideal for tee intervals, but the par-5 following holes allow play to spread out pretty quickly after a slow start.

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4 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

My father-in-law was a member at Cumberland CC in Cumberland MD.  Both #1 and #10 are par-3 holes. #1 is about 220 yards and gently downhill, #10 is about 150 yards and steeply downhill.  On each side the next hole is a par-5.  I agree that its not ideal for tee intervals, but the par-5 following holes allow play to spread out pretty quickly after a slow start.

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.

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38 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

My father-in-law was a member at Cumberland CC in Cumberland MD.  Both #1 and #10 are par-3 holes. #1 is about 220 yards and gently downhill, #10 is about 150 yards and steeply downhill.  On each side the next hole is a par-5.  I agree that its not ideal for tee intervals, but the par-5 following holes allow play to spread out pretty quickly after a slow start.

Really? Par five holes tend to clog play as well.

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22 hours ago, scotth said:

I can see how an opening par 3 would...… 

I don't because it should be faster to hit 2 tee shots shorter distance and putt out compared to hitting 2 longer drives and 2 approach shots.

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On 8/4/2018 at 5:49 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?

Used to be a course in SW Phoenix, called Cotton fields, and one of the two courses there had a par 3 as #1 hole.

 

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3 hours ago, Aflighter said:

I don't because it should be faster to hit 2 tee shots shorter distance and putt out compared to hitting 2 longer drives and 2 approach shots.

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

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