Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ireland's Best Par Threes - Parkland

It's been a long Christmas break, so apologies for the delay in posting my Top 10 Irish Parkland Par Threes. Ranking and photographs are below, including some details on how/why the 'best' were picked... things such as:

  • Length
  • Difficulty
  • Surroundings
  • Number/position of hazards
  • Fear-factor
  • Where it comes in the round
  • The influence of the elements
  • The sheer beauty of the hole as you look at it from the tee
Top 10 par threes Links are here 

Ireland's top 10 Parkland par threes:
  1. 18th Killarney Mahony’s Point 
  2. 2nd Cairndhu 
  3. 8th Druid’s Glen 
  4. 4th Macreddin 
  5. 16th Rathcore 
  6. 3rd Killarney Killeen 
  7. 17th Druid’s Glen 
  8. 17th Moyola Park 
  9. 14th Skellig Bay  
  10. 3rd Mount Juliet

1. The 18th at Mahony's Point, Killarney. 162 metres. One of those perfect holes that once you've played it, you want to go right back to the tee. [image courtesy of Killarney Golf Club]
2. Cairndhu's 160 yard 2nd. Sitting on the head of the cliffs, this is a remarkable spot.
3. The enchanting 152 yard 8th at Druid's Glen. All carry and only a sliver of land for a 'Get Out of Jail Free'.
4. The drop-dead-gorgeous 4th at Macreddin, in the heart of the Wicklow countryside. There's no drop quite like it in Ireland. A confident hit is essential on this 158 metre beauty.
5. The 16th at Rathcore is a tough hole over the reeds and into a nest of gorse. 197 yards. Never looks as long as it plays.

6. Green to tee on Killarney Killeen's 166 metre 3rd. Beautiful location, sweet backdrop and the guts to go for it.
7. Druid's Glen 17th. 178 yards... most of it water. If you thought the 8th (see 3. above) was tough, wait until you step onto this tee.

8. Moyola Park's 128 yard 17th. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more enchanting setting than on this short hole. [Image courtesy of Moyola Park Golf Club]
9. Skellig Bay 14th. An Fhionnaghlais. 168 metres of bucolic perfection.
10. The tricky 3rd at Mount Juliet. 174 yards and Index 6 for a very good, wet reason. They also have a habit of putting the pin on the front right so the bunker is right behind the flag.

With so many parkland courses about and so many good par three, here are the next 10 best par threes - in alphabetical order.
17th Carton House Montgomerie 
14th Clonmel 
5th Coollattin 
7th Dromoland Castle
15th Glasson 
6th Greenore 
15th Malone 
2nd Mullingar 
11th Royal Belfast 
12th Water Rock

Best of the Rest

Adare 16, Adare Manor 8, Bunclody 14, Carrick-on-Shannon 8, Carton O’Meara 16, Castleisland 12, Cloverhill 8, Concra Wood 12, Courtown 18, Dromoland 17, Druid’s Glen 12, Druid’s Heath 14, East Clare 17, Gort 5, Greencastle 6, Hermitage 10, Lurgan 17, Macreddin 17, Muskerry 6, Portumna 5, Rathcore 11, Scrabo (2 and 17), Shandon Park 14, Westport 10, Woodenbridge 11.

Comments and suggestions always welcome on Ireland's Best Par Threes.


  1. Skellig Bay a parkland? Not traditional links I know but..... Cracking hole alright

  2. I'm biased Kevin, but the 11th hole in Lucan Golf Club wouldn't look out of place on the list! Easily the best hole on the course, OB left, a long but narrow green and a nasty right to left sloping green ensuring that a bail out right will present its own difficulties.

  3. I don't think Skellig Bay would ever claim to be a links (unless it's taking the same route as the Old Head of Kinsale). It's on clifftops so it's a seaside course at best.

    Mick, I'd put the par three 7th ahead of the 11th and I think the 1st is Lucan's best hole. But I see your point about the challenges you face:

  4. 14th O'Meara has been omitted? 16th Powerscourt East? 16th Killeen Castle?

  5. AK23...

    14th O'Meara has been omitted?
    Nice hole but not a Top one.

    16th Powerscourt East?
    Used to love it, now not so much

    16th Killeen Castle?
    The 8th is better, plus I'm not a fan of Jack Nicklaus design.

    That said, all three were on the original list but didn't make the cut. Ta for the comment.

  6. No 10 at the Hermitage should be included - not very difficult but a hole that makes you feel giddy before playing it should always be included.

    Disagree with 16 at Rathcore. As long as you get it over the junk you are fine. Think 4th and 11th in Rathcore are better. 16 reminds me of the 6th in Luttrelstown which are hard holes due to the fact you need to carry a good distance to be safe

    Agree with you re: 7th in Lucan been far better than 11

  7. I would've agreed with you about the 7th in Lucan, except for the green which was remodelled a few years ago. The front section unfortunately becomes quite un-puttable when the greens are at their best, so I feel the hole is simply not as good as it was.

    The first was never one of my favourites; a ridiculously placed (or sized-I haven't decided which) bunker that dominates the tee shot and halves an already brutally narrow fairway makes the drive unfair imo. From 100 yards in, it's a decent hole!

    Back to par 3s though, I think 17 at Headfort New and 18 at Portumna are two cracking, if very different, holes. Also 17 at Naas and (I think) the 3rd at The Heritage, very strong holes and very difficult.

  8. Mick - we are taking over the comments section here with a Lucan conversation! On the first - its a good hole and I think the bunker is in a great spot to catch big hitters with errant drives. I think the seventh (like the fourth) needs to have a "tricked out" green as a player usually has a 8/9/wedge to the front pin. However, Lucans stand out hole is 18. I would argue it is one of the best finishing holes (along with 18 in Luttrelstown) in Dublin.

  9. No room for the 7th or 9th in Cork Golf Club?

    I find that surprising.

    1. Both really good holes - I prefer the 7th of the two.

  10. How about the 10th in Cobh golf Club, played it last year... great hole and the views on it are amazing.. well worth a look

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