Ireland’s Top 10 Par Threes

Kevin Markham

Rainbows point the way to hole 12 at Waterville. Photo by Kevin Markham

Kevin Markham

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Ireland has a vast range of amazing short holes… from ocean drama to hilltop happiness to the terrors in the trees. We can all make birdies… we can all make double bogeys but whatever our score, we all love a great par three.

Picking a top ten is unbelievably tough, mainly because of the amazing holes that have to be left out. We started at number 10 on Tuesday – the 8th hole at Druids Glen – followed by number 9 – the famous ‘Dell’ hole, the 5th at Lahinch – followed by number 8, the first of a great collection of par threes, hole 4 at Co Sligo – and at number 7 we chose the superb finishing hole at Killarney – 18 on Mahony’s Point.

We will work our way up to the top over the coming days. Let us know what you think of our list!


Waterville 12th, 200/164/144 yards

Waterville boasts a back nine that is simply magical and, arguably, this Co. Kerry links has the best closing stretch in Ireland. That back nine also possesses two par threes that could both be included in this top 10. But we’ll pick just one. So, the 12th or the 17th? That’s the dilemma. Named ‘Mass Hole’ the 12th has a telling history dating back to the 18th century and that undoubtedly gives it an edge… but what greets golfers today is a green benched into a sharp dune with an amphitheatre of dunes behind and a tapestry of the Caha Mountains beyond. It is a stunning sight and when I last played it a double rainbow descended next to the green. The lone pot bunker (front right) looks almost forlorn… until you land in it. To be honest, it is not a bad place to be when you consider the alternatives.

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2 responses to “Ireland’s Top 10 Par Threes”

  1. John avatar

    Great list … almost impossible to think of which great par 3’s that will have to be left out!

    Hoping to see maybe some of the following in the top 5 … Connemara (13), Island (13), Coollattin (Garden Hole), St Anne’s (17), Water Rock (12) but there must be a hundred great candidates!

  2. Robert Hill avatar
    Robert Hill

    To Me This is a special par 3 .
    Im now 78 and can clearly remember playing it ,about 40 yrs ago .
    Waterville has lots of special memories for me , as my daughter owned a cottage ,a field above the 1st green .
    Wonderful hole , go and enjoy the whole course , let alone this par 3.

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