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 – at number 7 we chose the superb finishing hole at Killarney – 18 on Mahony’s Point while coming in at 6 was one for the worshippers, the 12th aptly named ‘Mass Hole’ at Waterville.
On Monday we entered the top 5 ahead of Friday’s reveal of our favourite short hole on the island of Ireland. At number 5 sat a hole capable of causing devastation, Shipwreck, the 16th obstacle at Tralee. Today we reach number 4 and many of you have been calling out for this hole’s inclusion… we tend to agree:
Portmarnock 15th, 204/190/176 yards
Set above the beach and playing alongside it you won’t have to spend long on the tee before you see a golfer aiming out over the sands and sea with the hope and expectation that the wind (or draw) returns the ball back towards the property and onto the green. It is a daunting task and, after a busy day, golf balls can be seen littering the sand.
From the tee this is a beautiful hole. The green looks so shapely, especially with the pot bunkers forcing it upwards to present a tempting target. You must avoid the left (or hope for the bunkers) as a steep run-off will drag you 20 yards from the green, leaving a horrible recovery shot. Going long is also a no-no as your ball will disappear into the deepest rough. The bail out is to the right where a shallow and narrow swale is second best only to finding the putting surface.
Index 8 and if you walk off with a par you will be ecstatic.